What looks like a sideways water fountain spins nonstop, fleshy mounds of meat battering against the liquid that sloshes around the container.
The brand associate, Sheri McKinley, tells me that this machine is the Mr. Marinator, an all in one marinating machine that makes your meat flavorful in under 15 minutes. “It’s so you don’t have to plan, you don’t even have to think about it,” she says. The container can fit 7 pounds of flesh and will constantly turn, while it imbues the meat with the marinade. The vacuum action allows the flavor to penetrate quickly, and the constant motion massages the meat, supposedly adding a tasty tenderness to it.
One of the inventors of the machine, George Cheung, was on hand to talk me through the product, and why he felt the world needed a marinade version of the microwave. “BBQ ribs are my specialty,” he said. “People come from all over, and they love my marinade.”
But Cheung found the process too slow and after looking at the market decided that this was something people would need. He tested on friends and family, and after good reviews, helped bring it to market. “With this, you have speed, you save time,” he said. “We’re engineers first, we look at what’s needed and then come up with the products and test them.”
So far, it looks like the Mr Marinator has been around for at least a year, but hasn’t had mass market penetration yet. The team are hoping this is the year they’ll move into more stores – a nice push on QVC or something like that, would help get their made for TV infomercial product out there.
But my big question: Why MR. Marinator? Not Ms. Or Mrs?
Cheung answered that barbecuing is traditionally “what males do.”
Fair enough; who am I to argue with reverse sexism?
I was told that it’s $149 from Vacufresh (the product is listed on their website, but not the price).