How we tested
We’ve found that marinades generally don’t go much farther than skin deep, which is why Mary’s Marinating Stick ($24.90 for two) grabbed our attention. Each perforated 10-inch stainless-steel tube can be filled with seasoning and inserted into any piece of meat with the idea that the food will be seasoned thoroughly from the inside. But at only 1/2 inch wide, each tube held very little seasoning—less than 1/2 ounce of garlic, herbs, and citrus zest. And when used with a 3-pound pork loin, even potent garlic and rosemary failed to permeate beyond a 1/4-inch area surrounding the stick—a far cry from the claim that it can flavor up to 6 pounds of protein. We also skewered a turkey breast with two salt-filled marinating sticks, but the seasoning was no better than a breast we’d simply salted before cooking. Once removed, the sticks leave behind unsightly “bullet holes,” and the 132 tiny perforations are difficult to clean, even after a trip through the dishwasher.