Marinade: tips & suggestions

Marinades are a simple way to add big flavour to meat. There are many recipes, some tips and a few basic components to follow.

A marinade is a simple, yet essential way, to add flavour to meat, making it more tender to cook. It consists of a liquid solution made from wine, vinegar or juice and seasonings. It will maintain the meat’s moisture during grilling and not dry out as quickly. Actually, when it comes to grilling, marinades are a “must-have” due to the high, intense heat generated by the grill. Marinades can store bought or made at home very easily. So, here are some tips and suggestions to keep in mind.

How long should we marinate meat?
It depends on the meat, but it is important to know the amount of time each cut of meat should marinate. So, when it comes to chicken, anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours is ideal – longer than that can risk the meat toughening. For beef and pork, the process should be longer, anywhere between one and twelve hours. The best thing to do is to follow the recipe instructions for the cut of meat you will be making.

Components for a great marinade
The basic components for a great marinade should include fat, acid, and seasonings. The fat helps the meat keep the moisture as it is cooked, and not allowing the acidic flavours to overwhelm the meat. Some healthy fats include olive oil, full fat yogurt, or vegetable oils. When it comes to acid, they work in many different ways, but their main function is to help the flavour penetrate the meat through breaking down the connective tissue in the meat. So, use citrus juices (pineapple is awesome), vinegar, wine, or yogurt. The main key is definitely the seasoning. They are the soul of any marinade. There are endless choices, but the basic (and really delicious) ones are garlic, onion, herbs & spices, salt, soy sauce, chili peppers, and some sugars – honey, brown sugar, or molasses.

Last, but not least, choose flavours for your marinade that you enjoy.

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