A Marinade is a seasoned liquid in which meat, fish, veg, etc. are steeped before cooking.
A marinade consists of several key elements
1. something salty
2. something sweet
3. something acidic
4. Flavorings (herbs and spices).
Marinades can be very simple, or a marriage of complex flavors.
To tenderize, moisturize, and flavor the food.
Each of the elements of a marinade help in this process. The acid breaks down the proteins in the meat and makes it tender. Salt helps to flavor the meat, and aids in the distribution of water throughout the meat so it does not dry out as easily during the cooking process. This is expecially true with lean cuts of meat such as boneless skinless chicken or fish. A balance between salty and sweet helps in the overall flavor profile. We crave that sweet salty balance. The sugar also aids in the browning process adding much flavor.There are many flavorings herbs etc that add to the overall aroma and flavor of the food. All these things combine together to create a great food experience.
How long does it take to marinate?
The larger and tougher the cut of meat the longer it takes. We want the acid in the marinade to penetrate the meat and break down the proteins. We also want to get the flavor into the meat and not just on the surface.
here are some suggested marinating times.
chicken bone in 1-2 hours
chicken boneless 20-50 minutes
Beef roast 2-3 hours
flank steak or london broil 1-2 hours
skirt steaks 30-50 minutes
pork chops or pork loin 30-60 minutes
pork butt or pork shoulder roast 2-3 hours
lamb chops 30-40 minutes
fish 10-20 minutes
shrimp shelled 10-20 minutes
shrimp with shell on 30-45 minutes
Vegetables 30 minutes
Marinate in the fridge in a non metalic container
|this is my favorite marinade container it is about 2 inches deep with a lid.
Why make your own marinade?
First of all, most marinades are super easy. Second, you know what went into it. Store bought marinades can have a bunch of ingredients that you may not want. Third, the cost is so much less when you make your own.
Here are a few of my favorite quick and easy marinades.
quick and easy marinade for turkey or chicken
12-16 ounces of a lemon lime soda
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
mix ingredients together and pour over 2-3 pounds of bonless skinless chicken or turkey. let sit refrigerated for about 45 minutes then cook on a hot grill.
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 of a medium onion grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon worchestershire sauce
11/2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons spanish paprika
mix all together and pour over 11/2-2 pounds of beef
I use this often for a london broil or a flank steak marinating for about 2 hours before grilling
I just recently found a marinade for salmon that used the fresh mint in my garden It was yummy so I thought I would share it here
1 bunch fresh mint stems removed
1 bunch fresh parsley stems removed
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
blend together in the food processor or blender
pour over 6 salmon portions 6 oz each. marinate for about 10 minutes