Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How To Use Marinades

Marinating meat can be one of the simplest and easiest ways of bringing flavor to foods. The only real limitation is "time". Planning ahead is crucial to determining the tenderness and impartation of flavor that meats experience. In this article we discuss some suggestions regarding the use of marinades, planning and the do's and don'ts to watch out for when marinating.


Regarding the actual time needed for marinating that time is usually determined by the type of meat to be marinated and the size of the cut. Typically it can take from two hours for chicken, and as long as eight hours for pork or beef. The focus being that the pork or beef has not been sliced into thin strips. When the meat is sliced into strips the marinade can cover and coat more of the surface area of the meat and will require less time to do its job.

There are some basic common sense rules that one can use to ensure that you get the maximum use out of your marinade.
  •  First consider the type of container to be used when marinating. Marinate meat in a glass, heavy plastic or heavy plastic bags. Using metal aluminum and copper containers may cause the marinades' acidity to react with aluminum or copper and cause both the metal and the meat to darken leaving behind a metallic taste.
  • Remove the meat after marinating and discard the leftover liquid.
  • Use about 1/4 cup of marinade per pound of meat. For example, for 2 pounds of beef or chicken strips, use 1/2 cup of marinade.
  • Make extra marinade and set it aside if you want some of the mixture for basting.
  • Planning ahead by starting the marinade in the morning before work or school will ensure that the meat is properly marinated by the end of the day.
  • Once the meat is prepared and covered with the marinade place the meat covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Don't leave meat in marinade longer than 12 hours. Over marinating can make meat mushy.
  • Never allow marinating meat to sit out at room temperature -- even for a short period of time.
  • Discard all marinade that has touched raw meat. Do not use it in cooking.
  • DON'T use marinade from raw meat or fish as a sauce.
  • DON'T reuse leftover marinade for other food.

 Try teriyaki marinade for an Asian dish, a red-wine based marinade for steak or a yogurt-based marinade for a Middle-Eastern dish.

 

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