Marinating Meat Guide: Complete Guide

by | Sep 13, 2017 | Blog

Marinating is the ticket to juicier, crispier, and tastier meat. Frankly speaking, it’s the essential step in cooking where all the magic lies. It keeps the meat interesting and delicious. It’s a simple way to add flavor to the meat. Yes, it’s not a manufactured nonsense, but an age-old practice of adding flavor to the meat. In simple words, it helps the meat to be in its best elements. It works on all kinds of meat.

Once successfully marinated, meats can be stored in the freezer for later, effortless use. Believe it or not, a marinade has never spoilt any meat, unless one sucked at his/her job. If you haven’t been marinating meat the right way, you have been losing out on lots of flavors and taste all this time. So, let’s dive into this marinating meat guide to be certain that we are able to do justice to the meat served on the table.

Must-Have Marinating Ingredients

You will need a few basic ingredients over here—salt, fat, an acid, and flavorings. The salt will contribute to the taste and flavor. You can use oil as the source of fat. Oil holds everything together and also adds moisture to the meat. Vinegar, lemon juice, papaya juice, or wine can be used as an acid. The acids do a good job at tenderizing the meat. Spices, garlic, or herbs can be used for the sake of flavoring. Of course, you are not limited to choices over here. So, this is not the complete list.

For instance, you can use garlic in any marinade because it contains enzymes, which can break down the fats and protein content present in the meat. So, don’t stop at these ingredients. There are endless ways to marinate meat. Truthfully speaking, you can use whatever spices or seasoning you have in your kitchen closet for the sake of flavoring. The best choices are the ones that are fresh, simple, and tasty.

Meat Marinating Preparation

Once you have the ingredients handy, it’s a child’s play to marinate the meat. All you have to do is mix them up well for proper marinade. For optimum results, your best bet would be to mix together 3 parts oil for every 1 part of acid and 1 part of water to be used. Next, add your choice of flavoring. Over here, you are free to experiment with the seldom-used spices in your kitchen. Finally, add salt to taste.

Pierce the meat with a fork for better absorption of the marinade. By marinating your own meat, you will be in complete control over the sodium and sugar content present in them. It will be completely preservative-free as well, and it can be customized to your own taste. Not to forget the fact that it’s a cheaper option over store-bought ones.        

Remember, the meat should stay cold at all times. Make sure to marinate meat in the refrigerator and not on a countertop or table. As a general rule, make twice the amount of marinade than you think you will require. Use half of it to marinate the food, and the rest to baste the food while it’s cooking.

While marinating the meat, place the food and the marinade in a zip lock bag and squeeze out all the air from the bag. Place the whole bag in a large bowl inside the refrigerator. Every once a while, keep a check on them by flipping the sides of the food to ensure that they stay well-coated at all times.

Meat Marinating Tips:

Marinating should not be a rush job. It’s always better to think ahead and start marinating meat the night before. Also, it’s advisable not to cut corners over here. One should marinate food in the refrigerator and not room temperature to avoid the growth of dangerous bacteria that can cause food borne illness. Moreover, one must cover the lid of the container.

As a word of caution, one should refrain from using aluminum foil or container. Chemical reaction from them can spoil the food. Also, one must not use metal containers because the chemical components in them can affect the flavor of the meat. One’s best bet would be to use glass, food grade plastic containers or high-quality plastic storage bags.

Within reason, you can marinate less or more to suit your own taste. However, do not over-marinate the meat excessively. It would backfire in a big way. The meat can get texture less as a result of excess marinating. Also, get rid of any used marinade once you are done with it—unless you don’t mind being a food poisoning victim. If you are in any doubt, simply throw it out.

Also, store the marinade on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator to avoid potential cross-contamination. So, your refrigerator and freezer will play a crucial role over here. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for marinating meat. However, the general cooking guidelines should be kept in mind for optimum results.

Final Words:

Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. Marinades offer virtually limitless opportunities to enhance the flavor of the meat. Fortunately, the balance of power lies in your hands because the ingredients are not etched in stone. Therefore, don’t walk away from this opportunity, and feel free to deviate from the norm. Remember, lack of creativity can prove to be a bottleneck over here. Also, if you don’t switch flavors, you run the risk of burnout. Nobody loves to eat the same roast over and over again.

So, don’t hold yourself back from trying out new flavors and ingredients. Be willing to trust your own taste. There is no point of having a safety net over here. So, wrap your head with creative ingredients that could raise the bar of marinating. The chances are that you will be dazzled by the outcome. Be warned; you could be in for a big HUG as well from guys who were served your perfectly cooked marinated meat!

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.

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