Do you remember the last BBQ that you had where the meat was so succulent that you died and went to heaven? Did the meat melt in your mouth? If this has happened to you, then you have experienced a great marinating job. Proper marinades are that important! Marinades matter when it comes to getting the most out of your BBQ because they seal moisture into the meat. Even if you purchase inexpensive meats for your BBQ, marinades can make any meat stand out above the rest. Also, marinades can come in many forms and varieties. There are classic marinades, but the Asian community also has marinades that flavor meat in a delicious way, too. Without the proper flavor and taste, your BBQ might end up being subpar. Instead, focus on the right ingredients that will help keep your meat savory and delicious.
Before ingredients are even talked about, it is important to recognize that every human has an innate ability to decide what is good or bad through taste. Instead of checking out every recipe online, be a little adventurous and try adding ingredients that you like the taste of. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that you can create a recipe from scratch on your own. Quite possibly, it might be the best marinade you ever make. However, if you are struggling or feel like you lack the sense of creativity, there are more options and recipes to try, but ultimately, allow your body to help you make decisions on what is a good marinade and what is not.
The Marinade Actions
During the marinating process, people need to understand that the flavor does not penetrate deep into the meat. It only affects up to 0.1mm into the meat, but this still helps in a big way when helping to tenderize the meat. Through tenderizing, three biological functions take place in the meat when marinating. First, calcium is present when using a marinade. The enzymes from calcium separate the proteins in the meat. This helps to make the meat tender, even if the meat is extremely tough. Next, acidic properties happen when using a marinade. Through this process, the meat gains a more favorable flavor. Lastly, an enzymatic process occurs with a marinade as well. Enzymes help to break down the toughness of the meat, allowing flavors to soak inside for added essence.
What is Worth Marinating?
When it comes to marinating different dishes, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can create a traditional BBQ sauce for chicken, wings, or brisket. BBQ can mix with a Mexican flare by creating a seasoning with tacos. Even seafood can jump into the picture, when it comes to a BBQ. For best results, try shrimp, salmon, and crab. There is nothing better than a good piece of meat with a phenomenal marinade on top. Even the worst grade meats can be transformed into something magnificent with the help of a quality marinade.
A Traditional Marinade
One of the best marinades is one of the most common ones around. It does not ask for much. Use a little olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix all of these ingredients together, and then, you will have the makings of a marvelous marinade. Other ingredients you might want to add include: mixed herbs, bay leaf, red wine vinegar, sugar, brown sugar, wine, and even dry sherry. Sometimes, you may run into a problem where you marinade is not turning out the way you thought it would. Did you know, that by adding a little balsamic vinegar, all your problems will go away? Alright, that might not be entirely true, but balsamic vinegar is really a trick that you should have up your sleeve. Even with a little pure sugar or brown sugar, a bad marinade can make strides immediately.
With so many marinade recipes on the market today, time really varies when it comes to preparation. Some marinades might simply need less than an hour to prepare, while others will need to sit over-night to be ready to go the next day. This is where you need to be well-prepared and organized with your BBQ. If you do not plan ahead, you can imagine how embarrassing it would be to not have a BBQ ready when your friends are coming over for dinner. There is nothing worse than having to wait, wait, and wait when the food is not even close to being done. Do not be that person and make the necessary preparations by knowing what your marinade is and how long it will take. Your friends will thank you with compliments for days on how organized you were and how great your BBQ turned out. They might even invite themselves over again for another BBQ. Watch out!
Rule of Thumb
Remember that when you are marinating your meat, you should remember this formula: For every pound of meat, you should soak the meat in the marinade for 30 minutes before bringing it out to the smoker or grill. Additionally, some people love to let the meat soak in the marinade overnight, so the meat is even tenderer after it is cooked. Some professionals have a maximum amount of time that they soak meat, believing meat can be over-tenderized. Whatever you choose, be patient and let the marinade seep into the meat before cooking it to perfection. It will be worth it in the long run when it comes to your BBQ.
There are so many marinades to choose from that you can find in cookbooks, on the Internet, from cooking shows or just talking to your neighbor about what they like. Do not get comfortable with just one marinade. Mix and match, and see which ones you can use for your BBQ. With so many to try, you better get to work compiling a list that you can try because you are bound to have a few marinades catch your eye. Happy searching!