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Meat Marinating 101

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A good marinade is responsible for both tenderising meat and adding scrumptious flavour.

Depending on individual taste and suppliers, marinades vary from recipe to recipe, but they generally contain three important components.; oils, acids and seasonings. Most marinades costs of at least one acidic ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice, combined with oil, herbs and spices. Marinade intended for use on red meat, is likely to not include oil as the meat generally contains enough fat

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Any marinade that contains large amounts of acid, alcohol or salt, should not be used for very long periods of time. Over time, the marinade will chemically “cook” or denature the food in it. It is advisable that this type of marinade should be used in a time period of 4 hours.

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When marinades contain citrus juices, such as orange, lemon, or lime juice, it should be used for only 2 hours or less. Be aware when using acidic marinades. If left too long in these blends, food may change colour and even texture.

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Marinades that contain no salt, acid, or alcohol can be marinated overnight and in some cases, even longer.