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Old Knitter

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 7502
Location: West Lebanon, NH

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Marinate Reply with quote

I would like a simple marinate I can make at home to tenderize meat.

I just read brushing an expensive steak with a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice will tenderize but not add flavor. Has anyone tried this? long do you leave a marinade on?

Also....not that I want to spend $$$ on bottled marinades...but do they just flavor or do they tenderize as well?
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Site Librarian

Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 7602
Location: Top O' the Hill Country TX

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marinating Meats
By: Allrecipes Staff

Simple marinades can greatly enhance the flavor of any meat.

Marinades, Brines and Rubs

The word marinade comes from the Latin/Italian "marinara" which means "of the sea." The original marinades (from several centuries ago) were briny liquids like seawater meant to preserve, tenderize and flavor foods. Not that much has changed. Marinades still serve two major functions:

Immersion in flavor, and
However, many opportunities for exploration and experimentation still abound. Meanwhile, some basic questions:

What With? How Long?
The three main marinade "families" are acids, enzymes, and dairy.

Acid bases include vinegar, wine, citrus juice and tomatoes. Acidic marinades denature proteins, which may actually toughen the chicken. When exposed to an acidic marinade, the bonds between protein bundles in the meat break and the proteins unwind. They run into each other and form a loose mesh. Initially, water is trapped within this protein "net" and tissue remains moist and juicy. After a short time, however, the protein bonds tighten, water is squeezed out, and the tissue toughens. Because of this, when using a highly acidic marinade for chicken, you may want to add a little olive oil and/or minimize marinating time. Two hours is usually more than sufficient for these marinades.

Enzymatic marinades, which work by breaking down the muscle fiber and connective tissue (collagen), are another approach--but may make chicken mushy. Kiwi, papaya, raw pineapple, honeydew melon and figs all contain protein enzymes (proteases), but again, may work too well if the marinating/breakdown of proteins is allowed to continue for too long. In this case the meat may turn to mush without passing though an intermediate stage of tenderness. Again, two hours is usually long enough to marinate chicken in this marinade family.

Dairy products such as buttermilk or yogurt are only mildly acidic and are probably the only marinades that truly tenderize. They don't toughen meat the way that the strongly acidic marinades do. It seems that the calcium in dairy products activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins; this process is more similar to the way that aging tenderizes meat than to cooking it, which is what the highly acidic marinades begin to do.

Keep in mind that the "toughening" which may occur with highly acidic marinades and long marinating times is not necessarily drastic; it may, in fact, hardly be noticeable. But if you've found that those overnight-marinated chicken breasts sometimes seem tough, even a little "cooked," you now know why and can simply lessen/adjust the marination time accordingly.

Marinating for 12 hours or more does cut cooking time by about 1/3, so keep an eye on the grill.

How Much?
You do want your chicken to be completely immersed in/covered by the marinade. Generally, 1/2 cup of liquid marinade for every 1 pound of meat will do the trick. If the meat is not completely covered, you will need to turn it over occasionally, making sure all sides get equal treatment during the chicken's stay in the refrigerator.

In What?
It is best to marinate in either a glass dish or a resealable plastic bag; the dish enables even covering, the bag allows the liquid to almost completely cover the chicken--if not, it can be turned over again and again with no spill, no mess. Do not use an aluminum dish or aluminum foil, as there might be a chemical reaction which can result in off colors and flavors.

What Not?
Never use leftover marinade for basting or as a sauce, unless you first boil it for 3-5 minutes to kill any bacteria. When properly boiled and bacteria-free, marinades do make a lovely, tasty sauce.

2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion salt
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. oil
Meat tenderizer

Mix together. Marinade overnight.

1 London Broil or flank steak (approx. 2 lb.)
4 tsp. meat tenderizer
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. cooking sherry
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Accent

Place London Broil in a glass or Corning Ware dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Cover and refrigerate in marinade at least 6 hours or overnight. Grill over medium-low coals until desired doneness. This is a delicious marinade for grilling chicken too. Makes 4-6 servings.

1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. salad oil
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. dry mustard
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs. chuck or round steak, cut in pieces about 1" square
Instant unseasoned meat tenderizer

For marinade, combine soy sauce, salad oil, molasses, ginger, dry mustard and minced garlic cloves; mix well. Cut steak in pieces after using tenderizer. Add meat to marinade stirring to coat and let stand 15 minutes. (Put the meat on the skewers and then put it in the marinade for less mess.) Broil over hot coals turning often. Baste with marinade while cooking for extra flavor. Serves 6.

Holly, I think some consideration is given to what you want to marinade...I was able to find several things. The first of this post talks about various kinds of marinade. The ones that talk about "meat tenderizer" are probably talking about the powdered or "salt shaker" kind...those need to be watched for MSG many people are sensitive to it.
Have a mice day.
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Old Knitter

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 7502
Location: West Lebanon, NH

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yah....yummy. Very Happy
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Crafter Extraordinaire

Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 8386
Location: Middle of Nowhere, MO

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just use Moore's Marinade... Look at WalMart with the steak sauces, and see it they have it... I like the Original...
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