It’s been my experience that glazes, bastes, and dipping sauces can add a lot of flavor to meat. And that marinades can tenderize meat. But I’m not sure that marinades actually add much flavor to meat. What thinks the group?
Works for me… everything from bite size pieces to ribs and steaks.
Yes, marinades add flavor to raw meat. Just depends on what kind of flavor you’re looking for and what kind of meat. Dipping sauces tend to mask a flavorless meat.
It’s mostly on the outside, but sure.
Thank you. This confirms pretty much all of my suspicions. It seems that putting in a bunch of herbs, garlic, citrus zest, oil, etc. and leaving meat in it for 30-60 min is basically a waste of time and ingredients.
I guess it depends on the meat. I rarely eat (or marinate) beef steaks. But chicken and seafood is another thing, especially with fresh citrus in addition to the other flavors. Here is one of my favs designed for grilled/broiled firm fish steaks/fillets (two hours)…
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 cup parsley - chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Makes a big difference!
I believe they do. Just buttermilk on chicken for 5-7 days. Swear by it because I’ve tried it without and have been let down. Other marinades are usually oil/acid based with spices. I’ve tried marinaded chicken v. the same oil/acid spice complement during cooking or right before. No comparison, IMHO. Better texture and flavor to this mouth, and those of my family. Done it double blind even, on my son and daughter. I’ll definitely continue the practice. The name suggests it has been done for a long time. Soak in sea water.
I don’t care about having a slab of meat, seafood, or intact chicken parts on my dinner plate. If marinating, I cut these into smaller, or bite sized, pieces beforehand. Preheat a nonstick pan, add a bit of oil, and sear the pieces, reserving the marinade. When the meat is done - just a few minutes, add the marinade and some minced onion, stir, deglaze with booze or broth. Let sit off heat a few minutes, for carryover cooking. Done. Fast, delicious, and conserves utility costs.
The article explains that the marinade doesn’t permeate whichever protein one is eating - size is irrelevant. There also seems to be little to no benefit in marinating longer than 8 hours.
That’s a brine, not a marinade.
Yes they do.
On the outside. But it’s mostly salt that does anything to the meat.
On Reddit there are constant threads on how X marinade didn’t do much and it’s always because it had little or no salt. Recently there was one asking why one marinade was so much better than the other and the better one had significantly more salt. People default to saying you need to marinate longer, which I’ve observed time and time again is unnecessary and in certain cases (when the marinade is very acidic or contains enzymes like bromelain by way of pineapple) detrimental past 4 hours.
Good review it seems but I’m still in-progress. One interesting note there, that I’ve mentioned before. This comment was re the chicken breast, pre-cooked, that had been marinated for 24 hours.
- Not much to note here visually, but I did notice that the 24-hour sample felt noticeably firmer than the other samples—almost like a gummy bear.
I once forgot bone-in chicken breasts in a salt and herb brine. I’d intended to brine it about 10 hours and it went over 24. The chicken had a consistency very much like ham. And was too salty.
Actually, the size is relevant. Since the marinade permeates only the very very surface of the meat (if left long enough), then having a higher surface to inside proportion creates more flavor. Little nuggets marinated will be more flavorful than big chunks. And the article even said one could slash the meats surface to supercharge this effect. Then again, if @greygarious is using the same marinade as a baste, then most of the flavor is probably coming directly from the sauce, rather than the sauce affecting the flavor of the meat. Sitting on, rather than being absorbed into, was really what I was thinking when I posed the question.
Right. And I had said up top I know that salting/bringing and acids do affect the taste and texture of meats. It’s the herbs/spices/zests/alcohols that I wondered about.
I prefer smaller chunks for souvlaki - extra surface for the marinade and the char
Yes the char! I have been re-reading (in prep for donating) many old cooking mags. I’m doing them seasonally so that if the recipe says peaches, it’s not December. And the July ones recently were ALL bbq. Grill, coal, char, smoke. I need to do that more. I have been in a lay off slump.
That’s what I tend to do for London Broil, especially if I’m using a pretty thick cut like round. I’ll slash a fairly close crosshatch grid about a scant cm deep on both sides so it collects some more of the marinade. It doesn’t mess up the presentation much, really, because I’m going to bring it to the table already cut on the bias into thin pieces.
I sometimes do it this with chicken breasts (not as deep cuts, though) when I’m using an Italian herbed vinaigrette as the marinade. But only with family, because they’re brought to the table intact and it does make `em a bit ugly. Or maybe a bit more than a bit.
Salt in solution brines the meat. Acid denatures the protein, changing its structure.