BBQ FAQ Section 9.2

 

9.2 Marinades

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[Do marinades really tenderize the meat?]

Jim Tarantino--

From his book, "Marinades":

First of all, marinades do not tenderize food. They soften and denature it. Tenderizing occurs in food when muscle tissue is separated, torn, or bruised. Tenderizing, for example, occurs when a cook pounds a chicken breast or a veal scallop with a kitchen mallet. Marinades soften or denature tissue with their acid ingredients."

"Marinades do not penetrate deeply into muscle tissue. When a marinade hits the surface of meat or poultry, the muscle tissue softens and expands; in some cases this stops penetration."

Paraphrasing here: Marinades are made up of three parts with three specific flavor roles. The first is acid, such as wine, vinegar, citrus juice, or yogurt, acting as a softening agent. The second is oil, which adds flavor and moisture. The third is the aromatics that give the marinade its aroma and flavor.

Jim Tarantino's Basic Beef Marinade

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

1/4

cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1/2

cup dry red wine

2

tablespoons soy sauce

1

tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1

teaspoon sugar

1/2

cup olive oil

2

cloves garlic sliced

2

tablespoons parsley, fresh chopped

2

tablespoons fresh herb combo: rosemary, tarragon, thyme

1

dash black pepper to taste

Combine the vinegar, wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Whisk in olive oil a little at a time. Add the pepper, parsley and herbs.

For beef steaks marinate for 6 to 8 hours. For roasts and brisket, 10 to 12 hours.

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Jim Tarantino's Basic Chicken Marinade

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

1/2

cup fresh orange juice

1/4

cup fresh lemon juice

1

teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1

teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4

cup canola oil

3

cloves garlic

1/4

cup fresh parsley minced

1

teaspoon dried oregano chopped

1

dash kosher salt to taste crushed

1

dash black pepper to taste

Combine the orange and lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a glass bowl. Whisk in the oil a little at a time. Add remaining ingredients.

Chicken breasts should marinate 3 to 4 hours. Wings 4 to 6 hours.

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[Can you tell me some more about marinades?]

Ed Pawlowski--

Below is some information on marinating meat from the "Cooks Bible", published by Cooks Illustrated. Most of us marinate meat so I thought it would be of interest. It also recommends putting the meat and marinade in a plastic bag instead of a bowl and shaking it once in a while to distribute the solution.

Why don't marinades make meat more tender?

Harold McGee, in "On Food and Cooking", points out that enzymes (many marinades contain enzymes such as papaya or pineapple) do not work effectively at room temperatures and are especially impotent when left at 40F in a refrigerator. He also points out that marinades that contain wine, vinegar, and/or citrus juices will denature the surface proteins, resulting in drier meat (when protein is denatured it uncoils and loses water). And, as I experienced in my testing, marinades don't get deep down into the meat, causing a change of texture only on the surface. Puncturing meat with a fork, for example, to gain access to the interior, has little effect, although it will enhance the loss of meat juices during cooking, an unintended and adverse effect.

Master Recipe for Fish Marinade

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

2

teaspoons cumin seeds toasted

2

tablespoons fresh cilantro minced

1

fresh hot chili pepper seeded, minced

4

cloves garlic peeled, minced

1

tablespoon fresh ginger minced

1/4

cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/4

cup dry white wine

1

teaspoon kosher salt

1/2

teaspoon sugar

1/2

cup olive oil

Combine ingredients.

Makes enough marinade for 2 pounds of fish.

This marinade is particularly good as a sauce for the cooked fish. Set aside some of it before you marinate the fish.

This is similar to the beef marinade but uses lemon juice instead of balsamic vinegar. Chicken is more delicate, so I use less garlic and rosemary.

Master Recipe for Poultry Marinade

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

1/2

cup olive oil

4

cloves garlic peeled and lightly crushed

1

tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme

1/4

cup lemon juice
dash black pepper to taste freshly ground

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and rosemary and let cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain oil through a sieve. Add lemon juice and pepper and stir to mix. Makes enough marinade for 1 chicken, butterflied or cut into parts. Marinate 3-4 hours.

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Carey Starzinger--

Mustard-Herb Marinade for Chicken

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

1/2

cup Dijon Mustard

2

tablespoons dry mustard

2

tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4

cup dry white wine

2

tablespoons tarragon, dried

2

tablespoons thyme, dried

2

tablespoons sage, dried crushed

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Let stand 1 hour. Add chicken and coat well. Let chicken sit in marinade 3-4 hours. Pat dry with paper towels. Use the remaining marinade to baste chicken just before removing from the grill. Source: Mesquite Cookery by John "Boog" Powell

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[Can someone give me a good marinade for brisket?]

Edward Spiegel--

I prepared the brisket by using the 'All-American Rub'. I then stuck it into a large (2 gallon) Ziploc bag into which I poured the following:

Ed's Special Brisket Marinade

Amount

Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

1/2

bottle beer

1

cup apple cider vinegar

1/2

cup brown sugar

3

drops orange oil

1

pinch cinnamon

2

teaspoons salt

I let it marinate overnight. The brisket was great!

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[If I use a marinade on my meat, can I safely use the leftover marinade in my sauce?]

Bill Martin--

Heat the leftover marinade gently to boiling, turn it down and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. This should take care of any bacteria that may be in the marinade.

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Editor--The marinade should generally have no more bacteria in it than was on the meat that was marinated. Often the marinade will have fewer bacteria due to the makeup of the marinade (acid content, alcohol content, etc.) Don't let the marinade sit around at room temperature. Heat it as soon as the meat is finished marinating and then store it in the refrigerator until it's time to add it to your sauce.

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[Can you give me some ideas for injection marinades?]

Glen Dikes--

Injection Marinades. Try pureeing "Paul Newman's Italian Salad Dressing" and injecting it. I have also used "Figeuroa" brand Mesquite Fajita marinade cut with Burgundy wine and water. Also for leaner cuts of beef, I use a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion, and other herbs as I see fit on the day in question. I also use quite a bit of cumin for that South West flavor. I know, I know . . . there are no measurements listed because I don't use them except to bake. Experimentation can be the spice of life!

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BBQ FAQ Ver 1.0, 2.0 1997, 1998 William W. Wight. All rights reserved.

  Thursday, November 25, 1999
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