Marinating meat serves as a meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer. Marinades start with an oil and acid, such as vinegar, citrus juice or wine, and further enhanced with spices, herbs or aromatics.
The acid in citrus juices, wines, and vinegar break down proteins, thus tenderizing the meat while also balancing out spicy and sweet flavors in the marinade. While meats like beef and lamb can handle 24 hours marinating, seafood requires an hour or less and chicken no more than two hours. Marinating too long can actually “cook” seafood or turn chicken mushy.
Meat should always marinate in the refrigerator – never at room temperature. Marinate in a sealable plastic bag if you can. It’s much easier to turn these bags over often, ensuring that all surfaces are coated in the marinade.
When ready to grill, be sure to treat the marinated meat with the same care you would treat any raw meat. If you wish to use part of the marinade as a basting sauce, be sure to boil it for 5 minutes before using.
RECIPES: Baja Marinade, Chermoula, Japanese Miso Marinade, Lemon Herb Marinade, Provencal Style Marinade, Red Wine and Garlic Marinade, Tandoori Marinade, Traditional Teriyaki Sauce, Teriyaki Flank Steak , Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Carne Asada, Tuscan Lemon and Rosemary Marinated Chicken, Marinated Boneless Leg of Lamb for a Crowd, Orange and Chipotle-Marinated Fish Fillets, Fragrant Yogurt Chicken
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