Thursday, July 31, 2008

Marinades and Marinating

About a week ago while in the midst of demonstrating our sauces and seasonings at Bristol Farms someone told us how much they liked our marinades. The timing on this conversation was impeccable because I told them we were just about to re-release our Kiwi Lime Raspberry marinade. We held the Kiwi Lime Raspberry off the market until we reformulated it and could personally supervise the production. Well, all that reforming and production happened just the other day so now it's time to get the product out the door.

Even with a great marinade often times it can be confusing on how to use it and what it actually does. So, I've gathered some general information that will help get you off on the right foot.

Marinades and the Marinating Process:
A marinade is a seasoned mixture that adds flavor and in some cases tenderizes. Marinades are commonly used with thin cuts, such as steaks, chicken, duck or fish.
  • A flavoring marinade is many times used with tender beef cuts for a short time - 15 minutes to 2 hours.

  • A tenderizing marinade is used with less tender beef cuts - usually from the chuck, round, flank and skirt.

  • A tenderizing marinade contains a food acid or a tenderizing enzyme.
    Acidic ingredients include lemon or lime juice, vinegar, Italian dressing, salsa, yogurt and wine.

  • Tenderizing enzymes are present in fresh ginger, pineapple, papaya, kiwi and figs.

  • Less tender steaks should be marinated at least 6 hours, by no more than 24 hours. Longer than 24 hours will result in a mushy texture.

  • Tenderizing marinades penetrate about ¼ inch into the meat.

  • Marinate in a food-safe plastic bag or a nonreactive glass or stainless steel container.

  • Turn steaks or stir beef strips occasionally to allow even exposure to the marinade.

  • Allow ¼ to ½ cup of marinade for each 1 to 2 pounds of beef. About half as much can be used for fish or chicken.

  • ALWAYS marinate in the refrigerator, NEVER at room temperature.

  • If a marinade will be used later for basting, or served as a sauce, reserve a portion of it before adding the raw beef.

  • Marinade that has been in contact with uncooked meat MUST be brought to a full rolling boil before it can be used as a sauce.

  • NEVER save and reuse a marinade.

With these great tips you'll be able to use any marinade effectively and safely. If you need some great recipes follow our link. If you need assistance with the process don't hesistate to give us a call.