Friday, February 12, 2010

To marinate, or not to marinate!

That is the question!  Or maybe it is how to marinate?  Or what is a marinade...? 

I don't know about you, but as the days, weeks, and months continue to go by, it has come to my attention that many people are unsure of how to use a marinade.  Seasonings are so simple: rinse the meat, sprinkle on seasoning, then cook.  Bam!  Meal ready!  Marinades are just slightly more involved, but they really aren't that hard to use and in the end you have a fantastic meal!  So let's get down to the nitty gritty and clear away all the confusion so you can have a fabulous dinner tonight!

Why should you use a marinade to begin with?  A good marinade should actually penetrate a cut of meat so there will be flavor throughout the entire piece of meat.  Beware of marinades that just sit on top!  They are not doing their job properly!  Our marinades have vinegar in them especially for this purpose.  It may not taste that great if you stick your finger in the jar to taste it right off the bat.  Just give it a chance, and you will find that once you are at the final product, the vinegar has been cooked off and you will be able to taste the true flavor profile of the marinade! 

A little side note about the vinegar: it kills bacteria!  That makes it safe to marinate your meat and throw it in the fridge to keep marinating for a couple days, no problem!  If you want to get super duper fancy, you can freeze your meat in marinade, and that helps to prevent freezer burn.  And then when you take it out to defrost, your meat will automatically marinate as it defrosts!! Woo hoo!  It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it!  Can you say quick meal?  Ok, moving on...

Alrighty, now let's figure out how to actually use this stuff since now we know why we should use it. 
1. First things first: rinse off the meat.  Always rinse off your meat!  Hygiene people, hygiene!  It gets all the little microscopic whatnots off your meat, and then you can start with a clean slate :) 
2. Next, pat your meat dry.  Otherwise you have water on the cut of meat and that will dilute the marinade.  Not a huge deal, but we are talking flavor, so let's not dilute the marinade and your meat will taste better in the end.  If you want to/need to trim up the meat, now would be a good time to do it. 
3. Take a zipper type plastic bag, put the meat in the bag, and use just enough marinade to cover the meat.  No need to drown it in marinade, you just want to make sure there is enough to coat the surface of the meat so it can soak in everywhere.  Sometimes I get questions about how much to use: half a jar, a whole jar?  I honestly don't know, just use enough to cover the meat.  It will vary constantly depending on how much food you are making, so follow these guidelines and it will turn out great, I promise. 
Ok, now that you have the meat and marinade in the bag...
4. Squeeze out all the air as you zip the bag closed.  It is kind of like a makeshift vacuum seal and helps to marinate more effectively. 
5. Now we wait.  Throw it in the fridge or freezer, depending on how soon you are going to use it.  Technically, you could just marinate for a few hours, but really, you should adopt our little mantra: One day is good, Two days is better, Three days is Awesome!  And yes, it is ok to leave it marinating in your fridge for three days.  Remember the vinegar?  Great!

So those are some steps for marinating meat.  From there you take the meat after it has had a nice long while to marinate and soak up all the flavored goodness it has been sitting in, and you cook it however you may like. 

Did you know we have 7 different marinades to choose from?  Even our barbecue sauces, like Jezebel Spicy Sauce, can penetrate a cut of meat!  I encourage you to check out our website and try something new!  Add some variety to your kitchen, and spice up your dinner tonight!


Anonymous said...

Great. Title!?!?!?!

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