Marinades have long been a way for chefs to infuse different meats, like chicken and seafood, with a variety of flavors. However, they also serve another purpose. Marinating meat for a few hours, or even overnight, allows the acidic juices in the marinade to break down the meat, allowing it to absorb more moisture and flavor. As a result, meat that has been marinated may also be more tender than meat cooked without being marinated first.
Marinades can only get into a cut of meat so far, no ma…
ter how long they’ve been marinating, so make sure you are using thinner cuts of meat, such as chicken tenders or cubes. Too thick of a cut of meat won’t allow the marinade to soak in deep enough.
Marinades are relatively easy to make and usually are comprised of an oil base and then seasonings as needed to make the specific dish in question. When you make your marinade at home, you can control the flavor and quantity, allowing you to create the perfect dish for a picnic, backyard barbecue, or simple weeknight dinner.
Easy Marinating Recipes
When it comes to all cooking techniques that are featured on our website, marinating is probably one of the most simple things you can do you that has the biggest impact. We have several easy marinating recipes on our site that allow you to make the perfect dish: all it takes is a simple recipe and enough time beforehand. If you are going to be cooking a marinated dish for dinner, make sure that you prep the night before or the morning of so the meat has enough time to soak in the marinade.
Many marinade recipes ask that you let the meat soak in the marinade mixture for 12 to 24 hours. Of course, this isn’t a requirement, but for many recipes, the longer, the better. It just depends on the type of marinade being used and the type of meat that is going to be cooked. Twenty-four hours is likely going to be your maximum marinade time, and some recipes only require marination of 30 minutes to an hour. It’s also possible to freeze a dish that is marinating. Usually, this will keep for a few months, so you can make some marinade recipes ahead of time and then freeze them until they are ready to be cooked. Follow the recipe and experiment to choose the perfect marination time for your dish.
Marinating Recipes For Steak
Marinating a steak isn't something a lot of people think about, but it's a trick that the pros use to make your steak extremely tender and flavorful. The flavors of a steak marinade work together to soften the muscle fibers of the meat and to allow the flavor and juices into it. You can use a ribeye or flank steak in your recipe.
Whatever recipe you choose to use for your steak depends on what type of flavoring you want out of it. Many steak marinating recipes ask for soy sauce as well as Worcestershire sauce, but if you don't like these intense flavors, you could also use something that's a little bit sweeter, like a honey garlic marinade.
Marinating Recipes For Chicken
Many chefs and food bloggers have claimed that they have the best chicken marinade recipe online, but there are many variations that are all equally delicious. One popular option asks for lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, as well as a selection of a few additional ingredients. Marinades are a great option because they often use ingredients that you likely already have on hand. That way it's easy to marinate something quickly without having to make an extra trip for special ingredients or wait until next week when you've gone to the store for your meal prep over the weekend.
When it comes to marinating chicken, you can use dinner chicken breast, chicken tenders as mentioned previously, or even thicker cuts of chicken that have been sliced so that the marinade can permeate into the cuts of chicken.
Marinating Recipes For Pork
Marinating pork chops or other cuts of pork, like pork belly or pork tenderloin, is a great way to infuse some strong flavors into this type of meat. Pork is often called the other white meat because it doesn't have any distinct flavor, just like chicken. This is a great opportunity to experiment with flavors in your marinade and have it be absorbed nicely by the pork. No matter what type of pork cut of pork you are using, there are a variety of flavorful marinades to make your dish pop.
Some pork marinade recipes we’ve seen online include carnitas, Kansas City, BBQ, pineapple ginger, or moo shu pork, which is made with hoisin sauce. Don’t all of these options sound delicious? No matter what type of food you’re craving, from Mexican to Asian, there is a marinade that fits the bill.
Marinating Recipes For Salmon and Shrimp
It’s also possible to marinate seafood, which is a great way to celebrate summer when many types of seafood are in season. If you live on a coast or near a place to get local fresh seafood, there's nothing better than seafood marinated in a flavorful recipe, whether it's lemon pepper or honey ginger.
Some of the most popular seafood marinade recipes that we've seen here on Yummly are for salmon and shrimp. Both of these seafood options are relatively easy to get year-round, and you can even use frozen seafood that is placed in the marinade to thaw in the fridge. Salmon and shrimp are also reasonably affordable, and most people enjoy them, even if they don’t like other types of fish or shellfish. Some types of shellfish wouldn’t work as well with marinades-- a shell or exoskeleton could prevent the marinade from soaking into the meat.
Cooking Marinated Meat
After meat has been marinated, it can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Some people love to cook marinated chicken, seafood, or steak on the grill. This is a great option in the summer or nicer weather, so the cooking doesn't heat up the house and infuses the meat with a grilled taste. You can also cook marinated meat in the oven, or a large saute pan on the stove top. These are good options because you can also cook veggies or a side option like pasta at the same time. If you oven-bake the meat in a glassware dish, you can add the vegetables to the same dish to save on cooking time and wasted dishes.
Of course, it's also fairly easy to add a marinade to your slow cooker with your meat of choice and cook it that way. The meat isn't marinating without heat first, but many people have felt that using a marinade in a slow cooker or crock pot is a great way to save time. The slow cooker cooks the meat without having to wait for it to marinate first.
No matter how you decide to cook your marinade chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, you likely won’t go wrong with the results. Preparing the meat ahead of time, so it has time to marinate can have been payoffs when it comes to tenderness and flavor. Browse our marinade recipes on Yummly for an excellent dish for family and friends.