Marinades add flavor and improve tenderness. Learn how to make marinade for your beef, poultry, seafood and pork, and you'll have another weapon in your arsenal of cooking methods.
The ingredients used in a marinade are chosen by the type of food to be
marinated. Meats with a lot of flavor require stronger flavored
ingredients, and can include a greater amount of the acidic ingredient.
Lighter fare like seafood and poultry require a lighter flavored marinade, and it's important to keep the acid level lower to prevent the fish or chicken from becoming mushy.
Foods like fish and shrimp have subtle flavor, so to prevent
overpowering that taste use a light hand with ingredients. Choose white
wines over the more intensely flavored red wines. When using vinegars or
citrus juices, a couple of teaspoons of either added to a cup of water
will provide light flavor and the low acidity required to keep the
A little oil in the seafood marinade doesn't hurt at all, and will help prevent sticking to the grill. Seasonings to add include salt, black or white pepper, or a touch of cayenne pepper if you prefer some heat.
A lot of the guidelines for seafood marinades apply here, but the
flavors and acidity can be a little stronger. Red wine diluted with some
water is good, as is white wine. Beers and fruit juices, especially
apple juice are great bases for the poultry marinade too.
You can be a little bolder with seasoning flavors too. Try adding a bit of powdered sage, onion powder or garlic powder to the recipes. Citrus works great with poultry too, and you can add thinly sliced lemons, limes or oranges to the marinades you make.
These full flavored meats can handles intense marinades. Full strength
red wine, heavier concentrations of lemon or lime juice or vinegar, and
richer flavored seasonings are called for.
Liquid flavorings come in handy here, with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke adding the deep flavors required. Of the vinegars, balsamic vinegar is a great choice. Its deep, rich flavor adds much to beef and pork marinades.
How To Make Marinades - General Tips
Learning how to make marinade isn't at all difficult, and making marinades can be a lot of fun! Experiment with different seasonings, or try a variety of finely chopped vegetables, or even a bottle of that favorite beer you've been sipping!
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