Why Marinades and Rubs are Important


Too many cooks, especially folks who dutifully take care of preparing family meals, overlook marinades and rubs. I personally love the wonderful results I obtain merely by paying a bit of attention to my meat or seafood prior to starting to actually cook it. This is a great time to season and impart various flavors to meat and seafood.

Take a look at the recipes below, and try a few of them. I’m quite sure you will immediately become a fan of marinades and rubs, just I am. I’ll start with marinades . . .

A marinade is a seasoned mixture that adds flavor and in some cases tenderizes. Marinades are commonly used with thin cuts, such as steaks. A flavoring marinade is used with tender beef cuts for a short time, about 15 minutes to 2 hours.

A tenderizing marinade is used with less tender beef cuts, usually the chuck, round, flank and skirt.Tenderizing marinades contain 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, but no more than 24 hours. Longer than 24 hours will result in a mushy texture. Tenderizing marinades penetrate about ¼ inch into the meat.

Always marinate in a food-safe plastic bag or 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. 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.

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