Prepping your grilling foods of choice with creative marinades will make a tastier and juicier cooked product. This may result in your increased popularity at outdoor events as you become known as one of the Great Grillers by your family and friends!
Whether you’re grilling a steak or an eggplant, a good marinade is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your food. Marinades may take a little extra time, but the results are worth it. A good marinade includes all the flavors you would want in the finished dish: a little fat, a dash of salt, something sweet, and a bit of brightness. You can also switch up the herbs to your liking.
Marinade Do’s and Don’ts
Marinades serve two different functions: as a tenderizer and flavor enhancer. You probably already know that some tough cuts of meat benefit from the tenderizing effects of marination, but how do you get the best results...?
Follow these 6 tips...
- Make sure your marinade includes an acidic component to tenderize the meat and help the flavor infuse deeper. Acidic ingredients can include wine, vinegar, citrus juice, yogurt, or buttermilk.
- Oils help the flavors absorb into the intrinsic fats. High smoke point oils are flame and grill friendly. Our delicious and high smoke point oils include Ginger Sesame Oil, Garlic Herb Oil, Chili Oil, Sun Meadow Oil, Curry, and Grape Seed Oil
- Always marinate in the refrigerator. Marinating at room temperature can allow dangerous bacteria to grow and lead to foodborne illnesses
- Marinate vegetables for 15 to 30 minutes, fish and seafood for 15 minutes to one hour, poultry for 30 minutes to 3 hours, and other meat for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Prepare approximately half a cup of marinade per pound of meat, seafood, or vegetables, plus and additional cup to reserve for use after cooking. This part of the marinade does not come in contact with raw product and should remain safe to use on cooked product.
- Turn your meat a few times during marination to make sure all surfaces have adequate contact and flavor is maximized. Or, place product in a resealable bag with marinade, removing as much of the air as possible.
Avoid these 6 common mistakes...
- Don't use too much salt. Salt will draw moisture out of your meat causing it to dry out and prevent flavor from absorbing in. Salt can be added later, after cooking to taste.
- Don't reuse marinades or use marinades as a sauce after cooking. Marinades are in contact with raw ingredients, which may contain harmful bacteria. Always discard your marinade after use.
- Don't marinate in metal containers. Metal can react chemically with the acids in the marinade and cause a change in flavor. Try glass, food-grade plastic containers, or heavy-duty zip-top plastic storage bags.
- Don't over-marinate fish. Fish is naturally quite tender and can become mushy if marinated too long. Keep marinating times for seafood between 15 minutes to one hour.
- Don't freeze meats in their marinade. Prolonged exposure to the acids in the marinade, combined with damage from ice crystals, can cause the meat to become mushy.
- Don't be afraid to experiment with new flavors and ingredients.
Our aceto balsamicos and fruit vinegars bring a plethora of sweet and tangy flavors and our naturally infused oils provide big base notes in an (almost) endless array of creative marinade combinations. Try our Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Williams Christ Pear Balsamic Star for chicken, or amp up your salmon with Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Date Balsamic Star grilled on a cedar plank. Add some flare to that zucchini with Ginger Sesame Oil and Plum Balsamic Star or some zing to your grilled tofu with a dash of Jalapeño Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a splash of Blueberry Balsamic Star. Our tasting room is open; we look forward to helping you create your own custom marinade combination!
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