Natural Marinades and Flavors

Do not use acidic marinades in aluminum containers

Grilling using marinades
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Marinate for flavor

Acid-based marinades both tenderize and flavor many different types of foods, not just meats and seafood. Acids such as citrus juices, pineapple, yogurt, buttermilk, and wine tenderize by denaturing or unwinding protein strings. They also lend flavor to the end product. According to author Shirley Corriher, marinades containing oils with emulsifiers mono- and diglyceride (check the labels) penetrate deeper and faster.

Extra-virgin olive oil naturally contains monoglycerides and is a good choice for marinades.

Dry marinades or rubs are used to enhance flavor as opposed to tenderize, although some may have some beneficial tenderizing side effects. This type is usually a mixture of herbs and spices, sometimes mixed wth an oil, which is rubbed into the meat, poultry, and seafood. Those recipes using dry rubs usually specify a grill, pan-fry or broil cooking method.

Nature's tenderizers

Nature gives us many tenderizers to choose from, both enzymatic and acidic. When using an acid-based marinade, be sure to use only containers made of glass, ceramic or stainless-steel, never aluminum. The chemical reaction produced between alkaline and aluminum not only imparts an unattractive discoloration to the food but can also darken and pit the aluminum container. Many marinades will include one of the following along with various herbs and spices:

Pineapple
Figs
Papaya
Ginger
Kiwifruit
Mango
• Wine
Citrus
• Beer
• Vinegar
Tomato
Yogurt
Buttermilk

More About Marinades:
The science of marinades and how they work
• Natural marinades and flavors
Leftover marinades and marinade tips
• Marinades and health
• Marinade Recipes

Cookbooks

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes
• Marinades : The Secret of Great Grilling
Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes
Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces: 175 Make-Your-Own Sauces, Marinades, Dry Rubs, Wet Rubs, Mops, and Salsas
More Cookbooks