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 does it work? Take a look at how you can make marinades work for you before getting to the .
Marinade tenderizing scienceThe cooking process itself turns connective tissues into gelatin to varying degrees. Depending on the cut and type of meat, it may need a little assistance to bring it to a palatable range of tenderness.
These tenderizing enzymes also reduce the capability of the meat to hold its juices, resulting in greater fluid loss and thus drier meat. Enzymes are heat activated at levels between 140 and 175 degrees F. and deactivated at the boiling point, so it really serves no purpose other than flavoring to let meat sit in a marinade at room temperature. In fact, refrigeration is recommended to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Let meat come to room temperature before cooking.
Marination requires contactDirect contact is the important point, since it is necessary for the chemical reaction to occur.
Some slaughterhouses now inject papain into the animals just before slaughtering. The injected papain is carried through the bloodstream to all parts of the animal and is later activated by the cooking process. This sometimes results in a mushy piece of meat due to the enzyme destroying too much of the muscle fiber firmness. The newest method being researched is a machine which immerses tough cuts of meat into a water bath and then sends a shockwave through the meat, breaking down tough fibers.
More About Marinades:
The science of marinades and how they work
Natural marinades and flavors
Leftover marinades and marinade tips
|||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|