Cooking 101: Know The Differences When Marinating Each Meat

Cooking is both a science and an art – do not let anyone tell you any differently! While the beauty that appears on your plate definitely represents one’s artistic abilities, the burst of flavours that comes from each ingredient is the product of one’s scientific knowledge.

When it comes to cooking meat, marination is key. A good marinade could make your dish and a bad one could break it. Read on to find out what needs to be taken into consideration when marinating different meats.

What Is A Marinade?

A marinade is a blend of different ingredients that provide your meats with a bang of flavour. The acids present in the marinade help break down the protein and infuse the meat with the flavours of your ingredients. While marinades do go a long way to enhance the body and flavour of the meats, it is important that you do not over marinate them as this could lead to a mushy, soggy piece of meat (and you definitely don’t want that).

PiecesOr Full Meat?

The whole point of marinating your meat is to infuse as much flavour as possible into the meat. Keeping this purpose in mind, it is always better for you to marinate smaller pieces of meat rather than the full chunk of it.

How Long Do You Marinate Your Meat?

Well, isn’t that the question of the hour (and also the reason why we’re here). Mentioned below is a list of different meats and how long you should marinate each meat for.

1. Chicken

Who doesn’t love a delicious, succulent chicken breast with a side of mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies? The time it takes to marinate chicken depends on the type of marinade and the size of the piece of chicken. Ideally, 2 hours is more than enough time for the chicken to soak up all the marinade. That being said, you can leave the chicken to marinate for up to 2 whole days or 48 hours. It is important to note that marinades with a higher acidic content could cause the meat to toughen over time so it is always better to take the marinade recipe into consideration when leaving your chicken to marinate.

2. Seafood

Regardless of the type of fish or shellfish, the marination process should not be longer than an hour. In fact, it is better if you keep it to 30 minutes. If left to marinate for a long period of time, the fish could start to “cook” in the marinade, leaving you with a mushy dish.

3. Beef And Pork

Cooking steak can be quite a task if you aren’t sure how to properly marinate the meat to give it that bang of moisture and flavour it needs to melt in your mouth. Even if steak is not on your cooking list, for tougher cuts such as the hanger, sirloin, flank, skirt and round, it is recommended that you use a steak marinade. If you’re cooking pork, especially for cuts like tenderloin and pork loin, always cube the meat before marinating it. These meats can be marinated for up to 24 hours. If you are using a flat cut of pork, try using a tenderizing marinade as that will go a long way in softening up your meat. With that in mind, avoid marinating higher – quality steak cuts such as ribeye and porterhouse. Marination ruins these cuts.

Now that you know all about marination, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Nature’s Basket and buy your meat now.

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