Want Your Meat To Be Healthier, Tastier, Juicier And More Tender Use A Marinade!

 

Marinades

 

Most people are aware that a nice marinade with some tasty herbs and spices will give your meat a delicious flavour that will make it a lot more interesting, but there are actually a number of other benefits to marinating meat. You can marinade just about anything, but be careful when using strong marinades on fish and shellfish – the acid can actually cause the fish to cook before you intend it to, making it dry if you also cook on heat. If you are planning a barbecue, here are the reasons why it is worth taking the time to dress your meat in a delicious marinade ahead of time.

A Marinade Actually Makes Food Much Healthier

What many people don’t know is that when meat if exposed to a flame (for example when cooking on a barbecue), HCAs (heterocyclic amines) are produced, and these can be very bad for your health. They are linked to many kinds of cancer, and are definitely not something you want to be introducing to your seemingly innocent chicken leg or burger! However, a marinade with an acidic base (like lemon juice or vinegar) will destroy as many as 99% of the HCAs produced by the cooking process, making your meat far less of a cancer threat.

It Tenderises the Meat

A marinade will break down some of the proteins in the meat making it far more tender. This can be very important with certain types of meat or cheaper cuts that may otherwise be tough. However, you should be careful marinating already tender meats too far in advance because it can leave some areas a bit mushy and soggy. Tender meats can be marinated as little as 30 minutes ahead of being cooked, whereas if your meat needs extra tenderisation, apply the marinade as much as a day in advance to make sure it has lots of time to work.

It Makes Meat Juicier

Most marinades, whether store bought or homemade, not only contain an acid to help penetrate the meat, carry flavour deep into the flesh and also tenderise it, but also oils that will make the meat juicier. Olive oil is a popular choice because it has a unique flavour of its own which can enhance the meat, and also because it offers other health benefits, but there are plenty of other good oils you can use to achieve different tastes.

Making your own marinades is actually surprisingly easy, especially if you tend to keep a decent stock of dried spices, herbs and other good ingredients on hand. However, it is very important to apply your marinades with care and avoid any cross contamination between spoons, brushes and plates that have touched the raw meat and any other foods. Of course, there are also a huge variety of marinades you can buy in stores that will give you all of the same benefits quickly and conveniently, so if you don’t have time to put together your own flavour combinations you can still make your meat healthier and more delicious next time you grill!

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This guest post is authored by Chris Jackson. He is an avid blogger and a trainer at Somers Elite Training. He has many years of experience in hospitality training and is dedicated towards his job. Also, he is a foodie and loves cooking in his spare time.

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