I am considered to be a very good cook by all of my friends and family. I have been cooking since the age of nine or so and therefore have a lot of experience in the kitchen and on the grill. I can tell you without hesitation that when it comes to cooking any kind of meat that the marinade you use as well as the time you allow the meat to soak in it makes all the difference in the flavor and tenderness.
Marinades are just a simple way to prepare certain foods that you want to have an extra kick to. Marinades to meats, serve two different purposes to tenderize and to give more flavor. Less fatty foods have a blander taste than most steaks and such. Marinades are just an easy way to tenderize and add a lot more flavor.
To make a marinade you need something of acidic base with herbs and vinegar to make the meats tasty. A marinade with a little bit of chili powder, garlic and oregano with give the food you are a making sort of a Mexican taste. Maybe for an Asian marinade some ginger and sesame seeds with a little soy sauce and hot sauce. A lot of sodas give great taste as well such as sprite goes good with chicken and coca cola is another.
The different foods you may be making are different from each other so you might need a couple of different sauces. Marinades with an acidic base give both flavor and tenderization. These marinades with acidic bases tenderize by unraveling the protein strands in the meats and fish in which you are marinating. When you are using an acidic base marinade never use aluminum or such because it will cause discoloration in the food and might cause it to have a bad taste so just use glass or other plates rather than aluminum.
The other type of marinade is dry marinade. These types are usually made of dry spices and can be rubbed right into the meats which you are trying to add flavor to. This will enhance the flavor but will not do to good as a tenderizer.
The longer you leave food and meats to marinade the more flavor and tender your food is going to be. If you have steaks it is good to either buy a 30 minute marinade or get a better marinade and let it sit and soak in the marinade all night until the next day.
Leftover marinades are useful for sauces but they need to be cooked to a heat that will kill any bacteria that grew over night. These sauces are good to add to fish steak and other foods. Just be sure to kill all the bacteria before you use the leftover marinades.
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