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Old 08-09-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
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Best Marinades? Store bought or Homemade?

I've bought all the store marinades, and find most are either overpowering in one way or another, or high in additives, like msg, sodium, etc. I've found I'll use a salad dressing like italian as much better to use as a marinade than anything that is actually labeled a marinade. I also find (in my experience) that clear marinades are better than thick non-transparent ones.

So am I going about this all wrong? Should I not even buy pre made stuff and just make my own? Is it easy? Much better?

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Old 08-09-2006, 08:35 PM   #2
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Why not make your own cactus? Then you can have more of the flavors that you enjoy.
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:40 PM   #3
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Because.... I don't know how? Thats why I posted about it
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:54 PM   #4
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Well... my favorite marinade is.....

lemon juice, garlic ( lots of garlic) chopped onions, parsley, oregano
olive oil and some salt and pepper. I plop my pork in it and let it sit from any where from 8 to 24 hours and then cook it up. It's Great!
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:58 PM   #5
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And here is one that sounds good for chicken



Chicken marinade.
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup plum jam
4 chicken breasts

Directions:
Combine everything in a large bowl and mix well, then add your chicken . Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:24 PM   #6
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A good marinade will generally have 4 basic components: oil, salt, acid (vinegar, citrus fruit), flavor enhances (herbs, onion, garlic, fruits, etc.). If you look at the recipe pdswife gave you - those elements are all there.

I have never found that "clarity" of the marinade was an indication of it's quality. In fact - I don't think I have ever made, our bought, one that was pristine clear ... or anywhere close to it. Well, maybe the nearest thing was when I used bottled Italian dressing ....

A lot depends on the dish. I've used all of the Lawry's Marinades ... well, I might have missed one or two ... I've used bottled fajita marinades (I like Fabulosa - for both fajitas and making beef jerky) - I've used bottled salad dressings - and I've made my own.

Look around in our Marinades Forum and I'm sure you'll get more ideas.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:40 PM   #7
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The sky's the limit with homemade marinades. Follow Michael's recipe and experiment. I don't use salt in a marinade unless it comes as part of an ingredient such as soy sauce.

Use any oil you like: Olive, peanut, sesame or canola, etc.
For an acidic ingredient, choose: wine, any citrus juice, any type if vinegar, buttermilk
For flavorings: any fresh herb, spice or seasoning blend will work. Consider garlic, ginger, soy, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano, Emeril's Essence, any hot sauce, Worcestershire, A-1, sugar.

P.S. I don't think there's anything wrong with using MSG unless you have a definite negative reaction to it.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I have never found that "clarity" of the marinade was an indication of it's quality. In fact - I don't think I have ever made, our bought, one that was pristine clear ... or anywhere close to it. Well, maybe the nearest thing was when I used bottled Italian dressing ....
Well maybe I worded it wrong and should clarify. It seemed to me that a marinade that is thick and 'cloudy', with the consistency of mayo for ex., is not nearly as good or effective as a thin marinade that is not cloudy, with a consistency more like worchestire sauce.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdswife
Why not make your own cactus? .

how do you make a cactus?

(i'm not touching the "plop my pork in it" line...he hee hee.)

often, thick bottled marinades are kept refrigerated after opening the bottle, thus making them even thicker. they also have ingredients to stabilize them, keeping the ingredients from seperating. thicker fluids stay mixed better.

also, they are supposed to be thick, to help the marinade cling to the object to be flavoured/tenderized. on top of that, you tend to use more marinade if it's thick, and they're in the business of seeling the stuff.

btw, many marinades do not tenderize; they are only to add moisture and flavor.
michael mentioned that fruits are a good ingredient in a marinade. certain ones, like those containing papaya or pineapple have enzymes, papain and bromelain respectively. enzymes are what tenderizes meat by breaking down proteins.

some good info: http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/c00157.asp

i tend to make my own marinades, but if i find a good bottled one, i am not averse to using that as well. i currently like a few of the world harbors brand marinades, especially the hawaiian teryaki and the fajita.

if you make a thin marinade, just put the meat and marinade in an ziplock baggie, mush it around to distribute, then suck out as much air as possible and close it up. this helps marinades stay in contact with the meat.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:50 AM   #10
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I think I never ever bought a marinade... it's sooo easy to make...
some oil (canola, olive, sesame, ...), some vinegar (balsamico), sherry or wine, soy sauce, chilli sauce, herbs, herbs, herbs and pepper..
I never use salt, don't like it so much..
made within 5min..
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