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Old 07-22-2015, 06:40 PM   #1
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Why are store-marinated meats so good?

Went camping recently and due to time constraints treated to some marinated chicken and steak tips. The steak tips had some kind of cowboy marindate and I think the chicken was lemon and garlic. What gets me is, I've tried marinading meats at home in the past. It's been so long, I can't remember exactly what I did. But they never come out as juicy as the ones you buy at butcher shops or in this case at McKinnons Market. They are just so juicy, doesn't matter if you over cook them for a little bit, and they are just so tender and melt in your mouth. My kids loved it and were begging for more. Is there some trick to this? Does anyone have any really good marinade instructions? Or any ideas around this.

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Old 07-22-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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Interesting. I'll be honest, I've had store-marinated meats at other people's homes and I thought they didn't taste very good.

Brining helps make for juicier meat and poultry, so having a good amount of salt in any marinade will help make them juicier.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:56 PM   #3
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You also have to consider how long these meats have been marinading before you actually use them.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
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You also have to consider how long these meats have been marinading before you actually use them.
Exactly right Z, plus stores often marinate meat that's expired it's "sell by" date. It's a well known trick and that's the reason I will never buy it.

You can get the same results by buying fresh meat/chicken and marinating it more than a day. If you like the taste of the marinade, more than the taste of the meat, that's the answer.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:59 PM   #5
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I wasn't trying to imply that all we liked was the marinade.

For example McKinnon's Market - Salem & Portsmouth NH, Danvers & Everett MA Grocery Stores was voted best butcher shop and deli for 4 years in a row in New Hampshire. that is where I bought the cowboy marindated steak tips and lemon pepper marinaded chicken. I'm just blown away at how good the meat is, how tender it is, how flavorful it is.

I would like to have a few TNT recipes at home but I don't any. If I've done anything in the past, I'm guessing it wasn't special enough to save.

I do remember a friend telling me that he has the best luck when he busy the little packets that have the instructions on mixing with oil and such and then he marinates his meats prior to freezing them and then the freezing process helps soak in the flavors.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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I wasn't trying to imply that all we liked was the marinade.

For example McKinnon's Market - Salem & Portsmouth NH, Danvers & Everett MA Grocery Stores was voted best butcher shop and deli for 4 years in a row in New Hampshire. that is where I bought the cowboy marindated steak tips and lemon pepper marinaded chicken. I'm just blown away at how good the meat is, how tender it is, how flavorful it is.

I would like to have a few TNT recipes at home but I don't any. If I've done anything in the past, I'm guessing it wasn't special enough to save.

I do remember a friend telling me that he has the best luck when he busy the little packets that have the instructions on mixing with oil and such and then he marinates his meats prior to freezing them and then the freezing process helps soak in the flavors.
Sounds like a great market Legend. I notice on that link under recipes, they have several recipes for marinade. Maybe you can find what you had there?
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:24 PM   #7
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Hi, Legend. Marinated beef and chicken can be really good, but sometimes there's too much of a good thing. I wouldn't marinate and then freeze, especially if there's citrus or other acids in the marinade - it changes the texture of the meat. I also shy away from store marinated meats - they're so salty and like Z mentioned, you don't know how long they've been sitting there in the display case.

Those little pre made packets are mostly salt, your best bet is to get yourself a package of chicken thighs, divide them up and freeze into portions, and start experimenting. There's lots of good ideas here on this marinade and sauce forum. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by legend_018 View Post
... I'm just blown away at how good the meat is, how tender it is, how flavorful it is.

I would like to have a few TNT recipes at home but I don't any. If I've done anything in the past, I'm guessing it wasn't special enough to save...
I wandered around the store website link you posted. Look what I found!

Recipes for marinade

375 different marinades to look at! I think someone is going to be busy...
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:03 PM   #9
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It is likely in this case that it is a good butcher shop that knows what it is doing that makes the difference.

If you have time drop by and have a talk with them, they might be willing to spill a secret or three.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:18 PM   #10
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Freshly marinated meat from the butchers is one thing but marinated meat in sealed packages like the ones from Trader Joe's, for instance, are sometimes downright terrible.
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