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Old 07-30-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Need help settling argument about steak marinade.

OK, so my brother made a marinade by basically adding dry herbs and spices to water. Me may have put a little canola oil, but just a little.

He put the water marinade in a bowl and put a London broil in the water marinade.

The meat has turned from red to kind of a light brown, and the water marinade is red from the blood that has been leached out.


I am thinking that this is a mistake and the water marinade has removed the good juices and oils from the cut of meat.

He disagrees and claims that that is how it is done.




Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-30-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
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I can't give you any advice but how was it?
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:56 PM   #3
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Hi, MikeMash. Welcome to Discuss Cooking

A marinade is a seasoned liquid used to add flavor to food and sometimes to tenderize meat. I think the water dissolved some of the meat juices, but it's not likely that it pulled all the moisture and flavor out. London broil can be a tough cut, so adding an acid to help tenderize it is common. Italian dressing is a good shortcut to making your own.

Your brother's technique isn't classic, but it wouldn't ruin the meat. So, how was it?
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:05 PM   #4
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Since water has no flavor, I would have used wine or juice for added flavor. But water and spices are ok too.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Hi MikeMash, and welcome to DC.

I too am curious as to how it tasted. I personally wouldn't marinate a cut of beef in water and herbs, but maybe that's just me. It seems like it would end up being a watered down version of meat and herbs. Maybe your brother was confusing brining with marinading....? But with brining, there's a good amount of salt and often a sugar in the brining liquid, and it's a long process so that the salt and sugar can makes it's way into the meat.

As mentioned above in earlier posts, usually there's an acid in a marinade to help break down tough fibers - it's mixed with an oil, and whatever herbs or spices you want. London Broil isn't a cut of meat, but a process - usually here in the US it's a round steak, which isn't a tender cut of meat.

Here's some info to browse through, and again, welcome!

Marinades - Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:25 PM   #6
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Need help settling argument about steak marinade.

Welcome to DC!

Sounds like a strange marinade. I'd use oil, and an acid. Haven't tried a water marinade.

And I'll add to the inquiring minds question, how was it?
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:19 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!

I'm with those who would almost never use just water with the herbs. A good quality oil and some sort of acid, be it wine, fruit juice, vinegar (pick one of many vinegars - red or white wine, cider, white, rice, tarragon, balsamic), etc., will add depth to the the flavors you are trying to impart to the meat.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:15 AM   #8
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Marinades Add Flavor but Don't Always Tenderize

When you marinate meat or fish, the result depends on the composition of the marinade


by Shirley Corriher

fromFine Cooking
Issue 34





Marinades Add Flavor but Don' t Always Tenderize
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:18 AM   #9
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Not a fan of "just water", but like others don't see any harm from it.

Try this next time you want to marinade a tough beef cut.

Marinade for beef

¾ cup chopped onion
½ cup oil
2 T prepared mustard
3 T Worchestershire
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 c ketchup
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 T sugar

Simmer onions in oil for 15 minutes. Then add remainder of ingredients, stir, simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool before use.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:56 AM   #10
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The above was my mother's recipe. Don't know whether she found it somewhere or made it up herself, just remember the first time she used it was for a party over 40 years ago where there were 3 mains (buffet style) and I remember her getting upset because everybody wanted the steak and she didn't have enough because she had made about equal amounts of the 3 mains.

BTW, it's at least an overnight marinade. She usually used it for a large thick cut sirloin roast and would leave it for 2-3 days in the fridge turning a couple of times each day. Slice thin after cooking.

We have also used the leftover marinade to make burgers, you just have to be careful and not add too much so that the ground meat gets soupy and difficult to form into patties and hold their shape. I suppose it would also make a good thing to add into meatloaf though have never tried that.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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I have quit marinating beef altogether. I mean steaks, and chops. I do season them heavily as they are thick. I also only season roasts. You might say I rub them. I actually sprinkle.
I try to season well before roasting, broiling or grilling. Overnight seems to be the best.

Now chicken is another story. I marinate and season with many differing spices and herbs.
I have never in my life used any water, though I don't see why it cannot be done. We do brine things after all.

Years ago almost everything was soaked in Italian dressing. I have not used that method in years. Might try it again though.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:27 PM   #12
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For some reason, when I tried the liquid Italian dressing as part of the steak marinade, my steak cooked up tasting very overly Italian tasting. I might try using dry powered Italian dressing mix instead as some recommend. There's too much vinegar in the liquid dressing.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:50 PM   #13
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I find that seasoning with just salt and pepper and then tightly wrap with plastic wrap for several hours works fine. Beef, pork, etc. One time I tried it with reasonably thick pork chops. Then wrapped them for the freezer. When I thawed them out and cooked them, the seasoning was perfect. Next I will try it with the beef.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:55 PM   #14
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That works fine for seasoning, Addie, but if you want to marinate for tenderizing you need to add something acidic. Some meats, like a London broil, just scream for tenderizing if you plan on grilling them.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
For some reason, when I tried the liquid Italian dressing as part of the steak marinade, my steak cooked up tasting very overly Italian tasting. I might try using dry powered Italian dressing mix instead as some recommend. There's too much vinegar in the liquid dressing.
Caslon, IMO...if you want to use Italian dressing as a marinade, it's better with chicken than beef. Have you checked out the Sauces and Marinade forum? There are some great tried and true recipes, and ideas.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:36 AM   #16
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Ya, I'm not sure why so many say to use Italian dressing as a marinade for beef. Using it for chicken sounds good.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:42 AM   #17
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I've gotten to the point where I use Italian dressing just for basting veggies on the grill. small zucchini cut in half the long way, basted, and grilled are so veddy veddy good!
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:43 AM   #18
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That works fine for seasoning, Addie, but if you want to marinate for tenderizing you need to add something acidic. Some meats, like a London broil, just scream for tenderizing if you plan on grilling them.
So true CG. I see London Broil on sale when I look at the sales flyer on line. I swear I am not going to get one. Then when I am at the meat counter, you will notice there is one less after I walk on to the next piece of meat. It is in my basket. I usually grind it up for burger meat. If the sale is really good I will pick up two or more for grinding. I am going shopping this coming Monday and I will look for London broil for grinding.

But when I have a really good piece of beef for steak, I don't marinate it at all. I want to taste the meat. I have had some bad experiences of folks who marinade their BBQ meats. So I tend to avoid them. My least favorite is bottled Italian dressing. Last year at the building BBQ, the men in charge used bottled Italian dressing on steak tips. They didn't have enough room in the container for all the packages of tips. So they weren't marinated. So before they even started to cook them I asked them to save one not marinated and I would want one that was. I couldn't finish the marinated one. It was horrible. It had been sitting in the marinade all night. The one that wasn't was so tender. This year they didn't marinate the tips. They got the hint.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:46 AM   #19
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The vinegar acidity in the Italian dressing is supposed to tenderize the steak. I'd rather use anything else. Nothing at all except maybe pound the steak into submission a little and sprinkle it with salt and pepper and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, for class.

It's good we're talking tenderizing cheaper cuts of steaks here, because I can't afford $13.99 per pound steaks... they were $8.99 lb. five years ago.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:16 AM   #20
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I love Italian dressing as a marinade, but I don't buy the pre-made bottled dressing. I've used Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix since I was a kid. I can make it with any kind of vinegar I want - I typically use red wine vinegar - and I use half canola oil and half evoo for the oil. And, I can make the ratio of oil to vinegar however I want. I tend to like it a bit more vinegary than the directions say, but ymmv.
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