Your thoughts on buying pre-marinated meats

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Wan

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May 3, 2020
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bby
Hello. Just wondering about people's thoughts on store-bought, pre-marinated meats. They could be chicken breast or kebabs, or some kind of skewer. Although the ones I see most often are some kind of chicken.

I was told that the meats they use tend to be not very fresh, maybe days old meats. Stores pile on seasonings, sauces, herbs, marinade etc to mask the odor and the fact the meats are not that fresh.

Is this true? What has your experience been like?
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
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Feb 16, 2013
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Waterdown, Ontario
Well, I don't know where you live but that is certainly not the case here in Canada.

The best reason for stores to marinate, pre-skewer, etc. are to be able to provide a quick convenience food to rushed consumers and to charge ridiculously exorbitant prices for the privilage.

One exception might be lobster and mussels. Fresh seafood not sold are cooked up so as not to lose them. But it is still a win/win situation for the store as they still get to charge the high prices for the prepared meals. (I often buy their mussels in various sauces - very good - not perfect but tasty none-the-less)
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
917
I've tried 'per-marinated' beef, pork and chicken.
it was all absolutely terrible.
so much salt , , , put us into gagging fits.....
 

GotGarlic

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May 9, 2007
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Southeastern Virginia
I don't buy pre-marinated meats because I prefer to season them myself, and because I don't know how long they've been in the marinade. Some things get mushy and unappetizing when they're marinated for too long. . As dragnlaw said, stores do it for customer convenience.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Remember, marinades have acidic ingredients in them, such as wine, and/or vinegar. The acids react with meat proteins, causing them to tighten, so that marinades only flavor the outer surface of the meat. As the saying goes, ten minutes is as good as two hours. Brines, and flavored brines soak completely through meat, and depending on ingredients, tenderize the meat. Dry, and wet rubs act the same way as do brines. MSG and paprika are often used in rubs, and brines, and marinades, and sometimes papain based neat tenderizers.

it is easy to flavor meats with homemade brines, rubs, and marinades, or to purchase ready made seasonings such as Old Bay, or Montreal Steak seasoning. There are a wide variety of seasonings available in the spic aisles, if you don't want to make your own.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

karadekoolaid

Head Chef
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Jul 16, 2006
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1,317
Location
Caracas
I would NOT want to buy pre-marinated meats. Reasons?
1) I couldn´t guarantee the freshness of the meat
2) I couldn´t be sure how much of marinating ingredients were used
3) I couldn´t control the flavour
 

buckytom

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Aug 19, 2004
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My mountain
Yeah, I with ya, Wan. You have to figure it takes time tor the butcher to marinate a protein, so it males sense that at best, it takes place after normal packaging, if not just to extend the sell by date.
 

taxlady

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near Montreal, Quebec
I don't buy pre-marinated meats because I prefer to season them myself, and because I don't know how long they've been in the marinade. Some things get mushy and unappetizing when they're marinated for too long. . As dragnlaw said, stores do it for customer convenience.

I prefer to marinate with my choice of seasonings too. I hadn't thought about how long they have been sitting there in the marinade. That sounds like another good reason not to buy it.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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When a ribeye, strip steak, porterhouse, or any beefsteak is no longer bright red, and has had time to dry a little in the refrigerator section of the meat case, it is richer in flavor, and more tender. i used to go to my butcher and pick out 1 or 2 steaks each payday, and have him set those to the side. When I had enough steaks for a family meal, I'd pick up the already paid for steaks and grill them on the Webber charcoal kettle. Needless to say, when it was steak dinner, my family came to me to do the cooking.

Beef past it's popular prime, at the end of what the general public will accept, is the best beef. No marinade, dry rub, or brine is required.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
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49,599
Location
Massachusetts
More and more lately you see pre-packaged marinated meats directly from the meat company (e.g. Hormel marinated pork tenderloin). There is some aspect of convenience for the consumer working here a well.
 

cookwewill

Senior Cook
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Apr 13, 2021
Messages
114
Location
NA
More and more lately you see pre-packaged marinated meats directly from the meat company (e.g. Hormel marinated pork tenderloin). There is some aspect of convenience for the consumer working here a well.

This is it! I have no problem buying pre-marinated meat produced by a meat company, as they have no reasons to use "old" meat, they are butchering daily so why would they use old meat, right? I might not be happy about the final taste, but that's another story and to be judged on a case by case basis.

But as soon as I see the label of the supermarket on the package, that's a no-go for me. Some stores do repackage and marinate older meat, that's a known fact.

I still prefer to make my own marinade and buy fresh meat, like by a mile. Its nothing complicated and you always know what went into your food.

Buying marinated meat is like the last resort option for me, for example when I get unexpected guests in the summer.
 

Janet H

Certifiable Executive Chef
Staff member
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
4,280
Location
Pacific NW
Hello. Just wondering about people's thoughts on store-bought, pre-marinated meats. They could be chicken breast or kebabs, or some kind of skewer. Although the ones I see most often are some kind of chicken.

I was told that the meats they use tend to be not very fresh, maybe days old meats. Stores pile on seasonings, sauces, herbs, marinade etc to mask the odor and the fact the meats are not that fresh.

Is this true? What has your experience been like?

I have no idea about old-ish meat or not being used BUT I never buy premarinated meat - heck I still insist on having beef ground to order as I don't want to buy ground beef from the many animals.
 

buckytom

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Aug 19, 2004
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21,933
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My mountain
I have no idea about old-ish meat or not being used BUT I never buy premarinated meat - heck I still insist on having beef ground to order as I don't want to buy ground beef from the many animals.


Does meat ground to order cost more than what is already packaged?
 

Janet H

Certifiable Executive Chef
Staff member
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
4,280
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Pacific NW
Does meat ground to order cost more than what is already packaged?

It depends on the cut of meat you choose, but generally it's a little more expensive. The local grocery store will grind it most days. I often wait until there's a sale and then freeze the ground beef. (usually use for burgers)
 

Farmer Jon

Sous Chef
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
855
Location
Pender Nebraska
I only buy premarinated when we are on campouts for ease of preparation. I've never had any problem with them. But I only buy name brands.
 
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