Marinades are used to add flavor and to moisten or tenderize meats. Marinades can be spicy, fruity, fragrant or exotic. Certain marinades work well with certain meats. It is best to use oily marinades for leaner meats or white fish and wine or vinegar based marinades for rich meats with a higher fat content. If possible, avoid salt in your marinades, as this tends to draw out the juices from the meat. Add the salt just before or after cooking. For good, tasty meats follow these simple rules:
Place the meat (or other foods) which you are marinating in a wide, nonmetallic dish or bowl. It is best to use a dish that is large enough for the meat to lie in a single layer.
Mix the marinade in advance whenever possible and store in a jar with a screw-top lid until you need it. Preparing the marinade in advance allows the flavors to blend before you use it.
Pour the marinade over the meat and turn the meat to coat it evenly.
Cover the dish or bowl and chill it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to several hours or overnight. The longer you marinate the meat, the more tender it becomes and the more flavor it will retain from the marinade. Turn the meat occasionally, and spoon the marinade over the meat so it is well coated.
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, or lift it out with tongs; drain off the marinade and reserve it. To reduce cooking time, allow the meat to attain room temperature before cooking it.
Use the reserved marinade for basting or brushing the meat during cooking.
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