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Benefits of Marinating Meat

Updated: May 21


Benefits of Marinating Meat

Marinades were used as a salty soup to preserve meat for a longer time. But nowadays, marinating is the process of steeping meat in a rich tasting marinade to infuse the meat with flavors. With the right ingredients, marinade can give meat an aromatic and flavorful coating which can also make the meat tender.

Discussing about the scientific part, it is physically impossible for the marinade to penetrate deep into the meat. Most flavor molecules are too large to squeeze into the meat which is 75 percent water and tightly packed. Oil molecules are also unable to enter the muscle cells. In short, the flavor molecules and oil infuses only to a few milli meters into the meat.

For the success of a marinade certain key component are needed. A marinade should include most of the following – salt, oil, flavoring agents such as sugar, herbs and spices. Out of this ingredients salt plays a major role as it enhances the overall flavor and disrupts the structure of the meat in the top layers, allowing a little moisture to enter and giving meat a more tender bite. The use of oil such as olive oil, serves as a base for the marinade and lubricates the meat while cooking. Indian recipes are marinated by mainly by Yogurt.

Acidic ingredients in marinade consist of lemon juice or vinegar or wine. Lemon juice provides a tangy flavor to the meat by reducing the bitter taste and makes the outer layer softer and tender. Vinegar helps to tenderize the meat and helps to provide a rich flavor to the meat. Alcohol content in the wine disperse other flavors and softens outside layer of the meat.

Sugar, herbs and spices are used to the flavoring agents in a marinade. Sugar enhances the flavoring, accelerates the browning and also caramelizes. You can replace the sugar with honey also. Aromatic herbs add a range of flavor and helps to distinguish marinade as sweet, spicy, tangy or fresh.

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