Barbeque season is officially here and many of us love to grill. One of the things that every good barbeque needs is a good marinade because without that, there’s no flavor. A marinade is a sauce that you create, typically from oil, spices and herbs, where you soak your choice of meat in order to give it flavor and to tenderize the meat. In addition to those two very important things, a good marinade can also have several health benefits.
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Marinating steak, fish, and chicken can decrease the amount of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These are produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures, like with grilling. Marinades that contain lemon juice or vinegar can reduce HCA’s by as much as 99%. Dark beer has proven to be more effective at preventing the formation of these HCA’S. Marinades also reduce the production of harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which cause cellular inflammation and are linked to aging and the development of chronic diseases.
The acid in marinades slow the growth of harmful bacteria, like listeria. The natural acidic ingredients like vinegar and lemon tenderize the meat, which makes it easier to cook and digest. Plus it helps lock in moisture, which is why your meat is more juicy when you grill it.
Tips for Marinades
- Always add your ingredients and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator, not room temperature.
- You can marinate poultry for up to 2 days and beef, pork, veal, and lamb for up to 5 days.
- It’s best if you don’t reuse the marinade, but if you have to make sure you boil it to kill off any bacteria.
Marinade for Pork, Chicken or Steak
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup of soy sauce
¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 minced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
½ cup of vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of dried basil
1/3 cup of oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and add to your choice of meat. Let it marinate for a couple of hours.