Marinades: Use your Creative Juices

Marinades: Use your Creative Juices

"Salad dressing often makes a good base for meat marinades."

Marinades can add flavor and help tenderize nearly any cut of meat. The down side is that many commercial products are expensive to buy at the store. With this in mind, you may want to come up with your own recipe for marinating meat. Doing so can be a fun experience and may even make you the talk of your next cookout or potluck dinner.When you’re trying to come up with a marinade, think about the cut of meat you are using. Tough meats may need to be tenderized first. If so, a recipe that calls for vinegar or citrus juice might be ideal. This is because the acids in these ingredients help break down the meat fibers and make them easier to chew. Pineapple juice can help tenderize moderately tough meats and goes well with ketchup or soy sauce when making a sweet and sour dressing.

Another advantage to making your own marinade is the fact that you can add spices to your own liking. If you have a favorite meat rub, feel free to use it in your sauce. An applewood rub could be a delicious addition to barbeque sauce, while a lemon pepper rub might work well with olive oil or vinegar.

Salad dressing often makes a good base for meat marinades. If you’re cooking chicken, ranch dressing can help moisten it so that crumb or seasoned topping stick better. Italian dressing works well with pork or chicken because it helps the spices get deep into the meat fibers. Russian or French dressing could be a good choice if you like a sweeter taste to your meat and is a nice option for beef or lamb.