A Beginner's Guide to Marinating
Join us on Mondays on the Galena Canning Co. blog to learn more about news, updates, and products and up your cooking game! Today we're featuring marinades to accompany the new line of Competition Series* marinades and grilling sauces.
What is a marinade?
A marinade is a sauce made with oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs in which meat, fish and other items are soaked to infuse flavor and to tenderize prior to cooking.
As marinades focus on tenderizing the surface of the meat, they are typically used on thinner, flatter cuts of meat, with the largest cuts we recommend being a medium steak or bone-in chicken breast.
How do I use a marinade?
Use a marinade any time you cook a favorite protein, whether you’re grilling, stir-frying, roasting, sautéing, or pan frying. While it is best to marinate thawed meats to ensure the full flavor boost, you can also marinate meats as you thaw them.
For best results, put your meat in a Ziploc or similar bag, and completely submerge the meat before squeezing all air out of the bag for best coverage.
When you’re finished marinating, simply remove meat from the marinade and cook as planned. Discard any leftover marinade for food safety concerns.**
If you plan on using the marinade as a sauce, reserve some marinade prior to cooking to reduce cross-contamination and bacteria risks.
How much marinade should I use?
- Use ½ cup of marinade per pound of meat or vegetables
How long do I marinate?
How long you marinate an item depends on the protein you’re cooking and the thickness of the food itself. We typically recommend the following:
- Poultry: 30 minutes – 3 hours
- Red meats and game: 30 minutes to overnight
- Seafood and Shellfish: 15 minutes to 1 hour
- Tofu: 30 minutes to overnight
- Vegetables: Up to 15 minutes for soft vegetables and up to 30 minutes for harder vegetables
If possible, we recommend turning the food several times during marinating to ensure full coverage.
- Always marinate in the refrigerator
- Never reuse marinade previously used for meat
What are some marinade pairings you recommend?
- Poultry: Competition Series Fajita Marinade*
- Seafood: Competition Series Lemon Pepper Garlic Marinade*
- Steak: Competition Series Steakhouse Marinade*
- Tofu: Competition Series Teriyaki Marinade*
- Vegetables: Competition Series Fajita Marinade*
* Competition Series products can be used as both marinades and grilling sauces.
** Source: US Department of Agriculture Ask USDA Blog, 2019