Many people feel that the right marinade is their answer for tenderizing tough meat before putting it inside the best electric smokers 2018. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. Marinades may make your meat taste better, but they are not really all that good at tenderizing – the effect is only skin-deep. Here is a look at the way different marinades are made and the ways in which they work.
The major types of marinade are acid, enzyme, and dairy. Overly acidic marinades can actually toughen meat, while overly strong enzymatic marinades can overdo the tenderizing and result in mush. Dairy has been put forth as a tenderizer, but it does not work for every kind of cooking.
Acidic marinades rely on wine, vinegar, and citrus juices to denature the proteins in a steak. This unwinds them. Once they encounter another unwound protein, they will bind together – the same process that happens with long, slow cooking. Water starts out trapped in these proteins, and the steak is pretty tender. However, too much acid will tighten those protein bonds, squeezing out liquid and toughening the meat.
Because of this, a marinade that is mildly acidic is usually a better choice than one that is extremely sour. A good marinade should be there mostly for flavor, and will tenderize best if relatively week. Stronger marinades are good for tightly grained meats, but those meats are not usually put on the grill.
Enzymatic marinades can actually break down the collagen and muscle fibers. They come from sources like honeydew, papaya, raw pineapple, fig, ginger, and even kiwi. However, if you use too much, they will turn the muscle to mush without tenderizing. The length of time the meat marinates will affect this as well. The texture gets softer over time. This is the kind of activity you will find from most commercial meat tenderizers, which use papaya enzymes.
These are commonly used in India for goat and lamb, as well as for southern fried chicken.
Steaks can be interesting in this kind of marinade, but you may need to take a look at how you are cooking them, since this is not the most common type of marinade used for them. Try curry flavors along with your marinade for a good result.
Your marinade does not have to be all that complex, so long as you know what you can expect from the ingredients you use. You will get a great meal every time if you only take the time to check out all the kinds of marinades available. One of them is going to be right for your steak.