To marinate or not to marinate?

I’m a fan of marinating. A marinade adds flavour and to a certain extent tenderizes. But the main reason I marinate is because a marinade can help reduce the carcinogens that are produced when protein hits a high heat particularly when cooked on a BBQ.
All great marinades use three basics: they contain an acidic liquid ingredient, herbs and/or spices and oil. Plus what I call optional bells and whistles: Worcestershire, garlic chili sauce, chutney, etc.
Ingredients that can reduce those carcinogens are:
In the acidic liquid category: wine, beer – specifically dark beer, lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or unsweetened tea
Herbs: specifically – basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage AND garlic (not an herb but functions in the same way as herbs)
Oils: high stability canola oil or canola oil and extra virgin olive oil only if used on lower temperatures

Every great marinade contains variations of three key ingredients

Every great marinade contains variations of three key ingredients

To further reduce carcinogens:
• Always grill on a clean BBQ
• Flip the meat often to avoid blackening or charring
• Turn the heat down and BBQ at a lower temperature
• Choose lower fat versions of meat to avoid flare ups from the fat which in turn can produce carcinogens
• Trim protein f any excess fat to further reduce flair ups

 
Home Economist Tips:

  • When marinating make sure the marinade is touching the protein. I prefer resealable bags so I can massage the meat and the marinade, but a non-reactive (non-metallic) shallow pan works well, as long as the marinade is touching all the surfaces of the protein.
  • Never use the marinade that is leftover as a basting sauce. It’s loaded with bacteria. Discard the remaining marinade after you remove the meat/protein. If you want some basting sauce, remove a little before you add the meat, poultry or fish. Store separately in the fridge and use as a basting sauce.

 
Dark Beer Marinade for Beef
Serves – 4
One – 12-16 oz. sirloin steak

Marinade:
One – 440 ml Can or around 500 mL (2 cups) dark beer – I love Guinness but a good dark craft beer
¼ cup (60 mL) Worcestershire sauce
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low sodium ketchup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in either a large resealable Ziploc bag or in a non-reactive shallow pan (non-metal).
2. Remove a little to baste with after. I usually take out 2 Tbsp (30 ml) and store in fridge until it’s time to BBQ.
3. Cut the steak into portions ( I like 3-4 oz. portions)
4. Place meat in bag or pan making sure the marinade it touching all surfaces. Seal bag.
5. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
6. Remove meat from marinade, discard marinade. BBQ steaks using the reserved marinade to baste. Cook to desired doneness and then remove from the BBQ. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 
Peach Marinade for Pork

Serve – 6-8
You will need a food processor for this one
2 lbs pork tenderloins, approx. 2 pork tenderloins – butterflied (cut lengthwise but not through)

Marinade:
3 ripe and juicy peaches, peeled and pitted
¼ cup (60 mL) rice vinegar, no sodium no added sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) lower sodium soy sauce
1 large shallot, cut into quarters
1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
4 cloves garlic
1-inch piece of ginger
1Tbsp (15 mL) garlic chili sauce

1. Place all of the ingredient into a food processor, pulse until well blended.
2. Pour into either a large resealable Ziploc bag or in a non-reactive shallow pan (non-metal)
3. Remove a little to baste with after. I usually take out 2 Tbsp (30 ml) store in fridge until it’s time to BBQ.
4. Place pork in bag or pan making sure the marinade it touching all surfaces. Seal bag.
5. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
6. Remove pork from marinade, discard marinade. BBQ pork using the reserved marinade to baste. BBQ until an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Remove to cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve.

 

Asian Inspired Tofu
Serves – 4

You need to use Extra Firm tofu on the BBQ.

One – 350 g package extra firm tofu

Marinade:
1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh lime juice + zest from two limes
¼ cup (60 mL) mango chutney, chop any large chunks of mango into smaller pieces
½ cup (125 mL) packed thinly sliced mint leaves
1 large shallot, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) garlic chili sauce

1. Stir together all ingredients. Reserve 2 Tbsp (30 mL) for serving over top of the tofu after it has been grilled. Reserve in the fridge.
2. Pour into either a large resealable Ziploc bag or in a non-reactive shallow pan (non-metal)
3. Slice tofu into 4 equal pieces.
4. Place the tofu in bag or pan making sure the marinade it touching all surfaces. Seal bag.
5. Marinate for up to 4 hours.
6. Remove tofu from marinade. Place on grill and cook until heated through and golden brown. Serve.

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