How to Cook Perfectly Marinated Meat Without Burning It Every Time
Marinated meat is one of the most flavorful and juicy dishes you can make. The process of marination tenderizes the meat and infuses it with various flavors, which makes it irresistible to your taste buds. However, cooking marinated meat presents a different challenge. If not done correctly, you may end up with a charred and dry piece of meat. In this article, we will show you how to cook marinated meat without burning it, every time.
Understanding Marinated Meat
Before diving into the cooking process, let’s first understand what marinated meat entails.
Marinating is the process of soaking meat in a mixture of acidic liquids and spices to tenderize it and add flavor. The acid in the marinade breaks down the protein fibers in the meat, making it more tender.
There are several common types of marinades, including:
- Oil-based marinades: Made from a blend of oil, vinegar, and herbs. They’re ideal for tougher cuts of meat as they help penetrate the surface.
- Yogurt-based marinades: Made using plain yogurt combined with herbs like ginger, garlic and spices such as cumin or turmeric work well with chicken or lamb.
- Milk-based marinades: Best suited to frenched racks of lamb that need special treatment to ensure its tenderness when grilled or roasted.
- Fruit-based marinades: Usually used for sweet dishes such as shish-ka-bobs.
The choice of marinade depends on your personal preference, although each type has its unique advantages.
Tips for Preparing Marinated Meat
Now that we understand what makes marinated meat special let’s discuss some tips that will help you prepare perfectly marinated meat.
Choose the right cut of meat for marinating and cooking. Tougher meats such as flank steak or pork shoulder work best with marinades since they need to be tenderized. If you want to cook faster, thin cuts like chicken breasts and steaks are best.
Different types of meat require different marinating times. For instance, fish needs a shorter time compared to pork. Chicken takes 2-12 hours while beef needs 12-24 hours depending on the cut. Marinate your meat in an airtight container or zip freezer bag for even coating and absorption of marinade.
Tools You’ll Need for Cooking Marinated Meat
To cook perfectly marinated meat, you’ll need specific tools that include:
A grill or a grill pan: This is ideal when cooking outdoors.
Tongs, spatulas, or cooking fork: Useful for turning over the meat without scorching it.
A basting brush: Use it to apply more marinade to the meat while cooking for extra flavor.
The Dos and Don’ts of Grilling or Pan Frying Marinated Meat
The following guidelines will make your grilling experience seamless and prevent burnt meat:
Preheat your grilling pan or grill before you start cooking.
Brush your grill grate to prevent sticking.
Allow the meat to cook undisturbed for a few minutes before turning.
Overcrowd the pan/grill with meat
Cook in haste without paying attention to heat
Methods to Check Whether Your Meat Is Done or Not Without Burning It
Checking whether the marinated meat is cooked correctly stops it from becoming charred or undercooked.
You can do this through;
Using a thermometer: Place it in the thickest part of the meat to check the internal temperature. Different temperatures depend on how you want your meat.
Using Touch: Assessing firmness of different points of the cooking process. Using gentle pressure, poke a finger into the meat at different stages of cooking to feel its firmness.
Slices test: Checking coloration after cutting a small piece off one end tells you about its tenderness and readiness for consumption.
Resting and Serving Marinated Meat
Once you remove the marinated meat from heat, allow it to rest for 2-5 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
Serving marinated meat goes well with sides like baked potatoes or veggies, and sauces that compliment the flavors such as teriyaki sauce, chimichurri, or Korean BBQ sauce.
Best Recipes & Marinades for Delicious Cooked Marinated Meats
Here are some excellent recipes that guarantee succulent and juicy meats:
Perfectly cooked marinated chicken breasts:
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let it marinate refrigerated for 4-6 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil and bake for 25-35 mins or until internal temperature is 165 ℉.
Grilled steak tips with ginger-soy marinade:
1 lb. Sirloin steak tips
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp grated ginger root
3 cloves minced garlic
Blend soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a bowl.
Let steak sit with marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Grill the steak tips for 5-6 mins on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 135 ℉.
Spicy lime shrimp skewers with cilantro marinade:
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of one lime
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Blend olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, honey and cilantro in a bowl for the marinade.
Skewer shrimp evenly onto 8 kebab skewers.
Brush shrimp with marinade and grill for 2-3 mins per side.
Peanut and honey-marinated pork chops:
2 bone-in pork chops
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
Mix peanut butter, honey, apple cider vinegar, and paprika thoroughly in a bowl for the marinade.
Place pork chops in a zip-lock bag and add marinade. Mix thoroughly so that all sides of the pork are thoroughly coated.
Seal bag throughout excess air. Let it marinate refrigerated for 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to broil. Place pork chops on a baking tray and broil for about 5 minutes per side.
Cooking perfectly marinated meat involves following specific procedures to ensure that scorching or under-cooking does not occur. By choosing the right cut of meat, giving it enough time to marinate, using a thermometer to verify doneness without burning it, following our dos and don’ts guidelines when cooking, and allowing it to rest before serving. You can enjoy juicy and tender meat dishes every time. The different marinades and cooking methods discussed in this article provide for endless possibilities to your meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you cook marinated meat without burning it?
Yes, you can. It’s all about temperature control and cooking techniques. Marinating your meat will add flavor to it, but it does not guarantee that it won’t burn. To prevent burning, cook meats at a lower temperature, and flip them frequently.
What is the best way to cook marinated meat?
The best way to cook marinated meat is on a grill or in a skillet over medium heat. Searing the meat on high heat may give you a good crust, but it can also cause it to burn too quickly. Cook your marinated meat low and slow for the juiciest results.
How long should I marinate my meat?
The length of time to marinate your meat depends on your recipe and the type of meat you’re using. In general, marinating between 30 minutes to overnight will provide an adequate amount of flavor. However, be cautious not to marinate for too long as some acids can break down proteins and make the meat mushy.
What type of marinade should I use for my meats?
The type of marinade depends on the type of meat you are using and what flavors you prefer. A simple marinade consists of oil, acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), spices, and herbs. You can also add soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce if you want additional umami flavor. Experiment with different marinades and find what works best for your tastes!