Marinade Mistakes to Avoid

There’s nothing worse than an unappetizing meal, especially if you’ve spent hours preparing it. This article outlines a few mistakes that people often make when marinating, which can limit the flavor potential of the dish.

Here are some of the most common marinade mistakes to avoid:

  • Overmarinating. Marinating for too long can change the texture of the food by making it either tough or mushy, depending on how acidic the marinade is. 
  • Undermarinating. Not allowing enough time for the food to marinate can prevent the flavor from penetrating the food. The amount of time you need to marinate will depend on the cut of meat, but a good rule of thumb is 2-4 hours. For thicker cuts of meat, you may need to marinate for longer, up to 12 hours.
  • Not using enough marinade. To get the most flavor from the marinade, it is important to ensure that the food is fully coated. This will keep your dish from tasting bland or being unevenly seasoned. 
  • Marinating in the wrong container. It is best to marinate in a sealed glass or plastic container, such as a ziploc bag. Avoid marinating in metal containers as the metal can chemically react with the marinade and change the flavor of your dish.
  • Not marinating in the refrigerator. Marinating in the refrigerator will help to prevent the growth of bacteria. Never marinate food at room temperature.
  • Reusing the marinade. The marinade can become contaminated with bacteria from the raw meat, so it is important to discard the marinade after marinating. 

By avoiding these common marinade mistakes, you can ensure that your food is tender, flavorful, and safe to eat.