How many times have you heard of marinating your meat? Now, when was the last time you heard someone say they’re going to brine their meat? The answer is undoubtedly that you’ve heard of marinating your meat far more often than brining. In fact, do you know what differentiates the two? They are extremely different in nearly every aspect, from their ingredients to the types of meat they are utilized upon.
Let’s jump straight into brines and when you should use them. Brines are fundamentally non-acidic. Examples of often utilized ingredients would be: water, sugar, spices and various herbs. Brining your meat probably sounds a bit intimidating, it’s not. Think of it the same way you think of a marinade, just that it’s intended use is best for more tender cuts of meat and the meat doesn’t need to sit within the brine as long as when utilizing a marinade. Brines will inherently draw the sugar/salt inside the meat which ultimately results in a juicier interior when you’re grilling. Brining is best purposed for chicken and turkey. Utilizing brines on steaks has been discussed, but ultimately beef is best left for marinating, more on this to come.
Marinating your meat? Utilizing a marinade is best reserved for tougher cuts/cutlets of meat. Marinades should be acidic in their foundation, which is why when you purchase a pre-packaged marinade in the store you’ll notice the inherent ingredients are mostly vinegar and citrus components. The reason for this is that the acid will break down the proteins within the meat and help to produce a tenderer cut of meat after it is grilled. Unlike brines, you can marinate your cut of meat for long durations (anywhere from an hour, all the way to an entire day). Of course this is directly correlated to the size of the piece of meat you’re preparing. Marinating steaks is great, but we recommend only utilizing a marinade on tougher cuts of beef. Don’t ruin your filet by marinating it, it’s completely unnecessary!
If you are considering brining your chicken, look for ingredients that you know you like. Research different brine recipes that are best applied to your particular meat you’re planning on grilling. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations of brines for each type of meat. Don’t be intimidated, do your research and simply follow the advice we provided above. Just for an example, Weber® has a great turkey brine, simply follow the link.
When considering whether you want to marinate or brine your cut of meat simply remind yourself, brine is best for more tender meat, marinades are best for tougher cuts of meat. If you ever have any questions as to which you should use on a given type of meat, call us anytime at +966.13.845.6798 and we will be more than happy to help you out. We look forward to hearing from you soon and happy grilling!
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