How do you marinate?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

I've read that Olive Oil is considered an inferior oil and that coconut and other oils high in saturated fats are preferred. I'm wondering, then, how do you all marinate your meat? Do you just not add oil? Meats are typically marinated refrigerated and those oils will turn solid at those temperatures.

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on January 15, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Fats/oils aren't necessary for marinating at all. The main ingredient required for marination is an acid - vinegar, juice, alcohol or various fermented dairy products. I've seen some food scientists come to different conclusions as to what exactly happens during the marination process, but the general consensus is that acid is crucial and fat isn't. If you want to add some fat to marinated meat, I'd do it during or after cooking.

Also, I don't consider olive oil to be an inferior fat; just one I wouldn't want to cook with.



on January 16, 2012
at 05:05 AM

Honestly, I find marinades to be a huge waste of time. I've been a serious home chef for almost 15 years, and I have one or two I think are worthy. I've been so disappointed in how many good ingredients, time, and effort have just gone down the drain.

I switched to just salting & peppering the meat, grilling/cooking, then dunking in a vinaigrette-style sauce or drizzling it over the meat. An excellent recipe is here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Foolproof-Grilled-Chicken-108166


on January 15, 2012
at 10:48 PM

I marinate with vinegar, wine, and various spices I mix in. Or just dry rub spices. A touch of oil if necessary, but not as a base. A bit like making a vinegary Italian dressing, if I do something with olive oil. Or I mop on oil after I've cooked the meat a bit, and broil it.

My father and I smoke a lot of meats, and do other barbecue techniques, so marinading is only one part of the arsenal.

Hope this helped.


on January 16, 2012
at 02:52 AM

I marinate with lemon/lime and spices.

Sometimes I use grass-fed yogurt and spices.

The acid will tenderize the meat.

I have never marinated in oil.

I have heard vinegar (use carefully because too much will give a sour taste) also works well.

Enjoy cooking!


on January 15, 2012
at 11:24 PM

just put your meat in whatever you want it to taste like. i love citrus like lemons and limes for this with butter and salt/pepper and herbs... just let it sit for a while. olive oil is great but theres really so many different options


on January 15, 2012
at 10:05 PM

According to Robb Wolf, olive oil is just fine. And better for things cooked at lower temperatures (this is obvious culinary knowledge). I'd say that you should make the decision based on flavour. And personally olive oil tastes better to me.



on January 15, 2012
at 10:00 PM

Olive oil is fine, just not the best choice for high heat cooking. I have never added fat to marinate...usually I use beer, wine, or vinegar to marinate in.

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