Here are some tips for crafting your own batch. Grass-fed beef is delicious, flavorful, and easy to cook. We’re excited to continue to share recipes on the blog for new and old grass-fed beef connoisseurs alike. Today, check out some tips for creating a marinade that’s perfect for your taste buds. Keep reading to learn about this goodness, and check out our blog for more ideas to try in your kitchen. 

A marinade is a sauce usually composed of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which protein is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it. There are many different ways to customize a marinade to suit your tastes and needs.

Marinades work through a scientific process. Meat is obviously protein; in particular, the collagen protein within the meat is directly correlated to the toughness of that cut. Cooking processes turn these collagen proteins into gelatin. The degree of gelatin transformation is directly proportional to the tenderness of the meat.

All that to say, sometimes cooking alone doesn’t provide enough gelatin transformation to the beef. That’s where marinades come in. Marinades should contain an enzymatic or acidic ingredient that helps break down more collagen into gelatin, creating a more tender product. This also adds flavor to the meat as the marinade is able to seep into the tissues, trapping the moisture and spices. 

Though each type of marinade has the same end result, they function a little differently. Acidic marinades, which typically contain lemon juice or vinegar, work by denaturing proteins through disruption of hydrogen bonds in the collagen fibrils. Enzymatic marinades, which typically contain ginger or pineapple juice, increase the rate at which certain cellular reactions occur and attack the protein networks of meat. 

Thin, flat cuts of beef are best for marinades. Some examples include the flat iron, ribeye, or sirloin steak cuts. Have more questions about cuts? Check out this article.

We hope you’ll enjoy cooking up some tasty steaks with these marinade ideas and tips. To purchase your Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch grass-fed beef, visit our website.