HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Do you marinate your steak?

I have always been a minimalist steak cooker. Salt/pepper perhaps. Brisket, yes I marinated the crap out of that. But otherwise not much.

I admit I've fallen in love with Daddy Hinkles wet/dry marinade. Love the original flavor. Southwest is good but can be a little overpowering. I've found myself doing steaks, even hamburger patties with the stuff. I think it tastes delicious, but I have to wonder if I've fallen off of some culinary cliff and perhaps that is something that is just "not done" by those in the know. I have another friend who swears by the Jack Daniels wet marinade as well.

I guess I'm second guessing it because I remember when everything was marinated in Italian dressing when I was a kid, then later grew up and read that it actually was not a good idea. On the other and I'd love to audition for Masterchef and break out some Hinkles. Thoughts? I doubt I'll give it up, but I know it's probably not very foodie (hate that term) but it tastes so good.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. If I have a good ribeye, just salt and pepper and right on the grill. If I'm making fajitas with flank steak, then I marinate it first.

    But if you like it, what's the big deal?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Philly Ray

      Here are the ingredients for the wet marinade:

      Water, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Salt, Corn Syrup, Vinegar, Caramel Coloring, and Citric Acid as a Preservative.

      Dry Rub:

      Salt, Sugar, Garlic, Onion, Black Pepper, Paprika, Celery Seed, Red Pepper, Papain, Turmeric and Less Then 2% Soybean Oil and Calcium Silicate to Prevent Caking,

      Note "papain" in the dry rub.

      The wet sounds pretty benign, so most of the flavor might come from the dry rub. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein is often called "MSG in Disguise." Not making any statement about MSG (doesn't bother me), but just providing info. Not sure why they need caramel coloring except to make it brown.

      But anyway, I agree - if you like it, do it! You might save $ by mixing up your own, better wet with water, MSG, salt, sugar, and a little vinegar, but that might be a pain and tough to get the proportions right.

    2. when it comes to prime striip, porterhouse or tbone I don't touch it other than to do a salt and pepper crust before it hits the grill. when it comes to cheaper cuts, I pretty much always marinate (london broil, tips, chuck, etc.). I'm certainly not sure I'm right but my gut feeling has been you can't improve on great beef and should just get out of it's way.

      1. I marinate London broil, skirt steak, flank steak, and eye round steak. I leave NY strip and ribeyes alone.

        1. depends on the steak,

          Porterhouse, NY strips, rib eyes, filet's etc just get a little salt pepper, maybe a rub with olive oil if I want to gild the lilly.

          flank/skirt/london broil almost always gets a rub of some kind or a marinade

          chuck roast steaks gett marinaded or braised

          1. I gotta chime in with the others, a cheap tough cut - you can rudely abuse it. if starting with a nice cut, use the soft gloves.

            but then again, as Ray says: if you like it....

            if at my table you pour ketchup on it may be your last time there, but in your own house, go crazy.

            flank, skirt, chuck, round, sirloin get heavy treatment. (and even the sirloin depends on that particular cut)

            1 Reply
            1. re: hill food

              "I gotta chime in with the others, a cheap tough cut - you can rudely abuse it. if starting with a nice cut, use the soft gloves."

              Think Pat Summerall shouting, "It's good!!!', durin' a Super Bowl. "Ladies and Gentleman, hill food's goin' to Disneyland!"

              A fine, aged steak gets salt and an hour or so on the counter before getting the privilege of getting grilled over some oak wood. Caress it like you would the love of your life.

              A cheap cut, hell, do whatever you want. It's even OK if you never call it back. "It was just for the fun, sweetheart. Oh, and can you do me a favor and not be here in the morning?"

            2. skirt..yes.. some game meat... I avoid Daddy Hinkles because there is something in it that trigers my moms migranes..

              1. Depends on how much time etc and the cut of meat - these days really expensive cuts are out... but, when I can afford them again Salt and Pepper only.

                For your average big box store meat - I love a bit of my rub (very similar to any one else's I assume).

                Dejon, Worechestshire (sorry about the spelling on that). and Wait for it *coffee grounds*

                http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

                It's heaven... soo good. Use a pretty generous amount (tablespoon per side?). You won't taste it but it's really really good. Use a decent coffee of course folgers won't cut it.... I don't use the rest of the recomending ingrediants on mine.... it just sounded so insane the first time I tried it that I thought I'd post a recipe so you can see "everyone is doing it" :-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: sparky403

                  I have had that, a nice dark roast coffee rub ground super fine is good on steak.

                  at first I thought it weird, but then remembered there's coffee in red-eye gravy.

                2. Let me just echo the sentiments of others here.

                  It really depends on the steak, and to a lesser extent how I plan to cook it (and how I plan to eat it).

                  If we're talking about a cut like sirloin, ribeye, filet, porterhouse, strip, etc. *and* I plan on grilling it and eating the entire thing like an American caveman -- e.g., as is and with knife and fork -- then, no, I do not want a marinade of any sort. Salt, pepper, and a maybe a bit more salt to finish and that's it. No butter, no EVOO, no nothing.

                  Now, if we're talking about a cut like hanger, onglet, flank, or top round, etc., and esp. if I plan on using it for something like Korean BBQ, chicken fried steak, or Mexican fajitas, then, yes, by all means I marinade.

                  As an aside, when people mention aging (either wet or dry), that's technically a "marinade", right? I, mean, after all, the beef is being seasoned (and to some extent tenderized) during the aging process, which is what a marinade does, no?

                  So, for those folks who say, "bah, I never marinate my dry aged beef when I cook it in steak form and eat it once big hunk of meat like an American caveman," they're really conflating the terms "marinate" and "aging" methinks.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Marinating, to most people, means to soak the meat or whatever in a flavored liquid. If you wish to extend the meaning to aging, that would imply that all meat that is not freshly slaughtered has been marinated. All meat that is available to the consumer has been aged to some extent. Most of us do not feel that it has been marinated. If you distend the word's meaning to such an extent, you rob it of all meaning.

                    1. re: bcc

                      Marinating, to most people, means to soak the meat or whatever in a flavored liquid.
                      ___________________

                      Tell me how that is different from wet aging?

                      And not all meats are wet aged.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Wet aging is aging the beef in a sealed bag, without the addition of other components.

                        1. re: bcc

                          What "other components"?

                          Regardless, wet aging fits your definition of marinade.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            No it doesn't. I understand "marinating" as soaking the meat in a liquid which is quite foreign to it, such as wine, vinegar, usually with the addition of spices. I understand "wet aging" to mean taking a piece of freshly slaughtered meat and putting in a hermetically sealled bag with nothing else. Dry aging is holding the meat in a temperature-controlled environment with air circulation. Under your definition any piece of meat that you pick up in the supermarket has been marinated because it has had some sort of aging.

                            1. re: bcc

                              bcc is correct. When you talk aging, there are two ways. The process which has been done for hundreds of years is hanging meat in a cooler and allowing the air to circulate around it. The time usually varies between two weeks and five weeks, depending on taste. During that time, the meat loses a lot of water weight, but the product gains in flavor and tenderness. This is preferable, but it obviously costs a lot more. The other way, which hasn't been around all that long, is to seal the meat in an air-tight bag. Without oxygen in the bag, spoilage is retarded. It doesn't age in the same way, but because it is sealed without oxygen, it will last a long time and maintain much of its original weight. Marinating is a totally different concept of infusing flavors to the meat through a solution of liquids and spices.

                              1. re: primebeefisgood

                                I understand the difference between marinades and aging (both wet and dry).

                                All I'm saying is that both the aging and marinating processes are intended to tenderize and to add flavor.

                                And for people to say that I don't want anything to interfere with the taste of my meat, hence I don't marinate, overlook the fact that the piece of "un-marinated" meat has already been altered from its natural state.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Personally, if I'm going for a great steak, it's dry aged. Wet just doesn't cut it!

                                  1. re: treb

                                    Me too.

                                    Do you have a preference for how long you prefer your dry aged steaks?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      I like between 21-28 days, I've done some of my own also, excellent.

                                      1. re: treb

                                        Yes, so have I, it's quite a bit of work (and it's almost better to have a dedicated fridge).

                                2. re: primebeefisgood

                                  Dry aging requires a temperature and humidity controlled environment. The technology to control these has only been available for 150 years, and even then I'm not sure it was used to do what we think of as dry aging today. It really wasn't until the 20th century that dry aging became a widely used process.

                                  Before that, the only criteria was to keep the beef from spoiling before it could be eaten. This was done by drying, pickling, salting and in colder climates, freezing.

                                  1. re: JonParker

                                    and truth be told, very few diners can tell the difference. they SAY they can, but they can't.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      You really think so, hotoy? I mean, a dry aged steak is kinda Bernie Worrell and an unaged steak is kinda George Shearling. Now, I'm good with both, but the former can bring the funk!

                    2. have no idea who the hinkles are, or what their daddy wants to do to my steak, but i'm with others on expensive,rich cuts like ribeye, vs. flank, etc.

                      most often with cheap, tough beef, i'll rub with dried/fresh herbs and some oil overnight. if it's a big tough piece, like chuck, it gets braised.

                      as mentioned, leaving the eat at room temp awhile before cooking helps A LOT. and no, you won't die.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        LOL that did make me laugh. I forget that Daddy Hinkles is a regional brand made in Oklahoma. I just love the flavor of the original dry rub and wet marinade.

                        http://www.daddyhinkles.com/index.asp

                      2. A quick rub is always welcome - Stubb's is always a good call. Sometimes Paul Prudhomme's steak blackning is nice as well.
                        As a kid, I LOVED a local steak place's "Black Diamond" marinade. No idea what went into it, but to a 10 year old, it was pretty much the bee's knees.

                        1. I only marinate meats that will be cooked using a long, slow method such as slow cooker, braising, smoking, etc.

                          Otherwise, I've found that most "marinades" brushed at the end of grilling or other high-heating cooking taste as good without any uncontrolled char flavor.

                          1. Yes if it's flank or skirt. Dry rub and some dry aging for a day or three in the fridge if it's a 2" thick ribeye or similar.

                            1. Isn't that funny? I never marinade my steaks, not the tender cuts, not the tougher cuts.

                              I put three things on my steaks: salt, pepper and garlic powder. Depending on the type, I'll cook it differently (pan/oven, insanely hot barbecue, etc.), but the tenderness and palatability comes from the cooking method, in my kitchen, not the marinade.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: biggreenmatt

                                Same here. Even if the cheaper cuts like skirt I love the beefy flavor.

                              2. Rarely, if ever, though if you like it it's OK if it's "not very foodie" whatever that means.

                                1. I've only skimmed the posts but are people making the distinction between marinating and a flavoring baste. To me, marinating is to tenderize while the other is to just add some flavor on the surface of the meat and to perhaps enhance browning.

                                  1. I never marinate my steak before cooking, but I will post-marinate skirt steak a la Cooks Illustrated. After grilling, put steak in marinade for a few minutes while it rests. SOoooo flavorful.

                                    http://www.thebittenword.com/thebitte...

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Snorkelvik

                                      How does this affect the final temperature? It seems even if the marinade is at room temperature, it'd drop much faster.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        Well, steak is supposed to rest after grilling, so it rests inside a flavorful marinade (already at room temperature) for 5 minutes.

                                        It's delicious. Check out the link.

                                        1. re: Snorkelvik

                                          I love putting just grilled meat on a platter with oil and herbs...... I guess that is very similar to marinating after the fact. I also love a good strong chimichurri over my steaks.

                                        2. <I guess I'm second guessing it because I remember when everything was marinated in Italian dressing when I was a kid,>

                                          Boy do I hate that packaged and bottled Italian dressing. What a terrible thing to do to a good piece of meat. And I know people that still do it. They do the same with chicken breasts. It's just so nasty !

                                          Personally I avoid most all wet marinades on a steak and will use a dry rub of some sort to add flavor.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                            Scuba, that's funny about the Italian dressing. Years ago a few of us grilled some rattlesnakes in south Texas, marinated in Italian dressing. It's all we had, and those sidewinders needed something.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              Poor snake ;) Did it do it justice? I've never had snake

                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                Fortunately it wasn't our entire meal. Snakes in Webb County feast on quail and kill a lot of hunting dogs. And a few hunters. Snake leggings are a must.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Veggo - I lived in KS for a while in the 80's, I remember the bragging rights in the game "what are you boots made of?"

                                                  although ostrich seemed to trump the others, rattlesnake was up there.

                                                  back OT to Scuba - the dry packet Good Seasons makes a good marinade/rub (never tried it on beef however) but not the bottled of most any brand.

                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                My grandmother sometimes soaked eels in that stuff before grillin'. Tasted pretty good to an eleven year old boy.

                                              3. re: scubadoo97

                                                My ex introduced me to that chicken breast in Italian dressing marinade. Not awful, really.

                                                But she also introduced me to doctored-up ramen (very good), and slowly got me into spicy food, for which I will be eternally grateful.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  I quess I have an aversion to bottled dressings. Just don't like them. Even the powders of dry ingredients

                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                    Well, yes, so do I. I never buy bottled dressings, as they are a snap to make yourself.

                                                2. re: scubadoo97

                                                  I agree with most of what you said, except for the bit about chicken breasts. What a useless, flavorless piece of meat.

                                                3. Depends on the cut. Rib Eye or Strip (Or Porterhouse) no way.......but skirt steak, flank steak, brisket, hanger steak.....yeah why not.

                                                  Of course on those, I love making my own chimichurri sauce.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Owtahear

                                                    You marinate with chimichurri or just for seasoning? You mention making it. Is it available for purchase?

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      hey c oliver - if you have a TJ's check out the freezer section, they often have frozen cubes of pureed basil and parsley as well in handy packs to get you started (brand name 'Dorot' - just ask, as those folks are always so cheerful)

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        Thanks, h. That would be handy thing to have around. And, yes, they are so helpful and happy. Hope you're well.

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          That would be great for the winter months.... It's just so easy to make in the blender with fresh herbs, makes me want to whip up a batch right now....

                                                      2. re: Owtahear

                                                        Chimichurri is perfect. About as wet as I get. Oil marinades work great without adding water to the dish. I still like to dry most proteins before searing so they don't steam

                                                      3. No, except for flank or skirt steak or wet aging for flat iron, etc. but rib eyes, sirloins, filets and roasts I dry rub exclusively.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                          Well, that can be a dry brine which, IMO, qualifies as a marinade.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I guess I think of marinades as wet

                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                              Oh, I do also. It maybe gets back to a question I asked upthread that didn't get answered. I consider a marinade to be something that tenderizes vs. a flavoring/basting 'sauce.'

                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                              You're correct it is a dry brine. But I don't consider that a marinade either. It's a rub of salt, mainly, but I've done it with herbs too. Plus the Food Lover's Companion defines a marinade as a "soaking" of meat, vegs or fish in a liquid mixture. And marinades don't just tenderize, they flavor.

                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                I also think a short time with a marinade will simply flavor not tenderize, which is more what I do.

                                                          2. Sometimes. Depends on the cut. Lesser cuts get a marinade with a bit of acidity, better cuts get just a dry rub.

                                                            1. I do marinate my steak, but I use relatively simple ingredients -- for most cases.

                                                              1. YES! We make our own teriyaki sauce and marinate the steak for about an hour before grilling it. Some of the marinade is set aside for dipping before being used as a marinade.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                  Can you tell me about your teriyaki? I just wing it when I make it, some garlic,

                                                                  pineapple juice (fresh if I can) Ginger and brown sugar....

                                                                  1. re: sparky403

                                                                    I have adapted my own variation from the former Recipezaar, now @ http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recip...
                                                                    It is a good recipe, but never be afraid to 'wing it'. That is the only real way to learn what works and what doesn't.
                                                                    Yes, I admit to adding a bit of whiskey to that recipe.
                                                                    Unfortunately, my lips have become allergic (acid burns) from fresh tropical fruits, so I must use canned or cooked.

                                                                    1. re: condie

                                                                      I too throw in some bourbon or Wild Turkey on occasion, or beer. sometimes molasses instead of the brown sugar, sometimes a little miso paste. it's never the same thing twice. but never 'wrong' (so far).

                                                                    2. re: sparky403

                                                                      Sorry for the late reply. My wife requires low salt soy sauce. The other ingredients are thin slices of 3 or 4 garlic cloves, a chunk of fresh ginger root pealed and thinly sliced, about a level tablespoon of packed brown sugar, and dry vermouth. There are equal measures of soy sauce and vermouth, 3/4 of a cup each. Also, you will determine the amounts of the garlic and ginger root after you've experimented a while.

                                                                      There are only 2 of us at home now because our kids are married. Ergo, 2 steaks are marinaded about an hour before grilling with a turn in the ceramic pan after the 1st half hour.

                                                                      My wife prefers rib eye steaks and there are 2 defrosting as I keyboard. I'm old school in that I use a charcoal grill with a mixture of brickets and charcoal made from furniture making wood.

                                                                      In bocca al lupo (idiomatic Italian for 'Good Luck')

                                                                      Buon appetito!

                                                                  2. I've got mixed feelings about marinating (marinading?) meat. On the one hand, all the food experts say that marinade only penetrates about a half inch or less into the meat. So, unless you have a really flat steak, why bother?

                                                                    But a lot of beef is flat enough so that if you marinate the steak and you get a half inch of penetration on one side and a half inch of penetration on the other side, you've covered a substantial portion of the steak in a new flavor.

                                                                    But generally, after I marinate any meat, the amount of flavor which I can detect from the marinade is minimal to non-existent. Maybe dry rubs work better. I will have to try them next.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                                                      To answer your first question - marinate is the verb; marinade is the noun - you marinate with a marinade. Although using "marinade" as a verb seems to have come into use recently.

                                                                      As for the flavor being minimal/non-existent, maybe it depends on the ingredients used in the marinade. I don't expect it to permeate through the entire steak, but it does give a flavor that remains with the beef - at least mine do.

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        I think marinating time also is a factor. I've marinated pork souvlaki for as little as an hour, and the flavor wasn't too intense.

                                                                        The longer the marinate, the more pronounced the flavor will be.

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          what's your marinade for pork souvladki? that's sounds goood...

                                                                          1. re: sparky403

                                                                            Pretty straightforward: olive oil, red wine vinegar or lemon, s&p, paprika, oregano, sometimes a little granulated garlic/onion powder, sometimes a little crushed rosemary.

                                                                            But most of the time just the oil, your acid of choice, s&p, oregano, paprika.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              Sorta what I imangined - I appriciate your response... Pork is the new white meat:-)

                                                                              1. re: sparky403

                                                                                I used country-style boneless ribs, because most of the pork is too lean to have any flavor. This has some more fat, and it's usually thick enough to be cut into nice, large cubes.

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  Yes - I love the country "ribs" for lots and lots of stuff - nice flavor and plenty of fat too and best of all pretty affordable.

                                                                                  I think it's just a pork butt just cut up.

                                                                                  Though I have never considered doing them greek style but I will now.

                                                                                  Thanks again

                                                                      2. re: gfr1111

                                                                        Try a bourbon-brown sugar marinade on a flank or skirt steak. It gives it tremendous flavor. But you need it to be in the marinade at least 8-12 hours, 24 hours is best.

                                                                      3. My Ribeyes get nothing

                                                                        Same for a filet...but that needs a sauce for flavor

                                                                        My favorite is London Broil. That and other cuts usually get a marinade of.......Marsala, soy, Garlic, and a bit of hot sauce(light) min 4 hours, better overnight

                                                                        1. That is strictly a personal preferance call. I like good steaks. I like them marinaded and I like them simply salt-and-peppered. I get grass-fed, grass-finished beef that is normally a bit tougher than store-bought. I usually marinade them in a bit of oil and flavorings. Daddy Hinkles is great and convenient.
                                                                          I have never tried Jack Daniels on meat, but normally I prefer my whiskey straight and my steaks pure.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: condie

                                                                            I thought some acidic component was necessary to tenderize?

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              Yep. Acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and oil are basic for tenderizing meat. Everything else is flavoring.

                                                                              1. re: condie

                                                                                So which do you use? You just mentioned oil and "flavorings."

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  The flavorings that you use are limited only by your own tastes and imagination. If you happened to have access to fresh herbs and spices, so much the better.
                                                                                  I like to finely mince garlic and herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, etc.) together in a bed of salt; I also like citrus and rosemary; and I especially like jerk spices. But I believe my favorite is simply fresh ground black pepper and kosher RealSalt (Redmonds).

                                                                                  1. re: condie

                                                                                    I like citrus, but swerve towards lime for beef and pork, lemon for chicken and fish.

                                                                                    why? who knows.

                                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                                The tenderizing effect of an acidic marinade is usually waaayyy overstated. Degree of doneness, how the meat is cut, factors in the meat itself - all of these make a much more pronounced difference to the tenderness of meat.

                                                                                Some marinades more effectively tenderize meat via enzymatic action (marinades that include raw pineapple or papaya, for example). These are more effective at tenderizing meat, though the effect is not always pleasant - meat can get sort of grainy or mushy.

                                                                            2. One other Marinade - Rub - I've only tried it once but it worked pretty well, and I will do again, (on the lesser cuts we talked about here).

                                                                              Beef Base / Powder / Cube etc works really well as a rub.

                                                                              Also, to me it's very easy to over marinate a steak - I like and hour or two more than that and what little beef flavor there is in a super market cut is gone.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: sparky403

                                                                                So you're using the term "marinade" to mean a flavoring component rather than one for tenderizing? Such different things but people tend to use it to mean both.

                                                                              2. Presently, only salt and pepper. Any extra flavoring now comes after the meat is cooked.

                                                                                In the past, I've used dry rubs and marinades that added flavor to the meat, but those rubs and marinades tended to mask the flavor of the beef and interfered with getting a good char on the meat.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                                                  I only marinate flank (in beer) & NY's (in balsamic vinegar w/crushed garlic, parsley & chopped onion) & grill em! All other steaks get grilled & seasoned w/s&p.

                                                                                2. Does anyone not marinate flank steak? If you slice thin, what's the result?

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    I use a rub on flank quite often instead of an acid marinade and find the meat perfectly fine

                                                                                    I do like to slice it thin. Too thick and it can be a little chewy

                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                      Scuba, I haven't done a flank steak in years. Grill or oven for yours? I know you are an expert grill and knife man.

                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                        Can't imagine oven. Marinate, grill til rare, slice thinly across the grain.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          No expert Veggo but I would grill or sear in cast iron on the stove. I just don't use my oven much for steaks unless I'm doing a reverse sear and using the oven to in a low slow fashion.

                                                                                    2. Mrs. G marinates while I prefer olive oil and a rub, usually pepper, seasoned salt, ancho chili powder/Cajun spices.

                                                                                      1. "Daddy Hinkles wet/dry marinade.....I've fallen off of some culinary cliff and perhaps that is something that is just "not done" by those in the know. "

                                                                                        I would have to say yes you have fallen off a culinary cliff and using some kind of pre-prepared marinade crap is just not done.

                                                                                        I will season a steak at times. but always make up a suitable seasoning mixture to go with the rest of the meal.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: echoclerk

                                                                                          I haven't tried it, but people I respect say Daddy Hinkles is pretty good stuff. Since I'm in their distribution area I plan to try it next time I grill steak.

                                                                                          If you have personal experience with it and call it crap feel free. If you're calling it crap because you're just oh too froo froo to use a prepared marinade, then, well...

                                                                                          1. re: JonParker

                                                                                            I make most things but have no problem with using mixes. We do house exchanges a lot and while I travel with a few basic seasonings, I don't hesitate to be when I need or want to.

                                                                                            1. re: JonParker

                                                                                              I am a big fan of their original flavor blend. I like to mix some into hamburgers to give them a flavor boost.

                                                                                          2. Honestly, I have never read or heard a convincing reason that expensive cuts should not be marinaded while inexpensive cuts should be. I believe it just boils down to fashion.

                                                                                            - Expensive cuts taste good on their own?
                                                                                            Yeah, and so does skirt and hanger steak, both often marinaded.

                                                                                            - Expensive cuts need less tenderization?
                                                                                            Most marinades have much less tenderizing effect than they're given credit for. If a cut tends toward toughness, the real trick is to cook and cut it right.

                                                                                            - Grilling works better on non-marinaded meat?
                                                                                            Kalbi. Fajitas. Bulgogi. Yakiniku. Kebab.

                                                                                            Eat beef however it tastes good to you. But I don't think there is any more reason to recoil at the thought of marinading a dry aged rib eye than there is to recoil at the thought of marinading a nice hanger steak.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                              I rarely "marinate" meaning to tenderize. I'll put things on the meat (liquids and solids) for flavor. I read here that people will marinate pork tenderloin. If there's ever been a cut of meat that doesn't need tenderizing, it's gotta be that. I'll put oo, lemon juice, mustard, s&p, or whatever just to add flavor to the outside of the meat.

                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                Thanks for bringing up this point as it's one I've been pondering forever now. It seems nearly every recipe with a marinade mentions tenderizing but has no enzymes which are designed to tenderize meat and actually don't really do much tenderizing at all. I don't marinate ribeye or skirt or flank usually for that matter.

                                                                                              2. The problem with marinades is that, in addition to tenderizing, it masks or overpowers the taste of the meat. I want to taste beef, not teriyaki or whatever.

                                                                                                1. I marinate my beef about a quarter of the time. (To do so, I have to think ahead--not one of my strong points.) I do so because I figure, "Hey, it couldn't hurt!" But, to tell you the truth, I rarely taste the marinade in beef or any other meat that I cook.

                                                                                                  (This is opposed to a sauce, such as barbeque sauce, painted on at the last minute before serving. I CAN taste that!) What I have read is that marinade, as opposed to a sauce or rub, only penetrates down about a quarter of an inch from the surface--hardly deep enough to impart much flavor.

                                                                                                  When I was a kid, my mother made lamb shish kabobs on special occasions and I could taste the marinade on that lamb, but then, a penetration of a quarter inch all the way around an "inch and a half by an inch and a half" cube of lamb is a much higher proportion of marinade to meat than in--say-- a flank steak.

                                                                                                  Ironically, though, I cannot taste that marinade in the lamb anymore--the difference between being 15 and being 62. But even at 15, the marinated lamb flavor was subtle.

                                                                                                  Also, frankly, I can't see much difference in the tenderness of marinated meat versus non-marinated meat. Heresy, I know, but that's my experience.

                                                                                                  Marinating is kind of like waxing your car. You know it is good for it in theory but --

                                                                                                  1. No, not a marinade for flank or skirt steak, but we do salt and epper tm and generosly anoint them with lime juice, en la estillo de mexico norte.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                      Especially a nice somewhat fatty arrachera!

                                                                                                    2. I used to be very minimalist when it came to steak when I lived at sea level in Florida. That changed when I move to New Mexico and to an altitude of 6000 feet. I couldn't get my rare steaks to come out right. Before I used to do just a dry rub of my own but that wasn't working anymore. So now I marinate. Usually a citrus and vinegar, salt or soy, and seasonings, sometimes fresh garlic, onion. Now I can have a nicely seared RARE steak, tender and juicy and tasting like a steak. Works on the grill or in the iron skillet. I even had to learn to cook rice all over again because of altitude! Lol!