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optimal vacuum marinating?

 
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ddmcc



Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: optimal vacuum marinating? Reply with quote

According to the Food Saver folks, their vacuum sealer pulls the air out and opens the pores of the food so it better absorbs the marinade. They claim the process is so much faster, 20 minutes of vacuum marinating is equivalent to an standard non-vacuumed overnight one.

If you buy that one, and I see no reason to doubt it yet since it's worked for me, my question is - is there a way to calculate the saturation point's upper time limit?

In my years of marinating experience with the Food Saver, 20 minutes ain't long enough. 1-2 days seems optimal for something like baby back ribs, 2-3 days for chicken parts. After that, the meat starts to taste a little funny.

I was curious to know if there is an easy way to calculate the optimal marinating time to maximize flavor, based on pressure, food mass/weight, how effective the marinade is at breaking down tissue, etc.

What's the point when, regardless of how long the food sits in a vacuum marinating environment, the food won't absorb any more? Is there an optimal thickness for the food? Would marinating a pot roast would be pretty useless because the marinade can penetrate only so deep?

Too many questions?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any of the vacuum/sealer gadgets - but I did trip over this recently. it's an interesting read on marinades for flavor and tenderness and "how not to go overboard"

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/marinades-flavor-tenderize.aspx
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ddmcc



Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link. I keep forgetting about dairy as an effective marinade. And it's nice to learn about how and why of the different classes of marinades.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the article especially good in light of the "marinade for x hours" so "if x hours is good, xyz days must be better" theory.

in particular the "funky" chicken may be explained by the article - when I'm in a to-the-nines mood I get buttermilk for chicken. a very noticeable difference I've found - I cringe at buying a quart just to soak the chicken then toss.... so I don't do it all the time.

good steaks I like to use an oil/vinegar - red wine or cider, salt, pepper, sprinkling of garlic + onion powder. 2-3 hours works great and I usually don't have a problem planning that time frame (heh, takes the charcoal an hour....) but on crunch days I guess a faster method would be beneficial.
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ddmcc



Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I marinade for flavor instead of tenderizing, my practices and results have been a little different.

I did find that 20 minutes vacuum marinade (=overnight) was waaaay not enough for me. Over the years, I tried different time lengths (2 hours - 5 days) until I found the ones I liked for the different meats.

My basic recipe for country pork ribs (1-3 days):
- brandy
- maple syrup
- apple cider vinegar
- garlic
- soy sauce
- ginger sauce
- honey mustard
- brown sugar

and chicken legs/thighs (2-3 days):
- white/rose wine
- lemon slices
- apple cider vinegar
- garlic
- soy sauce
- ginger sauce
- honey mustard

are apparently not so denaturing. It takes days before they make the meats funky, but even after the longest time frame, I don't detect any toughening or mushiness, just a not quite right flavor.

After many years of thinking they weren't worth the cost, I recently purchased baby back ribs; marinated them for 3 days, charcoal grilled on my little Weber. OMG, so tender and flavorful.

Gotta go. Time to get something to marinate - now! :)
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Cheff Wannabee



Joined: 06 Feb 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Elsie, Mi.

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Vacuum marinating Reply with quote

For best effect, vacuum marinating needs to be a two step process and it winds up being an instant marinate. First, put something in your vacuum container to support the meat off the bottom. Place meat on support. Apply vacuum until juice stops dripping. Let air back in. Your meat is now drained of its juices. Remove meat and support, drain container. Place meat on bottom of container without support. Add marinade till it covers the meat. Apply vacuum until the bubbles stop. Let the air back in. Done. The meat was just marinated under the force of 14.7 psi air pressure. The meat in now saturated with marinade and is ready for the grill or pan. When my guests ask how long I marinated the meat, they flip when I tell them ten seconds which is about how long it is from vacuum to the grill. They usually don't believe me until I demonstrate it.

Happy Marinating!
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