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WHY MARINADE IN WHISKEY
It’s all about the flavor! Using whiskey in your marinade brings out bold flavors that you can not get with regular vinegar and oil marinades.
CAN YOU MARINATE STEAK IN ALCOHOL?
You can use alcohol such as whiskey, to marinate meat. However, it would be best to use it uncooked because alcohol affects the meat’s proteins. It causes proteins in the meat to contract and toughen. The net effect is a steak with an unpleasant brown color and a chewy surface.
The best way to add whiskey’s flavor to a marinade is by cooking the marinade down first. Simmer it in a pan until the alcohol has mostly evaporated, and the flavors of your whiskey are highly concentrated. This process will make your marinade tasty without the problems caused by alcohol.
DOES WHISKEY TENDERIZE MEAT?
Marinating meat in alcohol does not tenderize meat. Our Every Day Live explains alcohol does cause some physical changes to the steak’s muscle proteins. Like a strong acid, it breaks down the molecular bonds inside the muscle tissues and helps the proteins unwind or “denature.” Essentially, the alcohol precooks the surface of the steak. Initially, this causes a minimal degree of tenderization; then, as the steak continues to marinate, the proteins begin to contract and toughen. The net effect is a steak with an unpleasant brown color and a chewy surface.
Only slicing, pounding and cooking can tenderize meat.
CAN YOU MARINATE TOO LONG?
Whiskey is a strong flavor, and marinating too long will cause the alcohol to take over the meat’s flavor and toughen the meat. You need to have a more kiss and go relationship between meat and alcohol. Just a quick soak in a strong whiskey is enough to infuse the flavor.
If you want your meat to have a long soak in whiskey it is best to cook the marinade first.
CAN YOU COOK WITH WHISKEY?
Many chefs compare using whisky to using salt when they prepare a dish. The whiskey brings out the flavor of the food. During cooking, the alcohol’s evaporation concentrates the barley malt and then caramelizes sugars in the spirit to give your foods a unique flavor profile.
HOW TO MAKE WHISKEY MARINADE
WHAT KIND OF WHISKEY TO USE
There is an endless variety of whiskey to use in a marinade. Choose your favorite flavor profile and see which brand you like best infused into your meats and vegetables.
- ELEGANT AND FLORAL: Crown Royal or Wild Turkey 81 Proof Bourbon
- FRESH FRUIT AND VANILLA: Kentucky Old Reserve Bourbon
- DRIED FRUIT AND NUT: Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut Bourbon or Wild Turkey Rye
- MALT AND HONEY: Jack Daniels Old #7
- RICH FRUIT AND SPICE: Jim Beam Double Oak
- PEAT AND FRUIT: Johnnie Walker Sweet Peat
- MARITIME AND SMOKY: Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
- RICH AND PEATY: Johnnie Walker Double Black
JACK DANIELS MARINADE
You can use any brand of whiskey in this marinade recipe. If you are a Jack person, then, by all means, use it to infuse your marinade’s flavor into your meats. Just for fun, why not try two marinade batches, one with Jack and one with a good bourbon. See if your guest can tell the difference.
BOURBON MARINADE STEAK
When making your marinade, you can use bourbon or whiskey. The World Whiskey Day site tells us for whiskey to call itself bourbon, its mash (the mixture of grains from which the product is distilled) must contain at least 51 percent corn. The mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less, the distillate must be stored in charred new oak barrels at 125 proof or less, and it must not contain any additives.
Bourbon might give your marinade a slightly earthier flavor since it is stored in charred oak barrels. Substitute a good whiskey for equal amounts of bourbon when making your marinade.
WHAT MEAT CAN I MARINATE IN WHISKEY MARINADE
- All cuts of beef steaks
- Large beef roasts
- Wild game
HOW TO PREP THE MEAT BEFORE YOU MARINADE (The big secret to a great marinated steak!)
To infuse the most flavor into a piece of meat, pierce the steak thoroughly with a skewer or score it with shallow cuts. This will help the flavors of your marinade penetrate the meat.
After marinating, be sure to wipe the steak dry before grilling by patting with a paper towel piece. This will ensure the steak browns properly, forming a crust outside, sealing the flavors into the meat.
TIPS FOR USING THE JACK DANIELS MARINADE WITH VEGETABLES
Vegetables are better to marinate after they have been cooked. Roasting softens the veggies and allows the marinate to penetrates them easily. You will be able to easily infuse the whiskey, herbs, and spices into your vegetables. Raw root veggies, such as carrots and beets, do not draw in the marinade flavor as well, so it is best to add your marinade ofter cooking. Some veggies, such as zucchini and summer squash, can be marinated either before or after roasting.
Place the roasted vegetables in a glass or plastic bowl. Avoid metal containers, which may react to the marinade’s acids and produce off-flavors or discolor the veggies. Pour the marinade over the veggies and allow them to soak for an hour or more.
Reheat the veggies before serving, if desired, or serve them cold.
WHAT TO MARINADE MEAT IN
You want to be sure all your meat is covered in the marinade so I like to use Ziploc Marinade Bags. They are large enough for several pounds of meat and I am able to shake the bag easily throughout the marinade time.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU MARINADE MEAT?
After you properly prepare your meat for a marinade bath, place the meat and marinade in a zip lock bag. Marinate as follows:
- steaks – 1 hour
- chicken – 30 minutes
- fish – 30 minutes
- large cuts such as roast – 24 hours
- wild game – 24 hours
- vegetables after cooking
If you need to store your marinated, uncooked meat for longer than a few hours, it’s usually better to package and freeze it.
WHAT TO SERVE WHISKEY MARINADE MEATS WITH
- Bacon and Whiskey BBQ Sauce Keep the Whisky coming; top your marinated meat with this sauce, and you will become a superstar cook at your next BBQ.
- Grilled Corn In Husk This is a great side dish to go with grilled meats.
- Salted Maple Whiskey Caramels: For dessert, serve these little caramels with some sipping whiskey.
MORE SAUCE & MARINADES RECIPES
- Spicy Cashew Cream Sauce Dressing Recipe (Vegan)
- Bacon and Whiskey BBQ Sauce
- Spicy Orange and Coffee BBQ Sauce
- Lemon Pepper Marinade
Whiskey Steak Marinade
- 1/3 cup whiskey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon rind grated
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until brown sugar is dissolved.
- Place marinade in a saucepan and simmer until the alcohol has largely evaporated about 3 minutes.
- Allow marinade to cool to room temperature.
- Pierce the meat your plan to marinate thoroughly with a skewer or score it with shallow cuts using a sharp knife.
- Place marinade and meat into a ziplock bag. Marinate beef or pork for 1 hour. Chicken and fish for 30 minutes.
- Remove meat from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel before grilling.