Mix Italian Dressing with Barbecue Sauce for the Perfect Marinade for Any Meat

My father never cooked a meat without some kind of marinade. He always used a slew of ingredients: salt, pepper, Season-All, Cajun seasoning, vinegar, olive oil, liquid smoke, Worcestershire, hot sauce, onions, lemons… I’m pretty sure this isn’t a complete list, but I’ve honestly forgotten the rest! It always tasted amazing, but the long list of ingredients was definitely a detriment whenever replicating the marinade.

One day, we were out of vinegar and he asked me to grab some Italian dressing instead; I was surprised when I couldn’t taste the difference despite the substitution. The same thing happened when he substituted barbecue sauce instead of liquid smoke… and that’s when the wheels in my head started turning. Using these two ingredients, I would be able to create something close to my father’s famous marinade—with far less hassle and only two ingredients!

Source: These Two Items Make the Only Meat Marinade You’ll Ever Need

The easiest way in the world to bake chicken is literally just put the chicken in a pyrex, dump a bunch of Italian dressing on it, and put it in the oven.

I was dubious about how this could work for so many types of meat, but the article explains the different marinating ratios. I’ll have to try this at my next cookout, which should be soon given the fair weather we’ve been having.

Avoid Olive Oil In Your Wok (and Other Wok Cooking Tips)

As Martin Yan always says: “It’s stir-fry, not stare-fry”.

High heat, loud sizzles, and a fast-paced, constant rocking motion. No, we’re not describing a summer blockbuster—we’re talking about cooking in a wok.

Watching vegetables, meat, and aromatics go from raw to crisp in seconds makes stir-frying in a wok a wicked way to cook. Yet so often, cooking in a wok reduces ingredients to a floppy, goopy mess. Why? Because we tend to treat woks like they’re skillets. And they’re not.

Source: How to Master Cooking With a Wok

Some other oil options, with respect to smoke point:

  • Raw coconut oil tops out ~350 F, but refined coconut oil is just over 400 F
  • Avocado oil is 375-400 F

…but sometimes you want to have a little oil smoke for flavor.  Maybe not good for your health, but so tasty…

How does the “marinade but keep dry” thing work?

If it’s meat, take it out of the marinade with some tongs and let it drip dry for a few seconds and before putting it in the wok. If you’re using sauce on veggies, put it in at the last possible second – just long enough to heat it up.

Marinade: Rules for Use and Re-Use

When you cook meat or fish, you should never reuse “raw” marinade. With tofu, though, the marinade doesn’t have the same health risks. Re-add the marinade to your tofu dish at the end of cooking for more of the recipe’s flavor.

  • You should not store a marinade that’s been used for raw meat.  If you use a raw-meat marinade in a sauce, you should cook it (and anything that touches it) immediately, and thoroughly.
  • If you are cooking the marinade in the sauce, it is no longer “raw” – this can be reused.

On a related note, see this article for tips about grilling/broiling tofu.

This for That: Cooking & Baking Substitutes

Direct link to infographic.

Some stuff seems OK – it breaks out the component ingredients for things that are frequently bought as a combination, like poultry seasoning. The rest, though? They are not even close and would produce an entirely different thing in a lot of cases.  But then, that’s typically the challenge when trying to “veganize” and/or make a recipe gluten free for example.

…or you could just buy the actual ingredients 😉

Steak: 10 Rubs and Marinades

Youtube, 6:07 minutes.  The video is pretty, but doesn’t give portioning or summarize – details are on the web page.

Once again, we’ve asked our friend Chef Frank Deloach to help us think of 10 exceptional ways to season steak to add flavor without adding fat. Directions? Combine ingredients, rub all over your gorgeously marbled beef slabs (think Ribeye, Strip and Sirloin) and pop it in the fridge (two hours max) to soak up all those beautiful flavors. Cook in cast-iron skillet to desired doneness. Easy peasy. Tip: For the juiciest steak possible, salt your beef after you’ve cooked it.

Source: 10 Fancy Steak Rubs and Marinades That Go Beyond Salt and Pepper

  • Tex Mex
  • Kalbi
  • Spanish
  • Kung Pao
  • Brazil
  • Montreal
  • North Africa
  • English Pub
  • Carne Asada
  • Malaysian

Cast iron and an oven to finish is the goal.  Most real chefs use a salamander, but will use a skillet/oven combo if they don’t have that particular piece of equipment.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with a grill.