Make the most of your money at this year’s 4th of July BBQ – News & Stories
As social distancing restrictions are lifted, people are gearing up for Independence Day barbecues and barbecues and, as always, looking for bargains.
If you’re on a budget this July 4, Stacy Zuelly, officially an assistant professor of animal science but informally known as the resident master grill, offered some tips on stretching your money.
If you want to go the traditional route and grill meat products, Zuelly said lower-quality, lower-cost meats can do well on the grill when paired with the right marinade.
“You can marinate the meat to tenderize it a lot, if you know your marinades,” she added, which luckily Zuelly does.
There are three categories of marinades; dairy products, acids and tropical fruits. Dairy marinades, which commonly use buttermilk or yogurt, often have less flavor and don’t tenderize much. Acidic marinades, made from vinegar or citrus fruits, help break down meat and tenderize it. Meat can stay in an acidic marinade for up to 12 hours. The best marinades, however, for tenderizing meats are those with tropical fruits, especially pineapple, kiwi, papaya, or figs. However, the meat should only stay in these marinades for 4 hours or less, as too much marinade can cause excessive protein breakdown and result in a mushy texture.
“Besides offering a great taste and being somewhat sour, these four fruits have a natural enzyme that really breaks down meat proteins,” Zuelly explained. “Do you know how your mouth feels crusty sometimes after eating pineapple or kiwi?” It is because of this enzyme.