You need just two things to make a marinade versatile enough for any meat, fish or other food: a bottle of Italian salad dressing and a bottle of barbecue sauce. Sure, you could make your own marinades with many of the ingredients in those prepackaged bottles, but this is the quick and easy solution. WonderHowTo explains why this works:
A marinade is defined as a "sauce," typically made of oil, vinegar, spices and herbs in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavour and soften or "tenderize" it. These two ingredients serve both purposes:
- Tenderize: Salad dressings contain acids like vinegar and lemon juice; these ingredients aid in softening meat fibres — which is especially important with less expensive cuts of meat. Additionally, the oil in salad dressing also helps maintains the moisture and tenderness of the meat during cooking.
- Flavour: Barbecue sauces come in a variety of seasonings, smokiness levels, sweetness levels, and heat. When you allow your protein to marinate in barbecue sauce before cooking, your result is exponentially more flavorful than brushing the sauce on during or after cooking.
Plus, you get the sweet and sour combination that can make food sing. The ratio of BBQ sauce to Italian dressing should be adjusted, however, based on what you're cooking. Beef and pork, for example, can stand up to more BBQ sauce, as opposed to more delicately flavoured seafood.
Check out the link below for suggested ratios and how to use the marinade. And add Italian salad dressing and barbecue sauce to your list of things you should keep in the pantry for convenient cooking.