It’s hard to imagine the summer season without enjoying outdoor grill parties while basking in the summer sun with family and friends. While there’s an array of ways to add flavor to your meat or vegetables, we like to follow a certain marinade formula that is sure to make your grilled food more flavorful and tender.
As you may have guessed, our marinades always include Primo Oils extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. You can easily change the flavors to suit your taste, but overall, here are the essential elements of a good marinade:
The 5 Basic Elements of a Good Marinade
- Oil (extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, canola oil, etc) The amount of oil is preferably three times the amount of the acid you’re using for the marinade. Whichever Primo olive oil you choose will be the base flavor of your marinade. For better-tasting marinade, pair the olive oil with an acid that complements the oil’s flavor
- Balsamic Vinegar As mentioned above, the amount of acid should be a third of the oil. The vinegar will help tenderize the meat, but make sure you don’t put too much that it ends up overpowering your oil’s flavor.
- Sweetener You can use honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or your preferred sweetener. The recommended sweetener for every 8 tbsp of oil is 2 to 3 tbsp of your chosen sweetener.
- Soy sauce, salt, or sea salt After the acid and sweet, of course we need something salty for our marinade. Opt for something finer (thus, soy sauce) so it can better infuse the meat or vegetables with flavor. If you use something coarse, it’s more difficult for the flavor to mix with the rest of the marinade. Other sodium-based alternatives are Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, or other forms of fine salt.
- Spices and/or herbs Your choice of herbs and spices for the marinade will depend on the flavor you want to achieve. Typically, we use black pepper, crushed pepper for a little spice. Other options can be cilantro, ginger, garlic, or onion. It really is up to you, but it’s recommended that they are either finely chopped or grated.
Leave the guesswork out of what balsamic vinegars work best with our popular olive oils. These pairings complement each other and help achieve a more flavorful marinade.
- Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar: Garlic Olive Oil or Toasted Sesame Oil
- Good with shrimp, scallops, chicken, pork, or even a vegetable kabob
- Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar and Basil Olive Oil
- Good for pork and for dressings on spinach or Caprese salads
- Harissa Olive Oil: Sicilian Lemon, Peach, or Raspberry Balsamic
- Persian Lime Olive Oil: Jalapeno, Peach, Mango, Cherry or Pineapple Balsamic
- Garlic Olive Oil: Jalapeno, Key Lime, Sicilian Lemon, or Serrano Honey Balsamic
- Chipotle Olive Oil: White Peach, Key Lime, or Mango, Balsamic
Make sure to check out our pantry items as well and you may find something to add to your party shopping list. Enjoy grilling and don’t forget to share your pictures with the Primo Oils community!