Did You Know That You Can Use Pineapple Juice In Your Marinades?

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We know the amazing qualities that soda can give to your marinade. The acidic quality of a lemon-lime soft drink is the reason why many Pinoy barbecue marinades are so delicious. 

However, if you're wary of using soda in your marinade for any number of reasons, there's a great substitute that you can use that's just as effective and might even be more flavorful than that can of lemon-lime soda. What's great about this substitute is you can also find it in a can in any supermarket or even sari-sari store: pineapple juice.  

How does pineapple accomplish the same things that soda can? When you add pineapples to your meat marinade, it does a few things to your marinade: 

Photo by Kai Huang

1 Pineapple juice adds flavor. 

Pineapple juice gives fantastic flavor to marinades. It's got a sweetness and a tanginess that is wonderful when paired with other ingredients, especially when those ingredients are salty such as soy sauce. These marinades are great when used to not only marinate the meat dishes but also reduced to create a glaze that adds to the flavor of the marinated meat. 

Photo by At Maculangan
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2 Pineapple juice tenderizes the meat.  

Pineapples are natural tenderizers of meat. What makes pineapples so perfect as a natural meat tenderizer? Pineapples have this enzyme that can break down the strands in meat. 

This is a good thing that can become a bad thing. It's good when the meat has been marinating for just enough time for the meat to break down but not too long that meat has broken down to a mush. This can happen because the enzymes in pineapples don't stop doing its job until you cook it to neutralize those same enzymes. Heat is what will stop the tenderizing process for pineapples marinades. 

That's why it's important that no matter what marinade you make, you need to watch the marinating time, especially when the marinade contains an acidic ingredient like pineapple juice. Even pineapple juice, which has been treated somewhat so it can withstand a longer shelf life than usual, is still acidic enough to make it into a powerful tenderizing agent. 


To maximize the marination time of a marinade with pineapple juice, let your meat marinate for as little as an hour and as much as three hours per kilo of meat you're marinating so you get the full benefit of the flavors the marinade offers as well as the tenderizing qualities it also has. 

Now that you know what you can do to make your meat as tender as it can be without making mush of your meat, grab a can of pineapple juice (or make your own!) and start making incredibly delicious marinated meats straight away.  


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