T Nation

Marinating Tips


Hey guys,

Whenever I marinate meat I feel like it never really retains any of the flavor. I want to make some pesto chicken this week and want to know which way you guys think I should do it. How do you guys make sure your marinade actually gets into the meat and flavors it? Also, what are some other marinade recommendations you have?

Do you think I should marinate the chicken for a night, and then just pan-grill it, or do you think I'm better off baking it in the oven in the pesto sauce?


I would marinate that bad boy over night. Pan frying with med heat makes for better flavor I think.


Jacarding the meat will help the marinade soak in. It also helps the protein cook faster.

If the marinade has alcohol in it, cook it off before using as a marinade. Alcohol is not a tenderizer, but it will partially cook the meat.

White meats need to be marinaded longer than red meats. Usually overnight vs. a couple of hours.


Last year my boyfriend and I made steaks using this marinade recipe:


We used the second one, Disco's Hot and Tangy, and it was DELICIOUS. While the steaks are on the grill you cook down the marinade and it becomes a thick dipping sauce, mmmm. Did some steaks and made steak sandwiches with roasted red peppers, and had the other steaks with some asparagus and shell macaroni and cheese. So so so good.

I made them a few weeks later for my family and they loved it! That's where the pic is from.


Yeah if its chicken then just marinate it over night. If it's a good steak, all you have to do rub some seasoning on it since it will already be tender and delicious.


Question: If you're using pesto as the primary flavor (pesto is especially strong), why are you bothering to marinate the chicken? You're marinade is likely to be lost in the pesto taste.

I do pesto [fish/chicken] often. No marinade necessary (IMO).

In general, I prefer a salt dry rub or briny marinade overnight for meats including fish. The saltyness insures penetration into the meat.

Here's some of my stuff:


Like others said marinading overnight is your best bet.. I also like to cut the chicken in thinner strips first.. seems to soak up more of the flavor that way.


Steely is correct. The saltier the marinade, the better the flavor will come out after cooking.


Thanks for your tips guys. My plan is to do pesto chicken, and then pasta with pesto sauce, so it's pretty much a pesto dish.

I dislike when the pasta tastes good, but then the chicken tastes dry and unflavored but the sauce just overpowers the taste of the chicken. I prefer the chicken to actually taste good.