Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest culinary controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions.
Growing up, there was always a zip-top bag of raw chicken breasts cloaked in Italian dressing filed in the lowest drawer of our fridge. Later, my mom would bake or grill these chicken breasts to serve alongside a bag of Rice-A-Roni and some microwaved vegetables as a regular weeknight dinner. My mom wasn’t the greatest cook, but she believed that marinating her meat made it taste better. Marinating meat was a trend of the ’80s and ’90s that seemingly fell from fashion, as wet and dry brining became popular in the 2000s.
We’ve advocated both for marinating and against it here on Kitchn, and today we are diving deeper, exploring new insights and popular opinion on the subject of meat marinades, specifically around steaks.