While it's a myth that marinades penetrate deep into meat (they mostly remain on the surface), they’re still excellent flavor enhancers. Toss your steak in a marinade, like lemon and garlic or a basic balsamic vinaigrette, while you cut vegetables and then throw everything on the grill. You can also tenderize your meat in a marinade with ingredients such as pineapple, which contains an enzyme that breaks down meat’s tough fibers over time. Use Food & Wine's guide to marinades for recipes with all of your favorite flavor combinations.
That canned pineapple juice isn’t good for just piña coladas. Here it’s combined with soy, vinegar and garlic in the tastiest marinade for pork, chicken, beef and even swordfish and salmon.
Slideshow:More Marinade Recipes
Chef JJ Johnson of The Cecil in Harlem, New York marinates the chicken thighs for his fried chicken sandwich in Piri Piri, a spicy Portuguese sauce, for an extra layer of flavor before breading and pan frying.
This fantastic herb sauce from Seattle chef Renee Erickson is delicious on so many things, like canned sardines, grilled or poached fish, roast chicken and smashed and fried potatoes.
Slideshow: Cooking with Herbs