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Your first consideration when choosing the best lemon marinade usually comes down to flavor, but you may have other considerations as well. If a lemon marinade requires specialized equipment or hard to find exotic ingredients, you are less likely to use it, no matter how delicious it may be. Preparation and resting time may make some lemon marinade recipes impractical for you as well. A ready to use marinade is another option that saves time, but often costs much more and gives you less control over the outcome.
The first and best reason for choosing a lemon marinade is taste. Your choice will also depend on the meat or vegetables being used. Generally vegetables, poultry and fish match well with light flavors, while pork and red meat work best with a stronger marinade. The best way to find your favorite is simple trial and error.
Recipes are often developed by chefs with access to professional kitchens, and some include recipes made with the restaurant in mind, not the home kitchen. Some of these recipes produce amazing results, but you can also find great marinades which require nothing more advanced than a good knife and a shallow dish. Avoid lemon marinade recipes which would require you to purchase new appliances or specialized equipment.
Unusual ingredients can also make your marinade more difficult. Again, some professional chefs like to play with exotic flavors and may choose ingredients not available in your local supermarket. Even when unusual ingredients are available, price may make you think twice before using them. Feel free to experiment with ingredients, but make sure you can find everything you need to try out your new lemon marinade.
You are likely to make a few changes as you experiment, adding a little more of one ingredient, substituting another. Take a moment to record these changes, so that you can recreate the same marinade later. It can be extremely frustrating to create a recipe that you love, and forget the ingredients when you try to recreate it later.
Any lemon marinade begins with lemon juice as a key ingredient. Most recipes will recommend using fresh lemons, and some also call for the zest, or shaved peel, of the lemon as well. Some recipes call for quite a lot of juice, and you may opt for bottled lemon juice instead. You also have the option of using one fresh lemon for juice and zest, then adding bottled juice to the required volume.
If time is a factor, pre-made, ready to use marinades are also available in most supermarkets. Using a bottle of lemon marinade saves you the time and bother of making your own, but usually at a higher cost. Typically, you can make your own marinade with similar ingredients and similar flavor for a fraction of the price.