To choose the best tenderloin marinade, you should keep in mind the kind of meat you are using and the flavors of the dish you want to create. Tenderloin can typically refer to either a cut of beef or pork, and you should choose marinades that best enhance the flavor of each kind of meat. You should also choose a tenderloin marinade that serves the proper function for your overall dish with complementary flavors. If you want to make a dish with barbecue flavors, for example, then a spicy or citrusy marinade might create a strange combination of flavors.
A tenderloin marinade is a liquid in which you can coat tenderloin to provide additional flavor for the meat prior to cooking. One of the first things you should consider as you look at the best tenderloin marinade for your needs is the type of tenderloin you have. Pork tenderloins and beef tenderloins may have certain attributes in common, but each has a very different taste that you should consider as you choose a marinade.
For a pork tenderloin marinade, you should look for a marinade that works well with the natural flavors of pork. These marinades often include soy sauce, brown sugar, and sherry as well as some oil and other flavors such as garlic or onion. You should generally consider what flavors you would think of in combination with pork, and choose a marinade that provides these flavors.
A beef tenderloin marinade, on the other hand, should typically include flavors that more naturally accompany or enhance the flavor of beef. These marinades often include deep, rich flavors such as red wine or barbecue sauces, as well as brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cider vinegar. While you may be able to use the same tenderloin marinade for both pork and beef, ultimately it is worthwhile to consider the properties of each type of meat when preparing a marinade.
You should also consider the overall flavor of the dish you want to make as you choose a tenderloin marinade. If you want to make tenderloin for a barbecue dish, then choose a marinade with strong, rich flavors that works well with barbecue sauce. On the other hand, if you are preparing a dish that might be better accompanied by citrus flavors, then you should choose lemon, lime, or orange zest and juice to enhance these flavors in your marinade.
If you do create a marinade with acidic elements, such as wine, vinegar, or citrus juice, then you should be sure to not over-marinate your tenderloin. The tenderloin is already a tender cut of meat that does not require much additional tenderizing. More than about two hours in the marinade can begin to make the meat too soft and ultimately mushy.