I cut the oil way down in most of my marinades, and it does not seem to make a difference. I make a pork tenderloin that calls for six TBS of oil, and I do it with two. Tastes exactly the same. As someone else said, the oil is frequently there to keep the meat from sticking to the grill, so you may have to brush your grill with oil if you lower the amount significantly.
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If it's a marinade for grilled food it also helps to keep the food from sticking on the grill. I often cut back unless the oil adds flavor - like sesame oil or chili oil. Unless you use the marinade as a sauce it may not add much calories.
Oil helps with flavor, keeping the product moist, and tenderizing whatever is in it.
If you calculate by weight, you can get very accurate. The number of calories you would get from the oil in a marinade is going to be pretty insignificant. I calculated it out once, and for a recipe that called for 1/4 cup of oil, it ended up being about a teaspoon and a half (1.5) per each chicken leg, with quite a bit of it left over.
Unless you are on a fat restricted diet for medical reasons, I wouldn't worry about it much, especially if it is healthier fats, such as olive oil.
Edited by: WHOLENEWME79 at: 4/21/2014 (22:16)
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Anyone know why so much oil is often called for? Can it be eliminated entirely or reduced significantly? How do you calculate how many calories to add to the prepared food when using a marinade? Thanks everyone for your help.
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