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Yogurt vs Buttermilk

Ellen aka GormayEllen aka Gormay Posts: 63
edited 6:34PM in EggHead Forum
I have read on the forum, how buttermilk can tenderize, allow seasonings to penetrate and adhere to meat and poultry. I often substitute low fat yogurt when buttermilk is called for in baking with excellent results. I find the small containers of yogurt convenient and don't have to throw away unused buttermilk. Of course, a marinade requires much more buttermilk than a bread or cake so waste would be less of an issue. Does anyone know if yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk in a BBQ marinade?[p]TIA,[p]Ellen


  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Ellen aka Gormay,
    I think that both yogurt and buttermilk have the same ability to tenderize.
    Both Yogurt and Buttermilk are cultured milk products, except I think that they use different strains of bacteria. The end result is that the bacteria create Lactic Acid. I think that this what tenderizes the meat.[p]Indian cooking uses yogurt to marinate meat. [p]Give both a try see if you can tell a difference. [p]Also, if I am totally off-base here please correct me.[p]Hope this Helps,
    RhumAndJerk[p]PS: I learned something researching this topic. I thought that buttermilk was a fresh milk product with lots of cream.[p]

  • RhumAndJerk, clue me in here, but a recipe that has been in our family for years reads "...1 pint of buttermilk (ok to substitute homemade buttermilk by adding one teaspoon vinegar to a pint of whole milk" The cookies always come out wonderful, but I wonder if this substiyution could be used in a pinch for ribs or whatever?

  • RhumAndJerk,
    When I was very young my favorite foods included milk and butter, so it stood to reason that buttermilk would be extra special. I had conjured up the ideal drink in my head and when I tried it I was greatly disappointed. It wasn't anything close to what I had thought it would be. Late in life I am learning why things are as they are. Your shared research is most welcome here because I still have a lot to learn.[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]There's a powdered buttermilk made from real cultured buttermilk that I have used both in baking and soaking poultry in. The brand I have is Saco and it can be found in any decent size grocery store with a reasonable baking products section. You have to refrigerate it after opening it. For 1 cup of buttermilk you use 4 Tablespoons. I never buy real buttermilk anymore because I would only use the cup I needed in the recipe I was trying and eventually have to throw the rest out. Try it sometime !

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    I am staring to get out of my league here, but I will take a stab at it.
    Vinegar is an acid and I think that by adding it to fresh milk you are adding the property that you are looking for in buttermilk when baking.[p]I am guessing,

  • q person,[p]I actually like the taste of buttermilk. I drink up what's left in the carton after I make a marinade. My southern grandmother used to serve us the stuff on her farm.

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Ellen aka Gormay,
    Buttermilk is the liquid left after churning out the butter. There is no acid created by fermentation as in yogurt. My guess is that after removing the butter, one lowers the pH because the buffering capacity of the fat and solids is now gone. I'd be curious to know what the pH of buttermilk is. From its taste, I don't think it would be anywhere near the acidity of yogurt or vinegar. My guess is that buttermilk and yogurt (or vinegar) work in different manners. My 0.02.

  • char buddy ,[p]No thanks ! Not me ! Guess that's because of the southern grandmother I didn't have.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,387
    Your post sounded right to me, from what I remembered. Turns out you be true...true.
    Found this link with some decent info.[p]Beers on you.

    [ul][li]About Yogurt[/ul]
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • RhumAndJerk,[p]I thank you and everyone else for all the info. After I sent the original post, I did remember that yogurt is often used as a marinade in Indian cooking as was mentioned in a response. It rings true that buttermilk and yogurt are produced differently, but possibly their enzymatic (is that a word?) effect is similar when used in this manner. To avoid wasting buttermilk, I do keep the dried in my freezer for baking purposes. I use it judiciously as I find it has a chemical flavor that often is overpowering. In a strongly flavored bread or cake it is usually not noticable and therefore acceptable. I had not thought of using the powdered product in a marinade, but it is definitely worth trying in a pinch![p]Thanks again![p]Ellen
  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    I thought the same thing, so I looked a little farther.[p]Check out the link below.[p]From another website on making butter, "But, for the best results it is important to set the cream out for twelve to twenty four hours to allow it to sour. Although butter can be made from unsoured whipping cream, it is usually bland in flavor. " [p]I think that we are all on the same page here.[p]Learning too much now,

    [ul][li]Making Buttermilk[/ul]
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Thanks for the reference. That certainly allows for fermentation and increased acidity.

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Ellen aka Gormay, I don't know about subsituting but I did find a receipe for Spiced Yogurt Marinade it says to use for beef or lamb.[p]Marv

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