Marinating Meat the Right Way

Marinades can make already-delicious meat more flavorful. They can also help with the tenderization process, thanks to the vinegar, citrus, and other components that help break through those protein fibers.  While marinating meat seems pretty straightforward, it’s actually a science 一 and an art. So if you want to get the best dish possible, then make sure to follow these tips on marinating meat the right way. 

Use the Right Ratio

According to experts, the best marinade should include two core ingredients portioned perfectly: three parts oil and one part acid (vinegar or lemon juice). 

From there, add salt and pepper, as well as the herbs and spices you want. Tasty examples include garlic, onions, parsley, thyme, and shallots, to name a few.

If desired, you can add sugar and honey to add some sweetness to your marinade.

Keep it Cool

Meat should be marinated in the fridge, not at room temperature. Throw your meat inside a gallon-sized freezer storage bag and let it marinate according to the info below.

Timing Should Be Right

Depending on what meat you plan on using, experts recommend marinating them at these durations:

  • Skirt or flank steak: 2-4 hours
  • Top sirloin or sirloin tip: overnight 

Avoid exceeding the suggested time limits, as the marinade will end up overpowering the meat’s natural flavor.

Tip: When it comes to New York strip, tenderloin, and ribeye meats, private chefs recommend not marinating them at all. Since they’re very tender, they just need salt and pepper一that’s pretty much it!

Be Careful in Reusing the Marinade

It could be tempting to reuse the marinade, especially if you’re still left with a great deal of volume. But if you’re planning to do so, make sure to boil it first! Remember: it came in contact with raw meat and, as such, may be swimming with harmful microorganisms.

Better safe than sorry!

Cutting steak with knife and fork
Marinated Steak


Marinating meat may seem easy, but you need to be mindful if you want to get the best flavor (and avoid illness along the way.) By marinating meat the right way, you will garner many accolades from your guests!

Basically, the same caution applies when picking meat. Learn more about the best steaks to marinate by checking this Carnivore post

Happy grilling, baking, or pan-searing!


Published By Michael Casciello