How Long To Marinate Meat, Chicken, Beef, Fish

Marinating Chicken, Beef, and other meats; How Long? Other Uses for the Marinade?

A simple and flavorful addition to baking, frying, grilling, or broiling is to traditionally marinate your food; this absorbs and seals in the seasoning or sauce, making your food taste more flavorful and tasty. Depending on your taste, you can marinate any type of meat with many different types of marinades.

Marinate with Reggae Spice

You can follow a recipe or experiment with different ingredients to create a unique blend of seasonings and sauces. Marinades usually contain an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice, vinegar, wine, along with oil and spices. The acid in the ingredients is what helps soften the food, allowing the marinade to absorb into the meat. You can marinate other foods besides meat, including vegetables, tofu, and fish.

Not sure how long to marinade your food? Read further to see the marinating times for poultry, beef, and fish.

Marinating Poultry

You can marinate any part of a chicken, from its thighs to its breasts, or you can marinate a whole chicken. A useful tip is to pierce or cut the chicken with a fork, so the marinade seeps in and helps absorb the marinade. Removing the chicken’s skin also helps the marinade penetrate the insides.

Typically, marinating the chicken for two hours is enough time to let it soak up the flavor. However, you can let marinade stay in the fridge for up to two days, according to the USDA Food and Inspection Service. Take note that acidic marinades may toughen up the meat over time, so follow package directions or the recipe. 

Marinating Beef

When it comes to marinating beef, it’s best suited for tougher steak cuts, such as sirloin, round, flank, skirt, and hanger. These cuts do best in marinades of up to twenty-fours refrigerated. Be aware, you can ruin the better-quality steaks including rib-eye and porterhouse by marinating them. 

Marinating Beef with Reggae Spice

Marinating Fish

With fish and shellfish, you should only marinate for about thirty minutes to an hour, since any longer and the fish can start to “cook” and result in mushy fish.

The Do’s and Don'ts of Marinating

Here are some important dos and don’ts of marinating meat:


  • Do marinate food in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
  • Do plan ahead. Start marinating meat the night before or in the morning, if possible.
  • Do cover containers with the marinade in them.
  • Do marinate in resealable plastic bags, to help cut down on clean up and allow for even distribution of marinade. This is just a suggestion, as you can still marinate in glass, stainless steel, or plastic containers as well.
  • Don’t reuse leftover marinade for other food.
  • Don’t use marinade from raw meat or fish as a sauce unless you boil it first for several minutes. It has bacteria in raw meat.
  • Don’t marinate in foil or aluminum as a chemical reaction could spoil the food.


Reggae Spice’s Instant Marinade

If you’re looking for a marinade that doesn’t include hours of soaking your food in sauces, consider Reggae Spice’s instant wet marinade. The primary benefit of our marinades is that it cuts away all the time a traditional marinade takes; simply add one of our delicious marinades to your food and cook; the meat tastes like it’s been marinating for hours, sealing in the flavors.

Instant Wet Marinades

We know what tastes good on meat. With our worldwide-inspired seasonings, you can take your marinades to a whole new level. Whether you’re looking for the spicy taste of India with our Jamaican Curry Jerk Marinade Seasoning or teriyaki blend from Japanese cuisine, we've got you covered. Contact us today and let our marinades spice up your holidays.

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