Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and tenderness. It is a versatile cut that can be cooked in many different ways, including grilling, broiling, and pan-frying.

One question that many people have when cooking flank steak is whether or not you can marinate it for too long. In this article, we will explore this question in detail.

What Is Marinating?

Marinating is the process of soaking meat in a mixture of ingredients to enhance its flavor and tenderness. This mixture typically consists of an acidic liquid, such as vinegar or citrus juice, along with various herbs and spices. The acid in the marinade helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat, making it more tender.

Can You Marinate Flank Steak Too Long?

The short answer is yes, you can marinate flank steak for too long. While marinating for longer than 24 hours can give the meat an enhanced flavor and make it more tender, over-marinating can actually have the opposite effect. The acid in the marinade can break down the proteins in the meat too much, causing it to become mushy and unappetizing.

How Long Should You Marinate Flank Steak?

For flank steak, it’s best to marinate it for 12-24 hours. This gives enough time for the flavors to penetrate the meat without overdoing it. If you’re short on time, even just a few hours of marinating can make a difference.

Tips For Marinating Flank Steak

  • Use a non-reactive container such as glass or plastic when marinating.
  • Make sure that the entire piece of meat is fully submerged in the marinade.
  • Don’t use too much acid in the marinade. A 1:1 ratio of acid to oil is a good rule of thumb.
  • Remove the steak from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels before cooking to ensure a nice sear.


In summary, marinating flank steak is a great way to enhance its flavor and tenderness. However, it’s important not to marinate it for too long, as this can cause the meat to become mushy and unappetizing.

Stick to marinating for 12-24 hours, and follow these tips for best results. Happy cooking!