Marinating flank steak is a great way to add flavor and tenderize the meat. But how long does it take for the marinade to work its magic? The answer to this question can vary depending on a few factors.
Factors That Affect Marinating Time:
- The thickness of the steak
- The acidity of the marinade
- The desired level of flavor
Thickness of the Steak:
The thickness of your flank steak will play a significant role in how long you need to marinate it. The thicker the steak, the longer it will take for the marinade to penetrate and flavor the meat fully.
A good rule of thumb is to marinate one hour for every inch of thickness. For example, if your flank steak is two inches thick, you should marinate it for at least two hours.
Acidity of the Marinade:
The acidity level in your marinade will also impact how long you should let your flank steak marinate. Marinades that are high in acid, such as those containing citrus juice or vinegar, will break down the meat’s fibers faster than less acidic marinades. These types of marinades require less time to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor.
Desired Level of Flavor:
The amount of time you marinate your flank steak also depends on the level of flavor you want to achieve. If you’re looking for a mild flavor, just an hour or two may be sufficient. But if you want a more intense flavor profile, consider marinating overnight or up to 24 hours.
Tips for Marinating Flank Steak:
- Always use a non-reactive container like glass or plastic when marinating beef.
- Make sure that all sides of the steak are coated in the marinade.
- Refrigerate your marinating steak to keep it at a safe temperature.
- Don’t reuse marinade that has come into contact with raw meat. Discard it and make a fresh batch for basting or serving.
The length of time you should marinate your flank steak depends on the thickness of the meat, acidity level of your marinade, and desired flavor intensity. A good rule of thumb is to marinate one hour for every inch of thickness.
However, if you want a more intense flavor profile, consider marinating overnight or up to 24 hours. Regardless of how long you choose to marinate your flank steak, always follow safe food handling practices and discard any used marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.