Marinating a flank steak is a great way to infuse it with flavor and make it more tender. But how long should you marinate it for? The answer is not as simple as you might think.

There are several factors that can affect the length of time you should marinate a flank steak for, including the thickness of the cut, the acidity of the marinade, and your personal preference for flavor intensity.

Thickness of the Cut

The thickness of your flank steak will play a significant role in determining how long you need to marinate it. A thinner cut of meat will absorb flavors more quickly than a thicker cut. For example, a flank steak that is 1/4 inch thick may only need to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, while a thicker steak that is 1 inch thick may need to marinate for several hours or overnight.

Acidity of the Marinade

The acidity level of your marinade will also impact how long you should marinate your flank steak. Marinades that contain acidic ingredients like citrus juice or vinegar can break down the muscle fibers in meat and make it more tender. However, if you marinate your steak in an acidic marinade for too long, it can actually start to toughen up and become mushy.

For an acidic marinade, we recommend marinating your flank steak for no more than 2-3 hours. If you want to let it sit overnight or longer, choose a marinade with low acidity like soy sauce or beer.

Your Personal Preference

Ultimately, how long you choose to marinate your flank steak comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer a milder flavor and may only want to marinate their steak for an hour or two. Others may want a stronger flavor and opt to let their steak soak in the marinade overnight.

It’s important to note that while marinating can add flavor and tenderize meat, it won’t necessarily make a tough cut of meat more tender. If you’re working with a particularly tough flank steak, you may want to consider using a meat mallet to physically tenderize the meat before marinating it.


In summary, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you should marinate a flank steak. The thickness of your steak, the acidity of your marinade, and your personal preference all play a role in determining the optimal marinating time.

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend marinating your flank steak for at least 30 minutes and no more than 2-3 hours for an acidic marinade. However, feel free to experiment with different marinades and cooking times until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds.