Marinating is a popular technique used to infuse flavor into meats, and flank steak is no exception. But how long can you marinate flank steak before it becomes too tough or spoiled? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to that question and provide some tips for marinating flank steak.
What is Flank Steak?
Before we dive into the marinating process, let’s first understand what flank steak is. Flank steak is a cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a lean cut of meat with long muscle fibers that run parallel to each other.
Why Marinate Flank Steak?
Flank steak can be a tough cut of meat if not properly prepared. Marinating helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. The acidic ingredients in marinades, such as vinegar or citrus juice, help to break down the muscle fibers, making them more tender.
How Long Can You Marinate Flank Steak?
The length of time you should marinate flank steak depends on a few factors, including the ingredients in your marinade and the thickness of your steak. In general, you can marinate flank steak for up to 24 hours.
If your marinade contains acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice, it’s best not to exceed 12 hours as the acid can start to break down the meat too much. For thicker steaks (more than 1 inch thick), you can marinate for longer periods as they take longer for the flavors to penetrate through.
Tips for Marinating Flank Steak:
- Use a glass or plastic container when marinating – avoid using metal containers as they can react with acidic marinades
- Make sure your steak is completely submerged in the marinade – use enough liquid to cover all sides
- Flip the steak occasionally while marinating – this helps to ensure even marination on all sides
- Don’t reuse leftover marinade – discard any unused marinade as it may contain bacteria from the raw meat
- Pat the steak dry before cooking – excess moisture can prevent a good sear on the meat
Marinating flank steak is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to this lean cut of meat. While you can marinate for up to 24 hours, it’s best not to exceed 12 hours if your marinade contains acidic ingredients. Follow these tips for a successful and delicious marinated flank steak.