How Long Do I Marinate That?

4 marinades in jars

How long to marinate chicken? Pork chops?  A steak?  Vegetable kebabs?  Tofu?  Many marinating questions…and you’re in the right place.  

Why Marinades are So Great

Marinades are brilliant because essentially you can take any kind of meat or fish or seafood you like, give it a dunk in the mixture and you’ve turned a plain something into a great dinner. The more delicate the protein, the less you want to marinate it, especially if it contains citrus juices which can start to “cook” the food and change its texture (eg, make it mushy).

Some Guidelines for Marinating Success

  1. The thinner the food, and the less dense the food, the less time it needs in the marinade.
  2. The more acid (citrus juice, vinegars) in the marinade, the less time the food should marinate.
  3. Unless you are marinating food for 30 minutes or less, or the food you are marinating is a non-meat item like vegetables, make sure you do it in the refrigerator.
  4. Never reuse a leftover marinade, or serve it as a sauce, because it can have harmful bacteria. If you’re using the marinade to baste, stop well before the food is cooked, so any raw meat, fish or poultry juices in the marinade have time to cook away.

How Long To Marinate Chicken? And steaks, fish, shrimp, pork, tofu, vegetables.... a breakdown of marinating timing guidelines (and marinade recipes!).Click To Tweet


How Long to Marinate:

These are some general marinating guidelines, and of course most recipes will give you specific instructions.

How Long Do I Marinate That?

How Long Do I Marinate Chicken?

  • Whole chicken: 4 to 12 hours
  • Bone-in pieces: 2 to 6 hours
  • Boneless pieces: 30 minutes to 2 hours

How Long Do I Marinate Meat?

  • Bigger roasts, such a chuck roast, pork shoulder: 2 to 8 hours
  • Tougher or larger steaks, like strip, London broil: 1 to 2 hours
  • More tender cuts of meat, like sirloin, skirt or flank steak, lamb or pork chops: 30 minutes to 1 hour

How Long Do I Marinate Fish and Seafood?

  • Filets, scallops, shrimp: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Whole fish, thick fish steaks: 30 minutes

How Long Do I Marinate Soy Products?

  • Tofu: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Seitan and tempeh: 1 to 6 hour

How Long Do I Marinate Vegetables?

  • Dense vegetables, such as carrots, squash, potatoes: 1 to 2 hours
  • Softer vegetables, such as broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes: 30 minutes to 1 hour

And now you’re off to the races.

Try these marinades:


Best Marinade in a jar

How Long Do I Marinate That?

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