When cooking meat, marinating is a frequent technique. However, what's the optimal amount of time that one should marinate your meat? Is it different for different kinds of meat? What are some guidelines, generally, for marinating meat in different circumstances? E.g. when preparing steaks for grilling, or chicken for baking, or cubed beef for stir-frying, what are optimal times for marinating?
Yes, optimal time to keep meat in a marinade varies drastically. It depends on the type of meat, the cut of meat, the marinade, and the intention. For instance, Sauerbraten is traditionally marinated for at least three days. On the other hand, there are many applications that call for very short time in the marinade. "Velveting" is common in Chinese cooking, that's a marinade of 30 minutes or less. The variations of techniques concerning marinade are endless.