Let's assume that cooking time is to be ignored. And storing marinade to give it time to "work itself" is not part of the process.

From a taste perspective would it be better to marinade for it maximum time (let's say a day) then cook it and store it till next day to be reheated.
Marinade meat for shortest time possible (let's say 15 minutes), cook and store for two or three days?

On one hand we have marinade that have longer time to interact with surface of the meat making "different" coating around the meat during cooking. On the other hand we have much more marinate taste in the dish that further react with cooked meat during storage.

My question come from meal prepping. Would it be better to store ready meals for 5 days or to have ingredients prepared in advance and spend just few minutes cooking before each day.

I'm ignoring argument that preparing fresh each day allow me to differentiate each meal.

Additional info: let say the main meat is pork in fine cuts for searing and stir-frying. Chicken for oven-baking (but I usually store it after with some veggies and rice to keep the moisture in).

Edition: By "marinating" after cooking I had in mind keeping the meat in the sauce that is created.

  • What are you preparing with the meat? Steaks, or something else? The answer will differ depending on whether the meat gets stored as dry slabs after preparation, is part of a dry dish (say you have made an oven-baked dish of meat pieces embedded in rice) or part of a wet dish (e.g. braised meat, or a stew).
    – rumtscho
    Oct 27, 2020 at 11:46
  • 1
    Are you re-using the same marinade, or are you putting the cooked meat back into the marinade that had been used for the raw meat? Because that second one is a really bad idea.
    – Joe
    Oct 27, 2020 at 13:27
  • @Joe No, The idea is to marinade either the whole batch. Or make different marinades for each day. Store cooked meat in different containers. Oct 27, 2020 at 13:33
  • 2
    This may be semantics, but does "marinating after cooking" stop being a marinade and become a sauce?
    – AMtwo
    Oct 27, 2020 at 16:20
  • Marinades usually make lousy post-cooking flavorings. They are often too strong, too salty.
    – GdD
    Oct 27, 2020 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Marinades are surface treatments. However, many marinades contain salt. Salt does penetrate proteins. Over time, you will get a more "cured" flavor and texture. So, your pork might begin to resemble the structure of a cured or brined pork product. You may or may not want this result. On the other hand, some marinades contain ingredients that denature proteins and impact the texture of the product in a way that makes them more "mushy" over time. For these reasons, I would marinade for the prescribed time, then cook...then store (not in the marinade, and especially not in the same marinade that was used for raw proteins), if not eating or if you have any left over.

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