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I want to grill pork ribs for lunch on Sunday and usually I marinate them in the fridge over night (<18 hours). The supermarket only had "fresh" ones (usually I buy pre-packaged, which are good for a couple of days), so I asked if it was okay to keep them in the fridge until I marinate them tomorrow and the guy said:

Yes, better even marinate them today to add more flavor!

I've never heard/seen anyone marinate meat for more than maybe 18 hours, let alone almost 2 days. Is that really an okay thing to do?

The marinade is: 3Tbsp ketchup, 2Tbsp apple juice, 1.5Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1Tbsp honey, 1Tbsp BBQ sauce, 1.5tsp soy sauce, 1.5tsp mustard, 1.5tsp sugar, 1 onion and a couple of ground spices.

If it's not okay to marinate the ribs for that long, is it still okay to keep them in the bag in the fridge until tomorrow evening or should I rather freeze them now, then defrost them again in the afternoon tomorrow?

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    @rumtscho This is not a duplicate because the other question is about chicken and beef (both without bones), while mine is about pork ribs (so with bones). There's a difference between the different types of meat, e.g. you wouldn't leave chicken that's just wrapped in paper in the fridge for 2 days but doing the same thing with beef is okay. Please re-open the question.
    – Neph
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 20:02
  • Specifically for marinades, there is no difference between the different types of meat with regard to their flavor effects (see the second linked question), and you will see that the answers don't refer to the type of meat, neither does the question text. The first one, about safety, just repeats the overall safety times for each type of meat, because for safety, it doesn't actually matter if you marinate or not. If your question was about safety only, I will add our general safety question, since we no longer answer individual questions of this type. And chicken in paper for 2 days is OK.
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 20:35

2 Answers 2

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This is totally okay to do and will help flavour your ribs deeply. 48 hours is the max I would marinate for personally. If you're really skeptical about it, you should be fine to keep your unmarinated ribs in the fridge until you're ready to marinate them.

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  • Thanks for your answer! An answer on a different question here on StackExchange says that marinating beef for too long (e.g. 48h) can change the texture in a non-desirable way. Does this not happen to pork then? The other bit I'm worried about is that it the meat'll go off because it's not vacuum-sealed (the way I usually buy meat).
    – Neph
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 18:58
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There's nothing wrong with marinating your ribs for 2 days, it just won't do that much for you. The compounds that flavor the meat are going to do their thing in the first 12-18 hours, more than that will deepen the flavor some, just not anywhere near as much. There's no need to freeze your ribs if you're going to eat them in 2 days, marinating won't impact that either way.

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  • Thanks for your answer! I'm not worried about the marinade not doing its thing fast enough because the ribs taste great, even after only 6-8 hours. What I'm worried about: 1. An answer on a different question here on StackExchange says that marinating beef for too long (e.g. 48h) in an acidic marinade can change the texture in a non-desirable way. Does this not happen to pork then? 2. That the meat'll go off because it's not vacuum-sealed (the way I usually buy meat).
    – Neph
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 19:01

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