From my experience it is always best to marinate meat for a decent amount of time, so the meat can "soak" up the marinade and be more flavourful.

However, I came across this recipe here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/txt/s2264630.htm

In the directions, it says: Add pork and marinade for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight, but no longer than 12 hours.

I was wondering, why does it say "no longer than 12 hours"? Isn't it good to let meat marinate for as long as possible?



5 Answers 5


Two things-

If the marinade is very strong or salty then the meat could simply become over flavored.

If the marinade includes a meat digesting enzyme such as papain then leaving it too long could turn the meat to mush.

  • 2
    what type of marinade ingredients will contain 'meat digesting enzymes' ?
    – pyko
    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:53
  • 4
    @pyko- This is not something I am an expert at but... Some ingredients contain proteases, protein digesting enzymes. Two that are common are papain (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papain) and bromelain (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromelain). These are found in papaya and pineapple respectively. They can also be purchased as Meat Tenderizer powder and added to marinade separately. Mar 30, 2011 at 12:41
  • 1
    In my very limited experience the over-flavoring has been my most common mistake, especially for things that soak up marinade quickly, if you leave it too long it loses a lot of its normal "meat" flavor, which may or may not go against the taste you're looking for.
    – Jason C
    Jun 5, 2015 at 22:47

I've also found that if there's a citric acid i.e. lime or lemon juice in the marinade it changes the texture of the meat. Sort of like the process "ceviche" undergoes.


In Sibiria we used to marinate chicken over 24 before BBQ on open flames. We marinated in lemon juice with a lot of sliced onions and sometimes added wine.

One more thing to consider, when we did that we stored it in cold place. almost at temperature of fridge.

I guess in article they want to make sure that pork does not become bad and start to collect bacteria.


Marinades typically are more dense, acidic, and can sometimes contain a tenderizer. However, marinating typically only has a significant effect on the surface of the meat so most recipes recommend shorter marinating times so that the outer layers don't get too salty/over-flavored/mushy etc. If you are concerned with making a more tender, juicy, and overall better tasting piece of meat a brine is really what you want.


I've done deer meat for about 5 years now. I slice it 1/8 of an inch thick then try different seasonings on the meat then tenderize by pounding in then I use a big bottle of Louisiana hot sauce and a few sodas of the same flavor to top off in a sealed bowl or zip lock.

I keep the meat fully submerged for 3-5 days then I remove and squeeze out all fluids with paper towels or hand towels before placing on oven racks.

Last I sprinkle flavored seasonings of mine and families choices on them before placing for 12 hours on the oven's lowest temperature and leaving the oven door cracked open.

I've been told by plenty of friends and family it taste great and I've been offered money too for bags but I say no and give them away with a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...

  • 1
    This answer does not actually answer the OP's question.
    – lemontwist
    Dec 22, 2017 at 11:24
  • Thank you for the post. I never understand why people are so toxic/"anal" here. Some people just don't want other people to learn. Nov 11, 2023 at 1:37

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