I am going to marinate some chicken for an Indian dish. I will cook it sous vide.

now I wonder whether I should vacuum seal chicken with marinade, or marinate and then vacuum seal? what is preferable and why?


1 Answer 1


Marination, contrary to popular wisdom, is a surface treatment. Meats are simply not that porous; the only molecule small enough to penetrate more than a millimeter or two beneath the surface is salt, which diffuses at a rate of about 2 cm per 24 hours.

So I would choose the route of convenience: do you want the marinade in the bag as you are going through the cooking, perhaps as the basis of the sauce? In that case, add it and seal.

Otherwise, complete the marination and then seal.

  • Meat is not porous but most definitely permeable. Meat is also mostly water. If soaking meat in water diffuses flavours out from it, and it does and these include large molecules as well as salt ions, then the reverse is also true. Water in the meat is involved in diffusion processes, not the protein fibres and fats. Oily marinades and dry rubs are surface treatments. Water based marinades do diffuse into the meat mainly via the water content of the meat.
    – user110084
    May 23, 2017 at 23:48

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