I watched some cooking videos and sometimes I see that in order for the pepper, salt, sake, or whatever go into the meat, the meat needs to be put in the fridge, even for 30 minutes. Why is that? Is there any reason it needs to be put in the fridge?

3 Answers 3


For a 30 min marinade, no, you don't have to put it in the fridge. In fact, many recipes will call for removing thick beef cuts from the fridge 20-60 min before cooking, to let the meat come up to room temperature.

That being said, there has been some testing of what sort of difference bringing a steak to room temperature makes, and the general concensus is that cooking a cold steak gives better results. America's Test Kitchen's tests found that people preferred frozen steaks, although it required freezing to ensure you didn't develop surface ice crystals, and cooking in more oil than typical.

  • 4
    America's test kitchen also said in that video that they still prefer cooking fresh steaks for the better texture, but if your steak is frozen, don't thaw it before cooking.
    – Collin
    Sep 10, 2014 at 17:01

Food safety. Leaving meat around at room temperature is never a good idea. Two hours is the USDA recommended limit for the whole 'lifetime' of the meat.

It makes little or no difference to the flavour absorption.


In order to put the decomposition process on hold you need to put the meat in the fridge.

  • 1
    strictly speaking, refrigeration only slows all the decomposition reactions which still continue
    – user110084
    Jun 6, 2017 at 16:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.