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Is is possible to over marinade meat?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is is possible to over marinade meat?

I had some thin cut beef steaks marinading in a Korean marinade (seasame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, fermented chile paste) for about 30 hours, the meat appears to have gotten tough, did I marinade it too long?
post #2 of 10
It's possible to over marinate.
post #3 of 10
Maybe it was the soy sauce that caused it to get tough. I never add any salt to a marinade.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I think that was it, it seemed like the juices were drawn out of the meat, it still tasted good though :smoking:
post #5 of 10
i find that with soy, or balsamic, that it doesn't taste as good if it's marinaded too long.

for the few asian dishes I've cooked in my life, I've only just marinaded in soy for MAX 15-20 minutes....I once did longer and it kind of tasted off....same goes for every time I try a marinade with balsamic for more than a quick marinade.

but..take it with a grain of salt (or a tsp of soy sauce! :lol:) as you know how much of a beginner cook I am.
post #6 of 10

Over marination

Most assuredly you can- think of what is in marinades in general minus the flavorings and oil- acid & salt. Both of these denature proteins like cooking does with heat- they can also affect the moisture holding capcity of the tissue being marinaded.

When I was a young cook I left some chicken breast in a citrus marinade for about 24 hours- I had cured chicken breasts when they were retrieved; I of course adjusted my timing after that. If you are going to marinade for a longer period adjust your salt and acid accordingly.:chef::bounce:
post #7 of 10
Removing the meat from the marinade once the flavor is absorbed with minimize this effect.
post #8 of 10
You need to be careful with the acid in a marinade as it can permeate the meat and make it sour to the point of obscuring the meat flavor if left in too long. I eliminate the acid in a marinade if I need to let it sit more than an hour or so. If needing enough marinade to cover the meat is an issue, either put the meat in a zip lock bag along with the marinade and sqeeze out the air while sealing (preferred method) or replace the acidic ingredient with water. I either add the acid about 20 min. before cooking, baste a little on while cooking, or spritz after cooking. I almost never use vinegar, prefering lemon or lime juice in it's place as vinegar, even wine or flavored vinegars seem too harsh. Acids do chemically "cook" proteins, but at what level, I do not know. I don't know if the chemical effect on the protein is the same as broiling or simmering the meat. Luc would know the answer to that question I'm sure.
post #9 of 10
Reading this thread I'm growing more confused. I only knows 2 ways and 2 reasons for marinading.

1. Imparting flavor - a quick marinade that may contain whatever ingredients you like, including salt and/or acid to give a quick flavoring component to a protein. The marinade does not soak into the meat on a deep level but more or less becomes a basting and cooks right on to the surface.

2. Tenderizing and flavoring - a long marinade containing acid but no salt. Helps to break down the tough fibers in some cuts of meat. Salt is added right before cooking in order to avoid toughening and drawing out the moisture of the meat.

I once marinaded chunks of leg of lamb for kabobs. The marinade was yogurt, lemon, pepper, saffron, onion, garlic, & olive oil and I kept them in there over night. Trying to skewer them the next day was nearly impossible as they had gotten mushy and the meat could be pulled apart. We made the best of it and they were delicious, but indeed were marinaded too long.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 10
When you make ceviche, the acid from the citrus is what actually causes the seafood to appear and have the consistancy of being cooked. In reality the acid is working on the protein in the seafood. I aquait this to marinades of meat or chicken, the acid will, lets say cook the meat. The acid will also draw all of the blood out of the meat. In most cases that is why I prefer dry rubs when possible
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