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Apr 11, 2011 10:19 PM

Marinating flank steak question -help needed

Today I made a "Cuban" inspired marinade: lime juice, cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, soy sauce, lime zest, chile powder and olive oil. I marinated some flank steak but only cooked half the steak tonight. The other half is still in the marinade. Should I freeze it as is or wipe the marinade off of the meat and then freeze the rest of the steak? Would it be better to cook the meat and then slice it up for salads etc? I am concerned that the meat will get mushy if frozen with the marinade. What are your expert opinions?

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  1. Are you planning on eating the rest of the steak anytime soon? Having it marinated in soy sauce does keep the meat safe in the fridge for a few extra days... I think there was a recent thread similar to this. I don't remember the consensus but if you aren't planning to eat the meat soon, go ahead and just freeze it with the marinade --- it's always better than a rotten slab of protein in your fridge.

    If you are planning to eat salads soon, I'd just slice it up. Steak salads are bomb.

    1. I often freeze meat and chicken in a marinade. When I remove from the freezer to defrost in the fridge, the marinade soaks in even more. The protein gets a richer flavor, stays moist and doesn't get that frozen then thawed texture change.

      1. Another vote for freezing in marinade. I buy flank steak in multipacks at Costco, bring them home and freeze individually, flat in a heavy duty ziplock bag along with the marinade. That way it is easy to pull out of the freezer in the AM and grill that evening for dinner with minimal effort.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tcamp

          Thanks for the rapid responses. I will take your advice and freeze it as is, which should make things easier on the other end!

        2. I would be careful about marinating too long in lime juice. An acid will denature the muscle fibers of the protein and you can end up with a gray, mushy exterior.

          You might be better off with just the zest for a long marination and then an addition of lime juice shortly before cooking or squeezing lime over the finished product.

          3 Replies
          1. re: CDouglas

            I had wondered about the "mushy" aspect too.

            1. re: twodales

              just a qusetion, would the texture change from the cirtrus in the freezer though?

              1. re: darrentran87

                That is a good question. I go by the 2-3 hour rule for marinating beef with an acid. I can't imagine marination can occur when the liquid is frozen but I am not a food scientist.

                This is usually where Shirley Corriher steps in and takes over...

          2. For future reference, cook the entire steak. It makes wonderful sandwiches (hot or cold), nachos, tacos, salads.