Here, the right amounts of time to marinate your foods.

By Real Simple
Updated May 18, 2009
Charles Masters

“Bigger and tougher foods can stand up to the acids in marinades and will be tenderized over time,” says Elizabeth Karmel, author of Soaked, Slathered & Seasoned (Wiley, $20, “Smaller, more delicate pieces should soak only briefly or they’ll get mushy.”

  • Chicken, bone-in pieces: 1 hour.
  • Chicken, boneless pieces: 30 minutes.
  • Beef, chuck roast: 2 hours.
  • Beef―flank, strip, and London-broil steaks: 1 hour.
  • Beef, skirt steak: 30 minutes.
  • Pork, chops and tenderloin: 30 minutes.
  • Pork, shoulder and butt: 2 hours.
  • Lamb, chops: 30 minutes.
  • Fish: 30 minutes.
  • Shrimp, peeled: 15 minutes.