How Long Can Pork Marinate in the Fridge? (Detailed Guide)


Are you confused about how long you can marinate the pork in the fridge?

This guide will provide detailed answers.

Let’s get started

How Long Can Pork Marinate In The Fridge?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, you can safely marinate the pork in a refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. It is important to keep things in a covered container or sealed freezer bags.

While the pork will be safe to cook even after marinating for 3-5 days, it is the recipe you plan to cook and the intensity of flavors you want to infuse that will decide how long you plan to marinate the pork.

In many cases, that may be much shorter – from 5 hrs to overnight.

What is more important is to note that you should keep everything covered. Glass containers or plastic containers can be used to do this.

Many people prefer freezer Ziploc bags as they are easy to squeeze into a refrigerator.

Avoid using reactive cookware for marinating pork. Reactive metals such as aluminum can alter the color and taste of the pork.

Can I Marinate The Pork For Days?

Yes, you can marinate the pork for more than 3-5 days too, it will still be safe to eat but It is also important not to marinate the pork for too long as this can cause the meat to become tough. If you note a bad smell or if the pork looks different than usual, make sure to promptly discard it.

As the marination time increases the acid in the marinade keeps breaking the fibers of the meat. While initially, this helps in tenderizing the meat, if overdone, it makes the meat mushy.

Here is a quick guide on various marinades and how acidic (or strong, in simple terms) they are –

MarinadepH (Acidity)
Apple Cider Vinegar3.0 - 3.2
Beer3.7 - 4.1
Bourbon 3.7 - 4.0
Butter Milk4.4 - 4.8
Carbonated Drinks3.0 - 4.0
Coffee4.9 - 5.1
Cranberry Juice2.6 - 2.8
Grapefruit Juice3.0 - 3.8
Heavy Cream6.5 - 6.8
Lemon juice2.0 - 2.6
Lime juice2.0 - 2.4
Orange Juice3.3 - 4.2
Pickle Juice3.2 - 3.7
Red Wine3.0 - 4.0
White Vinegar2.3 - 2.5
Yogurt4.4 - 4.8
Sour Cream4.5

Why You Should Marinate Pork?

There are several benefits of marinating pork –

  1. Marinating pork in an acidic marinade helps to break down the tough muscle fibers, making the meat more tender and flavorful.
  2. The acidity in the marinade may also help to inhibit the growth of bacteria, keeping the pork safe to eat.
  3. The flavors of the marinade are absorbed into the pork, giving it a more complex flavor than unmarinated pork.
  4. Marinating pork for an extended period of time allows the flavors of the marinade to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more intense flavor.

Can You Freeze Marinated Pork?

Yes, you can freeze marinated pork, but the marination process is brought to a halt when you freeze the pork. The marinade will not act on the meat during this time.

If you plan to marinate, you need to then thaw the pork in the fridge. During this time, both the thawing and marinating processes will be running parallel.

How Long Does Marinated Pork Last At Room Temperature?

According to USDA, You should not keep marinated pork at room temperature for more than 2 hours. There is a serious chance of exponential bacterial growth the more you keep it at room temperature. Discard the pork even though it may smell or look good.

It is always recommended to cook the pork as soon as possible after taking it out from the fridge.

Bacteria such as Yersinia enterocolitica, enterococcus, staph, salmonella, and listeria are common in pork and cause health issues in humans.

The main issues that bacteria in pork can cause are food poisoning and other illnesses. Food poisoning can occur when you eat contaminated pork that has not been cooked properly. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Does Marinating Longer Make A Difference?

Yes, marinating longer does make a difference. But the final result may not always be great. In general, the longer you marinate pork, the more tender and flavorful it will be. However, there is such a thing as over-marinating, which can make the meat tough and mushy.

The key is to find a balance between the two extremes. For pork, we would recommend marinating for at least 4-7 hours, but no more than 3-5 days.

Final Words

So, how long can pork marinate in the fridge?

Well, it depends on the recipe that you’re using. Some recipes call for as little as 3 hours, while others will recommend up to 24 hours.

If you’re using a really simple marinade, like salt, pepper, and olive oil, then you probably don’t need to marinate the pork for very long.

However, if you’re using a more complex marinade with lots of different flavors, then you’ll want to give it more time to really soak in.

Ultimately, it’s up to you how long you want to marinate your pork. Just make sure that you don’t leave it in the fridge for too long, or else it will start to spoil.

Do share your thoughts and share this with other pork lovers!

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.