How Long Can You Marinate Chicken Before It Goes Bad?

How long can you marinate chicken before it goes bad? Marinating chicken might take longer than marinating steak however it is best not to go over 6 hours. Generally, the chicken should be marinated in the fridge for 2 hours and tops, 10 hours, anything more can cause your chicken to go bad.

Improper cooking or marinating of chicken can put it at risk of spoilage and eventually ruin the texture you are aiming for. Marinating chicken is just as easy as marinating meat however there are a few guides you might want to keep handy. Chicken doesn’t like being marinated for too long.

Chicken is one of the easiest types of meat to cook however there are certain things you should note when preparing it. Marinading chicken the proper way can change the flavor and make it more enjoyable. The length and place you store it is also important

Another essential question to ask before marinating chicken is how long you can marinate before it goes bad? To make sure you marinate the chicken the right way, this article answers all your questions.

Benefits Of Marinating Chicken

What are the benefits of marination? Chicken is not the only poultry meat you can marinate, you can marinate, pork, fish, or even vegetables.

Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken?
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Marination is just the process of soaking food items like meat in a mixture of lemon juice, oil, and herbs. If you are wondering why you should do this, here are some of its benefits.

  • Marination helps cut down on grilling time as it stops the chicken from drying out quickly and makes it chewy
  • It tenderizes your chicken by breaking down the tough parts and making it juicier
  • It helps reduce cooking time
  • it infuses oil, flavor, and herbs into your chicken
  • It acts as food a preservative.

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken Before It Goes Bad?

The longest time you can marinate your chicken before it goes bad is 10 hours. However, marinated chicken kept in the fridge can last up to 24 hours but nothing longer than that.

Raw or cooked chicken should not be kept on the counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours but it can last longer if marinated in the fridge.

How long you can marinate in the fridge before it goes bad is also different from how long you can marinate in the freezer as well. You can marinate in the freezer for as long as you want. The longer you keep a chicken on your counter, the shorter the shelf life will be.

Furthermore, 10 minutes is enough time to marinate chicken hence you don’t need long hours.

The acid marination can break down a chicken in an hour or two so if you include lemon base or vinegar, don’t go overboard with the marination.

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken Before It Goes Bad?
Image: Envato Elements

Can you marinate chicken for 3 days?

The more acidic the marinade is, the shorter you need to marinate your chicken in it. It is safe to marinate chicken for 3 days as long as it is kept in the fridge or freezer. If you are marinating for 3 days, do not use vinegar or oil as a marinade. You can marinate with non-acidic marinate like buttermilk, coconut milk, or yogurt.

How long is it safe to marinate chicken in the fridge?

The safest amount of time to marinate chicken in the fridge is 2 days. If you are marinating with lemon juice or lime, you might want to keep it to 14 hours and that is enough time to get a tender juicy chicken. But if you are marinating with buttermilk, you can keep it for 2 days in the fridge but nothing longer than that.

Is it bad to marinate chicken for 2 days?

You can safely marinate chicken for 2 days in the refrigerator but not on the counter and after 2 days, any uncooked marinade needs to be discarded. You can also marinate in a mixture of oil, spices, and lemon juice for 2 days provided it’s in the fridge. 2 days is enough to impact flavor in your chicken but don’t go any longer than that.

What happens if you marinate chicken too long?

A marinade is meant to break down the tough parts of your chicken and marinating for too long can cause it to go soft and mushy. A good marinade should add flavor to your chicken and soften the texture but not turn it mushy. If you push past the recommended time you should marinate, the chicken turns bad and poses serious food poisoning.

Wrapping Up

The rule to marinating chicken properly is to strike a balance. If you marinate too much, it will become mushy and if you don’t marinate enough, the flavor won’t penetrate.

Another way you can make sure your chicken is well marinated is to marinate it, free, and thaw it when you are ready to cook.

So, if you want perfect chickens that are not stringy, do not over-marinate.