How Long Can You Marinate Chicken?

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken? Well, it depends on what type of marinade you’re using. And you do need to take into consideration that this is chicken, not beef. Beef likes a long marinade, but chicken – not so much usually.

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken?

When you’re using a probiotic type of marinade like buttermilk or yogurt, letting your chicken soak in it overnight is ideal. The beneficial bacteria are slow workers and tenderize your chicken in a very delicate process. 

Acid marinades are another matter. Acids work fast and hard. So, if you’ve whipped up a marinade of cider vinegar and olive oil along with all sorts of herbal goodies, you’ll want to give it a two-hour soak. If you go much longer than that then you might end up with a tough chicken instead of a tender one. 

Most of the time you’ll be using an acidic marinade. It will be a combination of lemon juice and some sort of vinegar along with other ingredients. These are wonderful for BBQs and broiled chicken breasts. 

For breaded, deep-fried chicken it is best to use the bacteria method of soaking it in buttermilk overnight or use a yogurt blended with other neutral ingredients and soak it overnight. Then pat dry, dip in egg wash, bread and drop it into the hot fat until golden brown. 

Some chefs like to cover all their bases with mixing yogurt or buttermilk with lemon juice or vinegar. A marinade like that should be treated as an acid and used for only 2 hours or so before cooking. The marinade cooks very nicely on the very tender chicken, adding a slightly tangy flavor. 

So, how long can you marinate chicken? Usually give it only 2 hours, unless you’re using buttermilk or yogurt without any added acids.

Be sure to include your favorite Seasonest seasoning blend.