How Long Can You Marinate Chicken Before It Goes Bad?

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken Before It Goes Bad
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The old saying that you should never leave a dish out of the fridge for more than an hour is true if it’s been cooked.

But the story can be different in the marinated chicken. So, how long can you marinate chicken before it goes bad?

The answer to this question depends on where the marinated chicken is stored and the ingredients of the marinade. If left on the countertop, the marinated chicken can last for up to 12 hours. But if you put it in the refrigerator, it can last for up to 24 hours or longer depending on the marinade ingredients.

Marinating has lots of benefits:

  • It tenderizes the meat by breaking down tough connective tissue;
  • adds flavor and juiciness;
  • helps cut down on grilling time because the meat won’t dry out as quickly;
  • and can also infuse oils with herbs or other flavors.  

However, if you want to be safe, don’t leave a dish out for more than two hours.

What is marination and what are the benefits of it?

Marinating is the process of soaking meat, fish, or vegetables in a marinade, which is a mixture of oil, lemon juice, and spices.

The marinade helps tenderize the meat and also adds flavor to it as well as making it juicier.

It can also help cut down on grilling time because the meat won’t dry out as quickly.

In addition, marination can also infuse oils with herbs or other flavors.

What happens if the chicken is marinated for too long?  

If you marinate chicken for too long, it can eventually spoil!

Bacteria grow in the meat when it is exposed to air and not stored in the fridge.

The longer a dish stays out on your countertop or even in the refrigerator, the more likely bacteria will start growing.

When cooking with marinated meat, be sure to cook it thoroughly.

Can you marinate chicken for 2 days?

Yes, it is safe to marinate the chicken for two days.

In fact, you could keep it in your refrigerator for 2 to 14 days if you include a vinegar or lemon juice base.

However, these acids only work well if the marinade has a ratio of one tablespoon per cup of liquid.

Do not use oil-and-vinegar dressing as a marinade; it will not kill bacteria and may cause botulism poisoning.

How long can you marinate chicken in lemon juice?

You can marinate chicken in lemon juice for one to two days.

If you want to be safe, don’t leave a dish out for more than two hours.

Always thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator and never on the countertop.

How long can you marinate chicken in vinegar?

You can marinate chicken in vinegar for one to two days.

If you want to be safe, don’t leave a dish out for more than two hours.

Always thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator and never on the countertop.

How long can you marinate chicken in oil?

You can marinate chicken in olive or other vegetable oils for one to two days.

If you want to be safe, don’t leave the marinated chicken out for more than two hours.

What is the best way to marinate chicken?

The best way to marinade chicken is with a mixture of oil, lemon juice, and spices.

This helps tenderize the meat and also adds flavor to it as well as making it juicier.

It can also help cut down on grilling time because the meat won’t stick to the grill as much, so it will cook faster.

If you are using oil and lemon juice, then you can marinate the chicken for up to twelve hours before cooking it.

However, if you are using yogurt instead of oil then the time period is only four hours.

If you use a yogurt-based marinade then it is best to put the chicken in the refrigerator before cooking it.

However, if you use an oil and lemon juice mixture for your marinade then it does not need to be refrigerated before cooking.

If you want to keep the chicken in your mixture for more than twelve hours then it is best to refrigerate it.

Keeping marinated uncooked meat refrigerated is important because if not then harmful bacteria can grow.

It is also important to read the labels of whatever marinade you are using because some may require refrigeration.

If marinated meat is left out for more than two hours at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then it should be discarded.

This can cause bacteria to grow pretty quickly.

If you plan on letting your chicken sit for longer than twelve hours, then it is best to use a different marinade.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember about how long you can marinate chicken is that you should not leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours.

If you are using yogurt as a marinade, then the limit of time is four hours before cooking it.

If you let your chicken sit in a marinade for more than twelve hours, then make sure that you refrigerate it.

Since your chicken is raw, make sure to never let it sit for more than two hours at room temperature.

Read the label on whatever marinade you are using because some may require refrigeration even if it is an oil and lemon mixture.

And remember, leave the chicken out for no longer than two hours.

Learn more about marination here.

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