Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken While It Thaws? (Expert Guide)


If you are wondering if you can marinate frozen chicken while it thaws, here is a detailed guide to help you out.

Let’s dive right in

Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken While It Thaws?

Yes, you can marinate frozen chicken while it thaws, this process will take more time as compared to marinating an already thawed chicken.

You may want to combine the thawing and marinating process to save time and effort and it’s absolutely fine to do so too.

Just that you may be required to keep the chicken for a longer time to ensure the marinade has been absorbed properly by the meat.

Where Should You Thaw Frozen Chicken While Marinating?

You can thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.

To thaw frozen chicken in cold water, place the chicken in a sealed bag and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken is thawed.

This eliminates this process of thawing while marinating.

According to USDA, you should not thaw chicken at room temperature because it is unsafe. Bacteria can grow rapidly on raw chicken that is thawed at room temperature, and cooking will not necessarily kill all the bacteria.

The best method of thawing and marinating together is in the refrigerator.

To thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, just take the chicken out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before cooking.

How to Marinate Frozen Chicken While Thawing?

Of course, if you plan to marinate the frozen chicken, just add the process associated with applying marinades too.

Here is a step by step process of marinating frozen chicken while thawing –

How To Marinate Frozen Chicken

How To Marinate Frozen Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes

This is a step-by-step guide on marinating frozen chicken.


  • Material for Marinade
  • Chicken
  • Freezer bags/plastic or glass containers


    1. Thawing (optional): Thaw the chicken, preferably in the refrigerator for best results otherwise you can marinate ot while thawing too.
    2. Prepare the desired Marinade: Prepare your desired marinade; chicken works well with all kids of marinades - mild or intense. Based on the recipe you plan to prepare, choose the marinade
    3. Apply the Marinade: Apply the marinade liberally and uniformly on the chicken
    4. Pack and Refrigerate: Pack the chicken along with the marinade in the fridge. It is best to use a freezer bag or plastic/glass containers. Avoid using reactive cookware to marinate as the acid may react with the metal
    5. Marinate Overnight: If you are thawing and marinating, then you need to keep the chicken for a longer time than usual. Overnight is recommended.
    6. Reapply marinade: Take out and reapply the marinade and keep it in the fridge again for a few hours
    7. Take out and cook

Final Words

I hope this helped you decide if you can marinate frozen chicken while thawing.

In case of any doubt, please get in touch with us.

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!

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