How Long Can You Marinate Chicken in Vinegar? [Detailed Guide]


This is the ultimate guide to answering all queries related to marinating chicken in Vinegar.

Let’s get started!

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken in Vinegar?

According to USDA, it is safe to marinate chicken in Vinegar for up to 48 hours. It is safe to keep the chicken even longer in vinegar marinade, but after 48 hours, the acidic Vinegar may start breaking the meat’s fibers, just making it mushy.

Adding vinegar-based marinade to your uncooked chicken helps add flavor and moisture to it while also tenderizing the meat. This can make your dishes more delicious and rich in flavors. 

It is important that the marinated chicken be kept in the refrigerator and not at room temperature. Keeping marinated chicken outside for more than two hours can lead to bacterial growth making chicken unfit for eating.

What is the best Vinegar to use for the chicken marinade?

How to Marinate Chicken in Vinegar?

The process of marinating chicken in Vinegar is no different from any other marinade.

Here is a quick step by step process – 

1. Prepare your marinade using Vinegar and other ingredients. With chicken, you can play with the ingredients liberally – feel free to use mild or intense marinade ingredients as per your choice. 

2. Apply the marinade nicely across the chicken. Make sure all parts of the chicken are covered. 

3. Put the marinated chicken in a glass bowl or in freezer bags. Marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to 48 hours. It is best to marinate the chicken in the refrigerator and not at room temperature. 

4. Take out the marinated chicken and cook immediately.

Is it OK to Marinate Chicken in Vinegar Overnight?

According to USDA, it is safe to marinate chicken in Vinegar overnight, even up to 48 hours. It is after 48 hours of marination that there are chances of meat fibers being broken by the acidic vinegar marinade, making it mushy.

So, if your recipe requires you to marinate chicken in Vinegar overnight, go ahead do it.

Just ensure the marination process happens inside a refrigerator.

What are Good Vinegar Alternatives for the Chicken Marinade?

Orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, mustard, buttermilk, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, wine are some of the great alternatives of using Vinegar for the chicken marinade.

In the end, the acid you choose for your marinade will depend upon 1) the recipe you plan to make 2) the flavors you plan to infuse. 3) availability of acid options available.

It is fun to experiment with chicken marinades as chicken is practically a blank canvas as far as using marinades is concerned. 

Here is a quick video on how to marinate chicken with a variety of options –

Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Good Marinade for Chicken?

Yes, apple cider vinegar works as a great marinade for chicken. It is a potent acid and helps tenderize the meat and infuse flavors. As an added bonus, it is very healthy in itself too. You can marinate chicken in apple cider vinegar from 1 hour to up to 48 hours. 

A lot of chefs recommend apple cider vinegar as their go-to Vinegar for marination. ACV is full of health benefits and adds amazing flavors to chicken during marination.

Can you Marinate Chicken in White Vinegar?

Yes, you can very well use marinated chicken with white Vinegar. White Vinegar has higher acidic content than apple cider vinegar and has a tart flavor and scent. 

Given white Vinegar has a higher acidic percentage (6%-10% acetic acid as compared to 5-6% acid in apple cider vinegar) it is advised to marinate it for a shorter time as compared to apple cider vinegar.

Also, beware that white Vinegar has a tart flavor and scent; make sure it suits your end recipe.

Does Soaking Chicken in Vinegar kill Bacteria?

White Vinegar, which has a higher percentage of acetic acid than other types, is known to reduce pathogens such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. But beware, even white Vinegar cannot guarantee 100% reduction in food bacteria. The only way to do that is to cook properly.

Other vinegar types, such as ACV, that have a lower acetic acid concentration as compared to white Vinegar are even poorer in killing bacteria in chicken.

Can you Marinate Chicken in Rice Vinegar?

Yes, you can nicely marinate chicken in rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is an important part of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. Rice vinegar is less acidic than white and apple cider Vinegar and thus mild acidic.

Rice vinegar is a great choice if you plan to prepare Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisine. This can help infuse those flavors very well.

Here is how you can prepare rice vinegar at home –

Final Words

I hope this guide helped you with using Vinegar for marinating chicken.

If you have any suggestions or queries, please comment.

Do share this with people who love chicken recipes!

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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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