How Long Can You Keep Marinated Chicken in the Fridge? (A to Z Guide)


It’s a question that comes up frequently, and it can be difficult to know what is best.

So, here is a detailed guide covering various aspects of marinating and storing chicken in the fridge

Let’s get started!

How Long Can You Keep Marinated Chicken in the Fridge?

According to USDA, you can safely keep marinated chicken in the fridge for up to two days. This is a general guideline and may vary depending on the ingredients in the marinade and recipe you plan to prepare.

Keeping the marinated chicken for too long can make the meat mushy as the acids act on the meat cells. 

If you refer to our guide on marinating meat, the ideal time to marinate chicken is just 1-3 hours. It is best to keep the chicken in the refrigerator while marinating to ensure there is no bacterial growth that takes place.

If you do keep the marinated chicken for a longer time in the fridge and you sense something odd about the smell or look of the chicken, it is always best to discard it.

Looking for some amazing DIY Chicken Marinades, check this video out –

How long can you keep marinated chicken breast in the fridge?

According to food experts, it is best to keep marinated chicken breasts in the fridge for 1-3 hours. Chicken is a blank canvas and you can use whatever marinades you like with it. 

While the above time is the recommended time, you can keep marinated chicken breast for much longer (1-2 days) in the fridge.  

How to Refrigerate Chicken Properly?

Here is a step-by-step guide to marinating Chicken at home –

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or a resealable plastic freezer bags. You can also use food-grade plastic containers. It is advised not to use aluminum as acids react with the metal to give unnatural color. In the case of chicken, you can play with a variety of marinades, you can use mild or intense flavors based on your liking. 
  2. Add the chicken and coat evenly. This is important to ensure the flavors get into the meat. Also coating evenly also ensures the moisture of the chicken is not lost when it’s kept in the fridge. That can make meat hard.
  3. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 1-3 hours, or overnight. The time you decide is completely up to you and your recipe. make sure you pack/cover the chicken nicely. 
  4. When you take the chicken out, you should cook it asap. Regarding the leftover marinade, you can either use it while cooking or freeze it immediately or just discard it. Do not keep it outside for long time

Does Marinated Chicken go Bad in the Fridge?

Yes, marinated chicken kept in the fridge for a long time does go bad. Before it becomes unsafe for eating, it will become mushy and lose its texture. If you want to store the marinated chicken for a longer time, it is best to put it in an airtight container/freezer bag and freeze it. 

Where should I store marinated chicken in the fridge?

There is no particular location you need to keep marinated chicken in the fridge. What is more important that how nicely you pack it. Ensure you put it in freezer bags or airtight food-grade plastic containers for best results

Should we keep marinated chicken in the fridge or freezer?

If you plan to use the marinated chicken within 2 days, it is safe to just store it in the fridge. But for anything longer, it is best to keep it in the freezer.

In both cases, you need to pack (or at least cover) the marinated chicken nicely, check the section on how to keep marinated chicken in the fridge section for details. 

How long can you marinate chicken in buttermilk?

You can marinate chicken for 1-3 hours in buttermilk (or even more if needed). Buttermilk is an age-old tested and tried marinade which works amazing and tenderizes the chicken nicely. 

Here is a quick recipe of Buttermilk marinated grilled chicken –

How long can you marinate chicken in lemon juice?

You should not marinate chicken in lemon juice for more than 2-3 hours as it is a strong marinade. If the chicken is marinated for too long, lemon juice will start breaking the proteins of the meat, making it mushy. 

How long can you marinate chicken in soy sauce?

You can marinate chicken in soy sauce for up to 24 hours. But if your marinade also contains a good proportion of stronger acids such as lime juice etc, it is best to keep the time to just a couple of hours. 

Final Words

I hope this guide helped clear any doubts you had regarding storing marinated chicken

If you have any suggestions, please comment below. 

Do share this with your friends and family who are chicken lovers! 

Show Some Love by Sharing!

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!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.