Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken?

by Charlie
Marinate Frozen Chicken

Marinating chicken simply involves leaving it to soak for some time in a marinade of choice. There are various approaches used when preparing chicken, and marinating is one of the most enjoyed approaches. Marinated chicken has a desirable tender texture that results from the partial processing contributed by the marinade. You can purchase ready-made marinades at the store or prepare it fresh at home. 

Ingredients like lime juice, garlic powder, cinnamon, thyme, olive oil, cayenne, and more are usually mixed together to make a delicious marinade for chicken.

If you’ve ever been in a situation that required you to marinate a batch of totally frozen chicken, you may have botched the process.

The poor results probably left you asking: can you marinate frozen chicken? Yes, you can marinate frozen chicken. Although the final results won’t be as great as marinating thawed chicken, you’ll still obtain a tender texture and nice flavor. The best marinades for frozen chicken should contain some acidic liquids and your favorite cooking oil – these will guarantee a satisfactory level of juiciness, tenderness, and sweet flavor.

Because of the marinade’s reduced efficiency when being used on frozen chicken, you may choose to do an extra round of marinating after the frozen chicken thaws. However, if you want the best results, it is better to allow the frozen chicken to thaw before you marinate and cook it.

This article contains the necessary information you need to satisfactorily marinate your batch of frozen chicken for further preparation.      

Things to Know When Marinating Frozen Chicken   

Before choosing to marinate your frozen chicken, you should know what final results to expect. As mentioned earlier, the frozen chicken won’t become as tender or juicy as thawed chicken after being marinated. The trouble with frozen chicken is that the marinade can’t really be absorbed well for the optimal infusion of flavor. Regardless of that, it doesn’t mean you won’t get any significant results at all.  

One thing to expect when marinating frozen chicken is that the marinade may get diluted with excess water – which causes it to lose much of its sweet concentration. The excess water comes from the gradually melting ice on the frozen chicken as it soaks for some time in the marinade.

To make the frozen chicken have more flavor and juicy texture, allow it to thaw completely after the first round of marinating, and then soak it in more marinade for some additional time before finally cooking it.  

How to Marinate Frozen Chicken  

Since you’ve decided to marinate your frozen chicken directly, you’re probably wondering what the best steps to take are.

Here’s what to do: 

  • Start by preparing the desired marinade. The best marinades to use should contain some acidic juices along with cooking oil. The acidic juice, like lime juice, and oil will boost the chicken’s tenderness and make it juicier and more delicious. If you don’t want to prepare your own marinade from scratch, simply purchase ready-made one from the store. 
  • Take the frozen chicken out of the freezer and get ready to marinate. Fill a sealable freezer-safe bag with the marinade or transfer the marinade into a sufficiently large bowl that will later on be sealed off with plastic wrap. 
  • Place the frozen chicken in the marinade-filled freezer-safe bag and let it sit inside the refrigerator. The refrigerator is a safer environment for marinating chicken, rather than leaving it exposed to bacteria. It is fine to leave the chicken at room temperature if you plan to cook it soon.
  • Once the frozen chicken has absorbed a significant amount of the spicy marinade, take it out of the fridge in preparation for cooking. 

Remember, you can carry out an extra round of marinating once the frozen chicken has thawed fully. Doing so will produce more desirable results at the end of the process. You can also consider the option of marinating your chicken just before freezing it. 

After purchasing fresh chicken, marinate it as you normally would, and then package it correctly for short or long-term preservation in the freezer. This way, the frozen pre-marinated chicken will be ready for immediate cooking when next you crave some tasty chicken.  

Alternative Methods – Allowing Frozen Chicken Thaw before Marinating 

Instead of marinating frozen chicken, you can allow the chicken to first thaw totally – if you aren’t in a hurry. However, you need to follow the right steps when thawing your frozen chicken to avoid spoilage and ensure the best results.

One of the common methods of thawing frozen chicken is to leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Although the method is highly effective, it also takes several hours to complete. It is for this reason that you’re advised to carry out the process overnight when you’ll be asleep. 

Frozen chicken can also be thawed in the microwave. Simply select the defrost temperature setting on your microwave – if one is available – and heat the chicken at 2-minute intervals. Because of how hot the microwave gets, you must pay close attention to it so that it doesn’t cook your chicken. 

Frozen chicken can lastly be thawed by submerging the packaged chicken in some hot water. As the hot water cools off periodically, change it with some fresh hot water and repeat the process for about half an hour. Once the chicken is thawed completely, you can then proceed to marinate and cook the chicken.    

Related Questions:

Is it Safe to Marinate Frozen Chicken?

Yes, it is safe to marinate frozen chicken. The process is quite easy to carry out without the risk of developing harmful bacteria. However, once the frozen chicken is marinated, you’ll need to allow it some time to thaw completely. During that time that the chicken thaws, you must be careful not to expose it to room temperature for too long. 

How Long Should Chicken Marinate For? 

For the best results, the recommended time to marinate chicken is 12-24 hours. The marinating process is also to be carried out inside the fridge for safety reasons. The refrigerator provides a safe environment for the chicken to marinate without experiencing rapid and harmful bacteria growth. 

What is the Quickest Method for Defrosting Frozen Chicken?     

Out of the few available methods for defrosting frozen chicken, microwaving is the fastest. Thanks to the microwave’s high heating power, your frozen chicken will be completely thawed in a few minutes. 

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