Can you Marinate Frozen Chicken?

A lot of people ask whether it is possible to marinate frozen chicken. Chicken is used in thousands of recipes. It’s a common question to wonder whether it’s possible to take frozen chicken and marinate it.

So can you? Here’s what you need to know.

Should You Marinate Chicken If It’s Frozen?

Can you marinate frozen chicken? No. You cannot marinate frozen chicken as the frozen meat acts as a barrier that prevents the chicken from absorbing and holding flavors. When frozen the cells and proteins contract which is what creates the ‘barrier’ to marinating.

Another issue is that if you attempt to marinate chicken as it defrosts or thaws, you will end up with the marinade not working as intended. This is due to how frozen chicken retains moisture as water when frozen. This is then excreted as meat thaws and intermixes with the marinade pushing out the flavor and making it watery.

So should you attempt to marinate your frozen chicken? The answer is that it is not advisable.

What You Should Do Instead

Instead, what you should do is defrost the chicken for 24-48 hours in your refrigerator. Once defrosted marinate the now thawed chicken for a short time before cooking.

The result? Tasty and succulent – once frozen – chicken.