This Simple Shortcut Will Help You Marinate Chicken Faster

It can cut prep time.
chicken in marinade

Marinating chicken is one of the best ways of making your chicken even more delicious than it already is! Pinoy barbecue as well as the chicken version is marinated so it’s flavorful and tender after grilling. Even the famous inasal chicken needs to be marinated for at least one hour to be tasty!  

However, some of us don’t always have the luxury of time on our side. When you have less than one hour to marinate chicken before you need to fire up the stove and get food on the table, you should know this marinating shortcut: 

Make cuts into the chicken pieces before marinating. 

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno | Styling by Rachelle Santos

This is perfect for bone-in chicken pieces that take longer to cook. More than cooking time, making these cuts also make marinating the chicken faster, easier, and even tastier! The cuts help penetrate the inside of the chicken that the marinade would otherwise not be able to touch. These cuts can cut your marination time drastically, too. This can be as short as 15 to 30 minutes to as long as overnight if you’re marinating a big batch of chicken. 


This is how you do it: 

  1. 1 Prepare chicken and marinade separately. 
  1. 2 Using your knife, make deep slices into the chicken without cutting the piece all the way through. The slices can reach the bone in the case of the thigh and leg parts. 
  1. 3 Combine marinade and chicken pieces in a container that can be closed, ensuring the marinade coats and covers the chicken pieces. 
  1. 4 Marinate as recipe directs. 

Don’t forget that you’ll also have to take into account that the marination time depends on the ingredients you use in the marinade mixture. If you use salt in a wet marinade, you can cut marination time even more because the chicken can become too salty if left to absorb the salt for too long. This is especially important to note for recipes that you want to leave overnight. 

Another thing to note is that a dry marinade, also known as a dry rub, will flavor the outside of the chicken only. This is one of the reasons why a dry marinade is so much more flavorful, using more impactful ingredients such as dried spices and herbs, than with wet marinades. However, it’s still better than not seasoning the chicken at all. 

Excited to try chicken marinated this quickly? Here’s are more tips on how to marinate chicken better:

  • • If you use lots of salt, lessen marination time to prevent food from becoming too salty.
  • • If you use an acidic ingredient, such as citrus juice, vinegar, or even a lemon-lime soda, marinating overnight is the maximum time needed to season the chicken. This is because the acid can transform the texture of your raw chicken into meat that’s chalky and may even “overcook” the chicken.
  • • If you use liquid ingredients, the marinade will make the chicken more flavorful as well as tenderize it. 



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