How Long Can Raw Chicken Marinate In Buttermilk?

Preparing your chicken before you throw it on the grill is just as important as cooking it when it comes to getting it right. Marinating your raw chicken in buttermilk is one of the best ways of making sure you get juicy meat. The question is, how long can you marinate your chicken in buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a probiotic which can stay in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. Chicken, on the other hand, should not be in the fridge for more than 48 hours. So, you should not marinate your buttermilk chicken for longer than two days. If it marinates for longer, be sure to check it first.

how long can raw chicken marinate in buttermilk

In the rest of this article, I want to go more in-depth into my answer. I also want to highlight some of my personal experiences and answer questions that I am sure most of you have. So, for everything you need to know about marinating your chicken in buttermilk, keep reading.

How Long Can Raw Chicken Marinate In Buttermilk In The Fridge?

Keeping everything in the fridge while marinating the chicken in buttermilk allows you to let the chicken soak for longer. This is especially true if you live in an area that has a warm climate. You also want to make sure that your fridge is an ideal temperature of approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 As mentioned, you should not marinate your chicken in the fridge for longer than 48 hours because the chicken will go bad. Although buttermilk is a probiotic, it does not extend the shelf life of the chicken.

Even if the meat does not go bad within three days, you increase the chances of a few risks that come with marinating meat for too long. So, let’s list a few risks that you may become victim to:

  • The fibers of the meat can break down, causing a mushy texture.
  • The meat can go bad.
  • The flavor of the meat might get overpowered by the buttermilk

Your key takeaway should be that the meat is the lowest common denominator and usually goes off long before the buttermilk. 

How Long Can Raw Chicken Marinate In Buttermilk On The Counter?

If you were to take your raw chicken out of the freezer and leave it on the counter, the time it takes to thaw depends on the temperature of your kitchen. However, once it has thawed, you have approximately 2 hours before it starts to go off. If you marinate it in buttermilk, you can increase this time slightly.

If you place raw chicken in buttermilk and leave it on the counter, you have around two to four hours before the chicken starts to go bad. There are a few factors that I would like you to consider, so let’s get into it:

  • What is the outside temperature?
  • What is the temperature inside your kitchen?
  • Do you have granite countertops?

Not many people realize that granite countertops are colder than wooden counters, so if the temperatures are mild outside, there is a high chance your granite counters are relatively cold. This increases the amount of time you can leave the chicken on the counter. Yes, even in a plate or Pyrex dish.

In The Fridge Or On The Counter: Which Is Best?

When you throw your chicken on your backyard grill, it is best to do so when the chicken is around room temperature. Doing this gives you a more even cook because the chicken cooks through a lot quicker.

At the same time, you might want to marinate your chicken for a few hours or even a whole day. With all of this in mind, I prefer to marinate my chicken in the fridge and take it out to leave on the counter two hours before I intend to throw it on my grill.

Doing this allows me to let the chicken soak the buttermilk up while cooking it evenly and not have any burnt edges with it being raw on the inside.

How Long Should You Let Your Chicken Marinate In Buttermilk For?

Everybody has different preferences, and what works for one might not work for the other. I would say there is a perfect amount of time when it comes to marinating your chicken, But you should do whatever works best for you.

I find that marinating my chicken in buttermilk for more than 24 hours has no significant effect on the meat. Also, the difference between marinating your chicken for 8 hours and 24 hours is so subtle that many people won’t notice the difference.

So, between 8 and 24 hours is optimal when marinating your chicken in buttermilk. It is not too long or too short. Remember, as we have discussed, you should have everything in the fridge if you are marinating the meat for more than two hours.

If you do not have 8 hours to marinate your chicken, you can still make it taste great by poking holes into the chicken. Try not to go crazy, but just a few holes with a fork will do.

How To Make Raw Chicken Last Longer In Buttermilk?

Please note, making your chicken last longer in buttermilk is a very tricky thing. At the end of the day, buttermilk is used to tenderize your meat, and nothing you do can stop that process. 

Because you cannot stop that process, your chicken will end up losing most of its texture if marinated for too long. With that out of the way, here are a few things you can do to help the buttermilk preserve the raw chicken for a few hours longer:

  • Add a little salt, not too much, as it might remove moisture.
  • Add a clove of garlic.
  • Onion powder is excellent for preservation.
  • Place the chicken and marinade in an airtight freezer bag.
  • Set your fridge to 35 or 39 degrees Fareinheight.
  • Place everything in the refrigerator.

How Long Can You Keep Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a probiotic, and probiotics are perfect for you. The bacteria is what makes probiotics so good for you while also making the food last longer. However, if the food is not stored correctly, the bacteria die, and the shelf life of the food reduces drastically. So, let’s talk about the different storage methods.

All of the methods mentioned below are made with the assumption that your carton of buttermilk is not open.

  • Stored in the fridge: Buttermilk should last around 7 to 14 days in the refrigerator. It is the ideal way of keeping most probiotic foods.
  • On the counter: In cold climates, buttermilk can last up to four or six hours on the counter. In warmer temperatures, you should not leave your buttermilk out for longer than two hours.
  • In the freezer: Storing your buttermilk in the freezer is the best thing you can do if you do not plan on using all of it right now. An unopened carton of buttermilk can last up to six months in the freezer. If you have an open carton, try to move it to an airtight container before freezing it.

Final Word

That brings us to the end of this article. Marinating your chicken in buttermilk before throwing it onto your backyard grill is an excellent way for diversifying your menu in a way that is easy but very tasty.

Related Articles


Skip to content