If you’re a fan of juicy, flavorful chicken, you may have tried pre-marinated chicken. Pre-marinated chicken is a great option for those who don’t have time to marinate chicken themselves. However, one question that arises with pre-marinated chicken is how long it can be stored in the fridge. In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and share some useful tips for storing pre-marinated chicken.
What is Pre-Marinated Chicken?
Pre-marinated chicken is chicken that has already been marinated before you purchase it. It’s a convenient option for those who want to save time and effort. Pre-marinated chicken is available in various marinade flavors, from Italian to teriyaki to lemon herb, making it easy to try out new flavors and cuisines.
How Long Does Pre-Marinated Chicken Last in the Fridge?
Pre-marinated chicken can last in the fridge for up to two days. After that, it should be cooked or frozen. This is because the acid in the marinade breaks down the chicken, making it more susceptible to spoilage.
If you’re not planning on cooking the pre-marinated chicken within two days, you can freeze it for up to six months. However, keep in mind that the texture of the chicken may change after being frozen and thawed.
How to Store Pre-Marinated Chicken
To ensure that pre-marinated chicken lasts as long as possible, it should be stored properly. Here are some tips for storing pre-marinated chicken:
1. Check the Expiration Date
Before purchasing pre-marinated chicken, check the expiration date to ensure that it hasn’t expired yet. If the expiration date is approaching, be sure to cook or freeze the chicken as soon as possible.
2. Keep it Refrigerated
Pre-marinated chicken should always be stored in the fridge, preferably in the coldest part of the fridge, which is usually the bottom shelf. Be sure to cover the chicken tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it fresh.
3. Don’t Refreeze
Once the pre-marinated chicken has been thawed, it should not be refrozen. This is because thawing and refreezing can cause bacteria to grow, which can lead to foodborne illnesses.
4. Cook Fully
Before consuming pre-marinated chicken, be sure to cook it thoroughly. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
In conclusion, pre-marinated chicken can last in the fridge for up to two days. To ensure that it lasts as long as possible, it should be stored properly and cooked thoroughly before eating. By following these tips, you can enjoy the convenience of pre-marinated chicken without compromising your health and safety.
Can I cook marinated chicken after 5 days?
Marinating is a process of soaking meat or poultry in a mixture of herbs, spices, and acidic liquids like vinegar or citrus juice, to enhance its flavor and texture. Many people precook marinated chicken to tenderize it and then grill, bake, or fry it to perfection.
However, the marinating process should not exceed 24 hours as most recipes recommend it. The reason behind this is because acid in the marinade can start to break down the fibers of the chicken’s flesh, making it mushy and unappetizing.
If you keep the marinated chicken refrigerated for longer than the recommended duration, it can affect the quality and freshness of the meat. Also, the color, texture, and taste of the chicken may not be the same as it would be if it was cooked fresh.
It is essential to maintain the safety of the meat during the marinating process. If you’re not sure about whether the chicken is still safe to eat after five days, you should perform a few tests before cooking it. You can check for any off-odors, sliminess, discoloration, or odd texture, which are signs of spoilage.
To conclude, it is safe to keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for up to two days. After that, it is at your discretion whether or not you want to cook it. However, it is recommended that you cook the chicken before the marinade starts breaking down the meat, resulting in an unpleasant texture.