I never thought I'd be writing a "should I eat this." But here we are.
February 8, 2012 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Should I eat this? #1,298: boneless/skinless chicken thighs, marinating 24 hours in the fridge.

By the time I'm able to cook the thighs I put in the fridge last night, 24 hours will have passed. (I had planned to cook them later last night but I forgot!) Besides being very salty, would they be safe to eat? They're currently in a glass bowl with a plate on top acting as a cover. The marinade is a blend of soy sauce and hoisin sauce. They smell a little gamey, but that could be because they're dark meat (and I always buy the expensive free range kind...).
posted by chowflap to Food & Drink (24 answers total)
Definitely. Many recipes actually ask you to marinate meat for 24 hours.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:32 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

yes. there is no possible argument for not eating them today if you would have eaten them yesterday.

The only downside might be a little hammy-ness to the texture, but from a safety perspective no brainer.
posted by JPD at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

All my chicken recipes call for 24 hours of marinade. You're grand.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:34 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah, you're fine. I do this all the time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Definitely.

USDA: In general, two hours of marinating is long enough for the meat to soak up the flavor, but poultry can marinate for up to two days in the refrigerator, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Very acidic marinades can actually toughen the meat over time, so follow the recipe or package directions.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:35 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]

If the USDA says 2 days in the fridge is okay it's likely that you're fine for considerably longer than that. 24 hours in a fridge doesn't even register on the problem scale.
posted by Justinian at 10:38 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, you can eat it. In fact, I am making a recipe tonight that involves a 24-hour marinade of some chicken thighs, and I plan on eating the hell out of it.
posted by bedhead at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2012

Response by poster: Oh good. For some reason I consider raw chicken (especially once it's out of the package) as a sort of ticking time bomb of poison. Thanks for the reassurances, people!
posted by chowflap at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

No problem. The USDA has to take into account the lowest common denominator so yeah, you'd probably be fine up to 72+ hours. I get similarly worried about chicken though.

I blame the sliminess.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2012

It's only a ticking timebomb if it's at an unsafe temperature - they've been in the fridge, and not for too long, so you're good.
posted by rtha at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should make sure you cook them first, but they're fine.
posted by inigo2 at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

You might want to toss some sugar in. They're going to be quite salty.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2012

As long as you weren't marinating them in cobra venom.

2nding that if the marinade has salt/soy sauce in it, it might be a little salty.
posted by supercres at 10:50 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am expecting them to possibly be so salty as to be inedible. Perhaps I will treat them as a sort of chicken bacon, and use them as a condiment.
posted by chowflap at 10:54 AM on February 8, 2012

I'd recommend cooking them before eating.
posted by ecorrocio at 11:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I am expecting them to possibly be so salty as to be inedible.

I've run into the same problem -- using low sodium soy sauce is a good fix.
posted by puritycontrol at 11:02 AM on February 8, 2012

I am expecting them to possibly be so salty as to be inedible

Unless you're talking about half-inch cubes of meat, this is almost impossible. Eat the meat. It will be good.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:10 AM on February 8, 2012

One tip--don't use the marinade as a baste or cooking sauce or anything. When you're ready to cook, take the meat out, and let most of the juice drain away before cooking. This will reduce both the saltiness and the contamination risk.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some of the chicken recipes I use that call for 24-48hrs between rubbing salt into it and cooking suggest washing the chicken in warm (diluted) saltwater to get excess salt away from the surface. Might be worth trying if you think thick marinade on top of what's seeped into the meat at this point's a bit much.

Either way it's probably going to be pretty salty, though this could work in your favor if you pretend it's lunchmeat instead of a dinner entree. Would make for some awesome chicken sandwiches I'd bet.
posted by Muu at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2012

If you're worried about oversaltiness, pour off the marinade and soak them in water for a half-hour before cooking. If you're really worried about oversaltiness, put a cut-up raw potato in with them. (Then you throw away the potato.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2012

I'm presuming that the chicken was fresh when you marinated it? Otherwise, you still need to count the rest of the time that it spent in the fridge!
posted by schmod at 12:22 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fresh meat, kept away from excessive oxygen, should last a week, easy, in a properly-cooled fridge. I typically do marinades for a whole day and dry rubs for up to four days and have never had an issue. Rinse it off, pat dry with a towel (paper and toss or cloth and wash immediately, your choice), cook. If it tastes noticeably off, don't eat any more, but I'd definitely cook them.
posted by curious nu at 3:16 PM on February 8, 2012

Didn't an episode of one of Heston's shows prove (via MRIs or some nonsense) that marinades don't actually penetrate the meat, but only flavour the surface? The exception was marinades that contained yogurt which some how changed things.
posted by oxford blue at 11:41 PM on February 8, 2012

Response by poster: Update! I cooked and ate the chicken with no ill effects. It was not as salty as I had feared it would be, either. Success!
posted by chowflap at 7:30 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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