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How Long Can You Marinate Chicken in Yogurt?


Leaving vegetarians behind, everyone loves to have juicy marinated chicken to fulfill their food cravings. In fact, in the majority of the grand lunches and feasts, chicken has its importance. And marinating it tastes another level.

Some people around us are fond of cooking. They are eager to try every single recipe that they can. Marinated chicken is everyone’s favorite to try with friends and family because it is easier to make. You just need to watch the right recipe and by exactly following it, you can achieve your desired results.

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What is Marinate?

Typically, a marinade is a water-based mixture of different ingredients, depending on one’s own choice, which enhances either the texture or flavor of the meat or particularly chicken. Marinades also help in giving the required meat certain juiciness which is appealing to every meat-lover. The science behind marinating chicken or any other meat before cooking is to allow the meat to absorb the spices and acids into it.

Marinating chicken in yogurt is a middle eastern style of marinade. Adding garlic and well-seasoned spices along with yogurt to chicken is a perfect blend to upgrade the plain chicken to a whole new level. This recipe is perfect for barbecue parties.


Time is Taken to Marinate Chicken

The question arises, how long should you marinate chicken? I admit that most of you will say that you indeed leave the chicken overnight to marinate it with the caution that it depends on the marinade and the protein quantity of the chicken. Putting meat covered with marinade into the refrigerator the night before you want to cook seems easy, but mostly there is a chance that the surface of the meat will get spongy due to acids in the marinade. And when it turns out mushy and liquid-like, no one is interested to sit and eat that kind of stuff. Therefore, you should avoid marinating meat for long periods.

In some cookbooks and recipes for yogurt-marinated foods, you may notice the time period for marinating process is usually 6-8 hours. Those recipes also say about marinating overnight, but with this, you need to be careful. The time depends on whether you are using too many acids and spices along with yogurt or not. If you do with the care you will see that the result is super delicious with tenderness and taste.

The way you cook or grill your marinated chicken plays a vital role in the outlook as well as in the taste and flavor of the meat. You can add olive oil to the yogurt-based marinade to keep the exterior of the chicken from drying out during frying or grilling. Whether you are using boneless or any other kind of chicken, make sure to have all of them in equal pieces. This will equalize the taste in every piece and there will be a uniform flavor in all of the chunks.

Through several experiences in the kitchen and by searching about molecular biology it is found that the different properties of acids play a key role in the taste of the food these are cooked with. So various combinations of acids with the marinades produce different results.

Steps to Marinate Chicken

To examine the time period required to marinate chicken, I personally experimented. I took half kg of the boneless chicken and added yogurt and little spices into it and left it in the refrigerator overnight. After 8 or 9 hours approximately, I took out the chicken and grilled it at 149°F for about one hour. The result was so great. Cooked chicken was so tender, juicy, and mouth-watering that I could not resist eating the plateful of it.


By repeating the experiment, I took two samples of chicken, one marinated for only half an hour and the other one for 20 hours approximately. The results of both samples have their own uniqueness. The one marinated for a longer period of time was juicier, tastier than the other one.

Hence by the above-mentioned experiments, I learned that for boneless pieces of chicken 2 hours are enough to bring the delicious taste. Chicken breasts require 8 hours or so. Chicken thighs can take up to 24 hours to give the required tenderness and juiciness.

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