How Long Can You Marinate Chicken in Buttermilk?

Marinating chicken increases taste and help in improving its texture while at the same time making it crispy, moist, and tender.

In fact, these are some secrets that chefs and other people in the hotel industry never want to share with their customers.

How long can you marinate chicken in buttermilk? This remains one of the most sought-after questions in the poultry industry.

To enjoy the irresistible meal, you need to have the facts right.

What is Buttermilk?


Milk is a versatile kitchen ingredient, probiotic, fermented with good bacteria, and acidic.

Buttermilk has lumps, and before you open the container, ensure you shake it well to help break the lumps.

You will appreciate that it has a longer shelf life if stored properly and within the required temperature.

Please also note that compared to fresh milk, it is thicker in nature.

Being acidic, it makes the best marinate property for chicken or poultry products.

The acid helps tenderize chicken while at the same time increasing the incredible taste.

Do you know buttermilk can be made at home?

It is important to note that buttermilk gets bad. The easiest way to know when it’s bad is through its bad odor.

Please don’t use it twice upon marination. Just discard it. If unused are left, store them in an airtight container and freeze them.

With Chicken meat in hand and buttermilk, on the other hand, you will be able to impress your friends and family with this incredible flavored chicken. Why not give it a try?

How Long Does It Take to Marinate Chicken?


There are two simple ways to marinate poultry meat;

Firstly, marinate the chicken in the fridge for 1-3 hours. The set time can be longer if it does not exceed 48 hours for great results.

When chicken marinades for longer, it becomes mushy and loses healthy fibers.

Nobody wants to eat mushy fried chicken that might be unhealthy for consumption.

Each time marinating in butternut exceeds the required time, you risk losing the entire flavor to butternut flavor.

It can be very overpowering if not controlled.

Secondly, marination can be done over the counter for those who prefer not to use a fridge.

The time frame should be within two to four hours, depending on your preference and liking.

Countertop marination will work well if one gets to know the internal temperature.

The process will take a shorter period in places where the temperature is higher.

Right timing and the use of a meat temperature should be considered.

The kind of countertop will also contribute greatly to the amount of time used during the marinating process. Wooden countertops are warmer when compared to granite countertops.

Thirdly, top chefs use one of the marinating options in the freezer.

When chicken buttermilk is kept in the freezer, it should not be more than 12 hours per se.

But interestingly, freezing gives the marinate a longer life.

Buttermilk grilled chicken is a comfort food and, when done right, can be quite succulent, juicy, and very filling. It helps bring out the full taste.

How to Prepare the Meat Before Storage?

Depending on your family’s preference, you will need a number of chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken legs, or chicken wings.

These should be fresh and fully thawed if refrigerated.

What are some of the items you will need to be able to enjoy fully tender chicken?

  • Chicken Recipe
  • Garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Black pepper
  • Buttermilk
  • Sea or kosher Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Hot oil
  • Ziploc bag

Chicken generally cooks faster unless it’s free-range chicken that takes longer.

Marinated chicken, in essence, takes a shorter time and, when done right, is very juicy and tender.

By sending the marinated chicken to the grill or air fryer, you should have everything ready and, if possible, have your flour mix ready.

How to Marinate Chicken

Marinate Chicken
  1. Put the pieces of chicken described above in a Ziploc bag, depending on the size of your family.
  2. Add crushed garlic or put the cloves in and crush them from the outside of the bag, don’t be too hard to cause a hole in the bag.
  3. Add salt, Black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion, and onion powder or seasoning, as we might call it.
  4. If you are cooking a whole chicken, ensure that you add a little lemon or vinegar, it helps increase the process for larger pieces.
  5. Add buttermilk, lock the zip bag, and slowly move around or shake to ensure that they are evenly spread.
  6. Keep in the fridge at not more than 40 F

The above process does not differ even when marinating on a countertop. To avoid meat leakages on the fridge or the countertop, keep the mixture in a dish or a tray, and don’t forget to time it.

Chicken, compared to buttermilk, has a shorter shelf life and gets back rather fast. Just as discussed above, ensure to have the temperatures are right.

Time is of great essence when marinating and frying chicken.

Is it necessary to rinse off the buttermilk before heading to the grill?

No! Allow the excess to drip before dipping the chicken in the flour mix. There is no reason to rewash it off; it is part of the whole process and has no known danger.

What are the Best Ways to Cook Buttermilk Chicken Tenders?

Once the marination process is done, it’s time to grill or fry your chicken. People prefer different methods of frying or grilling.

Some people prefer deep frying, while others prefer an air fryer. Whatever your preference, one thing is for sure if done right, you will have one of the most delicious brown, moist chicken.

Other people prefer frying the chicken for a little while and then transferring them to the grill. This works well, and it should be said that nothing is cast in stone; whatever works for you will be best.

Preparations should be put in place way beforehand. This is not a one-touch kind of cooking.

Be sure to plan ahead. Poultry from the fridge must be thawed early enough.


Buttermilk, in its acidic nature all through the generations, has been known to help tenderize check while at the same time increasing its flavor.

Unlike what some people have made to believe, it never changes the taste but instead increases it. It does not dry.

There have been a lot of misbeliefs that should be put to rest.

Now that you know, you have no excuse for not being able to advise others on how long you can marinate chicken in buttermilk.

It is an easier, simple, and more efficient way of enjoying your chicken.

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Carole May

Hi, I love to cook! I have been passionate about cooking for as long as I can remember. My favorite foods are Italian, Mexican, and Indian. I'm not afraid to share my love of cooking with my family, friends & the whole world.

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