The Absolute Best Way To Marinate Chicken, According to a Chef

By Ghuman


Marinating chicken is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your dish. It can be a bit tricky to get the marinade just right, but with the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious and flavorful meal. As a chef, I have developed the absolute best way to marinate chicken. This method will ensure that your chicken is juicy, flavorful, and tender. I will share my tips and tricks for marinating chicken, so you can make the most delicious meal possible.

The Absolute Best Way To Marinate Chicken, According to a Chef

Marinating chicken is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your dish. But how do you know which marinade is the best? We asked a professional chef to share his top tips for marinating chicken.

Choose the Right Marinade

The first step to marinating chicken is to choose the right marinade. A good marinade should have a balance of acidity, sweetness, and saltiness. A classic combination is olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. You can also experiment with different flavors, such as soy sauce, honey, and ginger.

Marinate for the Right Amount of Time

Once you’ve chosen your marinade, it’s important to marinate the chicken for the right amount of time. Generally, you should marinate chicken for at least two hours, but no more than 24 hours. If you marinate for too long, the acidity in the marinade can start to break down the chicken, making it tough and dry.

Don’t Reuse the Marinade

Once you’ve used the marinade to coat the chicken, it’s important to discard it. Reusing the marinade can introduce bacteria into the chicken, which can cause food poisoning. If you want to use the marinade as a sauce, make sure to boil it for at least five minutes before serving.


Marinating chicken is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your dish. By following these tips from a professional chef, you can ensure that your chicken is perfectly marinated every time.

There are few foods as versatile as chicken. Although it can be served with almost any meal, that doesn’t mean that it’s always delicious. This is why it’s important to marinate chicken before cooking it, in order to make sure that each bite of your meal is flavorful, juicy, and soft.

Like any cooking technique, there are ways to marinate that work better than others, and according to Patrick LeBeau, an executive chef at Bambara in Salt Lake City, and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, there’s one method of marinating chicken that stands above the rest.

Read on to learn about this chef-approved way to marinate, and for more cooking tips check out The 9 Kitchen Tools Every Beginner Cook Needs.

Making the marinade


Before the chicken can be marinated, a marinade has to be put together. As far as what goes into the marinade, LeBeau recommends combining grapeseed oil, kosher salt, and lemon juice, as well as herbs, including parsley, dill, and chive.

“The neutral flavor of the oil allows the flavor of the herbs to come through as well as providing a higher smoke point so the oil will not burn before the chicken cooks,” LeBeau says. “The lemon helps to tenderize the chicken as well and impart flavor.”

He recommends first combining the oil, salt, and lemon juice in a bowl before chopping up the herbs and combining them in the bowl with the other ingredients.

“Chop the herbs and mix everything together in a bowl,” LeBeau says. If that results in a marinade that’s a bit thick or chunky for your tastes, LeBeau recommends an easy solution to smoothing out the marinade. “If you want you can also place all ingredients in a blender to make it smooth,” LeBeau says.

Marinating the chicken

marinating chicken

The best way to combine the chicken and the marinade is by placing them both in a plastic bag once the ingredients of the marinade are mixed together, according to LeBeau.

“Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and then pour in your marinade,” LeBeau says. “Once everything is in the bag, seal the bag and squeeze [the contents] with your hands to massage the oil into the chicken and make sure it is evenly coated.”

Making sure that the entire piece of chicken is evenly coated with the marinade will ensure that each piece is packed with flavor, according to LeBeau. Before you put on the marinade, it’s also important to make sure that the chicken is room temperature so it will be able to absorb the ingredients in the marinade and become flavorful.

If you’re ready for a delicious dinner, grab some chicken, a Ziploc bag, and whatever you need for your marinade. Then throw this delicious chicken on the grill or in the oven and enjoy the tender, juicy flavors.