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How long to marinate?

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I'm making chicken satay from Cradle of Flavor and bringing it raw to a BBQ to be grilled there. The recipe says to marinate 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. If I marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, how long should I let it go? I assume longer. I know a recipe that I have for pork skewers from a Thai book says to marinate 3 hours on the counter, but to marinate overnight if you do it in the refrigerator.

I would probably marinate the chicken on the counter if it was just for me and my husband, but I guess since I'm feeding strangers, I'll follow more conventional modern food safety rules.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. 4 - 6 hours at refrigerator temp, depending on what's in the marinade. If it's highly acidic, opt for the shorter time period.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Great! Thanks! That's very helpful.

    2. I make this recipe quite often and marinate in the refrigerator during the summer months. I usually end up with around 4 hrs, sometimes a bit more, and never had an issue. This recipe is extremely forgiving and absolutely delicious.

      1. For small pieces of boneless skinless chicken to be skewered, at the max 4 hours.
        I speak from a bad experience, it was overly salty by the time we cooked it because I let it marinate too long.
        Overnight is ok for yougurt marinades, in fact there's a marinade I make with spices. I put the chicken coated in a large glass jar, with yogurt, (homemade) garam masala, and onion, garlic, ginger and cilantro, and wow it's wonderful. A flattened whole chicken, I will make it the day before, bring it out to lose some of the chill, and then grill or roast.