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Can I Cook Chicken in the Sauce I Marinated it in?

Marinades can seem like a lot of waste. After all, you're putting several ingredients into something that's just going to go in the trash after a few hours. Is that really all a marinade can do?

Most marinades are made up of three parts, oil, spices and acid. The acid may be vinegar, wine, or some type of citrus juice. The acid works to break down the tough chicken fibers and help tenderize them while allowing the meat to hold onto moisture while cooking. The end result is an incredibly juicy chicken breast that's full of flavor!



How to Re-use a Meat Marinade

A marinade can be used again as a sauce for your meat, tofu, or vegetables but it's not advised that you reuse the marinade after you've removed the meat.


During the marinating process, pathogens may be transferred into that marinade which is not safe to eat as is. This could make you and your dinner guests terribly sick. You will need to cook it first following the steps below to eliminate bacteria that could be lingering like Salmonella and E. coli.

  1. Remove all meat from the marinade.

  2. Pour the marinade into a saucepan, then bring it to a boil on the stove.

  3. Boil for five minutes. (212 degrees F)

At this point the cooked marinade is now safe to re-use as a sauce or glaze.



Anything Else I Should Know?


Boiling a marinade for several minutes will reduce the amount of liquid, which could leave the marinade thicker in some cases. If the sauce thickens too much, add some vegetable or chicken broth after the five-minute boil. Be sure to use a separate basting brush from the one used on the meat originally. This will ensure you keep the bacteria from any raw meat away from your new sauce.


If you've marinated non-poultry options like vegetables or tofu, you don't have the same food safety concerns and steps to follow. These foods rarely carry pathogens that could make you ill, so in this case feel free to use that leftover marinade sauce as it is.


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