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I marinated chicken a couple weeks ago, and stored the marinade afterwards in a jar. Can it be reused, or is that dangerous? I've been told conflicting stories here. The marinade is mostly teriyaki if that makes a difference.

Intended use of used marinade: Marinate chicken which will then be cooked in the oven. It will not be used with anything that won't be cooked (like a sauce).

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Probably not twice! –  Jay Sep 6 '10 at 20:17

9 Answers 9

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Most reliable sources will warn you strongly against reusing marinades because they can continue to harbor bacteria. Even though the second batch of meat will be cooked, there'll be lots of time for the bacteria to multiply in the meantime. (And given the symptoms caused by foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria like salmonella, the risk isn't worth the few cents you'll save on marinade.)

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+1 for pointing out that "bloody runny poop" vs. "spend an extra $1" is a pretty no-brainer trade-off. –  ceejayoz Jul 17 '10 at 3:27

No! Do yourself a favor and avoid the advice of whomever or whatever suggested otherwise. Yes, it is dangerous. You have a jar of teriyaki flavored bacteria in your refrigerator. Yes, there's a fair chance that cooking the hell out of your chicken will kill anything deadly, but why on Earth would you take the chance?

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Not only are you allowing the bacteria to fester, you are allowing it to fester in almost an ideal setting. –  Mike Sherov Jul 17 '10 at 3:11
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+1 for teriyaki flavoured bacteria. –  ceejayoz Jul 17 '10 at 3:18

No, you can't, not without risking illness. Once you've marinated meat, you should dump any leftover marinade; don't even use it to baste roasting meat! (Reserve some marinade that has not touched the raw meat for basting purposes.)

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No. you cannot use it (two week old used marinade) as a baste/glaze, even if you boil it first.

The problem is not always active bacterial contamination, it is the byproducts that bacteria leave behind.

Edited to add: Darin qualified that he meant fresh marinade could be used as a glaze. I've edited my response accordingly.

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What byproducts do bacteria leave behind that are toxic after boiling? Do you have a source for this or is it just speculation on your part? –  kevins Jul 17 '10 at 20:17
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botulinum toxin is the first that comes to mind. The spores themselves aren't the problem, it's the residue/waste they leave. –  daniel Jul 18 '10 at 7:29
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to expand further: garlic commonly carries the spores, which is why you shouldn't store raw garlic in oil; it gives a nice anaerobic environment for the bug to multiply and thus release toxins causing botulism. –  daniel Jul 18 '10 at 8:05

Marinades for meat/poultry/fish should not be re-used. Particularly if it was used a couple weeks ago.

The sweetness and saltiness of teriyaki sauce would likely make it more difficult for bacterial growth but it's still a health concern and definitely not worth taking a chance on.


What you can do is use a fresh marinade as a basting glaze AFTER you have brought it to a boil for a few minutes. Then use it to glaze your meat during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.

When you've marinated meat in mixtures that contain a lot of sweet elements you want to first wipe off the marinade, pat the meat dry and then lightly coat with a little oil before grilling/broiling, etc. Bring the marinade to a boil and then brush on as a glaze during the last few minutes of cooking. If you cook the meat with a coating of the marinade from the beginning, the sugars will caramelize and burn and you'll have the meat sticking to the grill/pan. The result will be that it tears and leaves the skin/outer layer of meat stuck to the grill when you remove it.

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@hobodave & @ceejayoz: I'm not suggesting using the marinade that had been used several weeks back. What I'm saying is if you've marinated chicken for dinner tonight you can then pull the chicken out to start cooking it and then cook the marinade prior to basting. I started that post by saying that marinades shouldn't be used more than once. –  Darin Sehnert Jul 17 '10 at 4:40
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@Kevin Selker One of the most notable is botulinum toxin - Botox. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_toxin –  ceejayoz Jul 18 '10 at 0:21
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@Kevin: Preventing foodborne is often caused by the toxins produced by the bacteria. If it was a case of simply killing the bacteria most spoiled items could be consumed by simply cooking them to a high degree. Cooking to a high temperature will kill bacteria but not the toxins they have produced. Staph, Clostridium Perfringens, and Costridium botulinum are most notable for producing illness from their toxins. restaurant.org/foodhealthyliving/safety/foodborneillness –  Darin Sehnert Jul 18 '10 at 15:01
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@Kevin - RE: Botulism, Clostridium botulinum is most notably associated with canned goods. It however simply needs anaerobic conditions to grow and thrive. C. Botulinum is found in soil and in the 80's when flavored oils were the rage in restaurants there were several instances where illness was traced to oils containing garlic cloves that hadn't been refrigerated when not in use. The garlic was the source of the botulinum and oil produced anaerobic conditions. Left within the danger zone (40-140degrees) for extended periods it produced the right conditions for bacterial growth to occur. –  Darin Sehnert Jul 18 '10 at 15:05
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The minimum temperature it would have to reach to be considered safe is 165, same as for the chicken. The idea of boiling it however ensures that it has been brought up well above that temperature without any need to take the temperature of the marinade. If it boiled, or even came to a a simmer for a minute or two, then you'll be fine. Easier than messing with checking the specific temperature. –  Darin Sehnert Jul 28 '10 at 21:29

If the marinade has been in contact with raw chicken, dispose of it. 83% of raw chicken in the US harbors campylobacter or salmonella.

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Link doesn't work here—brings me to their main food page. –  derobert Jan 12 '12 at 16:51
    
The link is old. Similar: consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/january/food/… –  goblinbox Jan 22 '12 at 22:43

Yes, providing you boil the marinade immediately after you remove the chicken from it and then store it either frozen for ~3 months or in the fridge for ~1 week. Any bacteria in the marinade will be killed off from the boiling and, if there were any bacterial byproducts in the marinade, well, they're also on the meat you just took out of it so you have more problems than your marinade.

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+1 for method of reusing marinade :) –  Coltin Jul 18 '10 at 20:22
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A few minor problems with this: boiling kills most (not all) bacteria, and if there are sufficient bacteria, boiling may kill most of the bacteria, but will leave anything they produced behind (not good eats). Also: boiling can change the flavour of a marinade, depending how long it's on the fire (herbs especially). –  Bruce Alderson Jun 1 '13 at 22:25
    
As I said, if there's byproducts in the marinade, then there's byproducts in the chicken you need to worry about. –  Shalmanese Jun 3 '13 at 11:06

The question you need to ask yourself is would you have used the chicken you marinated today? The bacteria on the chicken is now combined with the marinade and I assume from the post that the marinade was just sat in the fridge. I don't think that anyone would feel comfortable using raw chicken that has been sat there for 'a couple of weeks'. I think anything that has come into contact with raw meat should be treated as if it is that meat, if you wouldn't cook and eat the chicken now, don't cook and eat the marinade.

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If it touched raw meat, it is raw meat. Would you eat two week old raw chicken?

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