I recently cooked chicken in a Teryaki sauce/marinade, and it turned out great. I cooked the chicken on both sides, and then cooked it in a bath of Teryaki for about 3 minutes. The Teryaki bubbled a lot.

I let the Teryaki sit there in the pan, after cooking, for about 24 hours, and it turned into a tar-like, viscous substance. It reminded me of a video of a guy doing the same with coca cola, which had the same type of affect, which brings me to the question: is this a problem, or a harmless effect expected to happen?

Also, is it bad practice to cook it in a bath of Teryaki like this? Would marinading it be a better alternative? How long should I marinade it for?

This is Yoshinoya's Sweet & Sour (Teryaki-like) sauce, from Costco. Very tasty.

  • Why would consistency effect healthyness?
    – Robert
    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:28
  • It looks really disgusting, and it wouldn't be something I eat if it was originally presented to me in that form. If you something like tar, you probably wouldn't eat it even if someone said it were edible.
    – Meyekem
    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:30
  • 2
    The fact that it was left sitting out at room temperature for a day is a more significant food safety issue than the sauce becoming overly thick. However, the increased viscosity is not caused by bacteria or other contaminant, just evaporation.
    – Erica
    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:35
  • Hello! I understand that you are concerned about your health, but nutrition and healthy is off topic here. Food safety is on topic, but it depends on safe food handling, not on the thickness of the sauce. I decided to edit out that part instead of outright closing the question, maybe somebody can explain what is happening and whether to expect it to happen again.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 4, 2015 at 6:58
  • 1
    All it is, is loss of water. Left behind is the copious amounts of sugar which is now a thick syrup. A splash of water and a little heat and it'll look the same as it did when you emptied your packet. Nothing to worry about, I wouldn't eat it more due to the chicken residue left in there (Though it is very possible all that sugar has "preserved it" I wouldn't take the risk).Regarding the cooking. I wouldn't bother marinading it, it's been proven else where on this site to be pretty much a waste of time.I also wouldn't suggest boiling it, or any meat, it causes a strange texture.Simmer instead.
    – Doug
    Feb 4, 2015 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


Teryaki has sugar in it. If you bring it to a boil, the sugar will behave like it typically does in candy-making, and become viscous and possibly tar-like.

You often want this sort of behaviour if you're trying to make a barbeque sauce from meat drippings, but it sounds like you let it boil a little too long.

  • And let it sit uncovered too long.
    – logophobe
    Feb 5, 2015 at 22:31

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