My whole chicken has been marinating for 2 days. Should I let it get to room temp?

  • Posted by: Tasha
  • September 8, 2015


Michael R. September 9, 2015
Always better to let meat get to room temp before cooking, but less critical with cuts that need longer cooking time, such as chix thighs.
Susan W. September 8, 2015
I would definitely take the chill off of it. I'd let it sit for an hour. My goal would not be to bring it totally to room temperature, but one hour will make a big difference.
Jenny O. September 8, 2015
I have found through a ton of trial and error that letting a chicken get (closer) to room temp before you cook it makes a big difference in juiciness, since it will cook more evenly and slightly faster. I recommend taking it out and putting it in a safe (not steamy) spot away from the preheating oven for about an hour before you cook it does the job. Per the food safety question from the previous answer, you're cooking it to 165 - 170 to make it edible anyways, and that will kill any fledgeling bacteria.

Another cute trick is to flip the bird over onto its breast side while you rest it (for 10-15 minutes) before you carve, so the juice can drain back into the white meat (a cook's illustrated trick). Makes a huge difference!
Cav September 8, 2015

The amount of time that it'll take the internal temperature of your chicken to rise up to your room temperature will measure in hours, not minutes. And if you're roasting or braising it would not result in any discernible improvement. Plus, by bring a bird up to room temperature it's likely to spend too long in the danger zone (especially if your room is warm) for comfort.

Even though it was with steak, the principles that Kenji-Lopez of Serious Eats investigates here will still apply to a chicken.
Susan W. September 8, 2015
Now I'm considering changing life in my kitchen. I've known most of those, but the room temperature thing blows my mind. However, I thought it was to prevent meat from seizing up going from cold fridge temp to hot oven, pan or grill.
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