Is It Possible to Marinate Chicken and Beef Together? (You Might Be Surprised)

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Wondering if you can marinade chicken and beef together?

So, it’s totally understandable if you’re confused as to whether it is okay to marinade them together.

After all, the different pieces of meat will be in contact with each other.

And this might lead to all kinds of cross-contamination. 

Keep reading this article to find out whether it is okay to marinade two popular types of meat together — chicken and beef.

Is it Safe to Marinate Chicken and Beef Together

Yes, you can marinade both chicken and beef together. 

However, we don’t always recommend doing so.

While it is perfectly safe, it might not result in the best possible results — in terms of the final flavor.

We would also like to share that while it is safe to marinate both types of meat together, cooking them together is a whole different story. 

Both of these meat require different cooking temperatures.

You don’t want to cook them together can take the meats off of the heat before they’re even safe to consume!

Before we immediately dive into the specific types of chicken marinade or steak marinade, let’s cover the basics of marinades. 

What is a Marinade?

A marinade is a liquid, often seasoned and containing acidic components, that is used to enhance the flavor of meat before cooking.

There are two types of marinades: acidic marinades, which incorporate acidic ingredients, and enzymatic marinades, which utilize enzymes to tenderize the meat.

There are so many different flavorful marinades that you can just buy at the store.

But should you purchase that and just pour that over your meats? 

Could there be better ways to go about flavoring your cuts of meat?

Also, does your marinade need to change depending on your meat recipe?

Is it even possible to use a chicken marinade to cover the natural flavor of beef?

Marinating Chicken

The excellent thing about chicken is that its natural flavor is quite mild, so it will go well with pretty much any marinade. 

Its mild or bland flavor also means that it doesn’t possess any strong odors or ‘gamey’ taste.

So your marinade doesn’t have to include any strong spices that’ll work to mask a particular smell or flavor. 

You also won’t have to include a lot of different ingredients to ensure that you’re left with a flavorful chicken. 

With that being said, those with sensitive taste palettes might still think that chickens might still taste a little ‘gamey’. 

To counter this ‘chicken smell’ or ‘chicken taste’, you should try to include a little lemon or vinegar in your marinade.

These acidic ingredients not only add a citrus flavor to your meat, but the acid also really helps to tenderize it.

Whether you’re marinating a whole chicken or chicken breast meat you’ll want to make sure that the whole bird is covered in the marinade.

That way you’ll be left with a flavorful chicken.

If you don’t flip the meat every now and then while it is marinating then the pieces of meat won’t be marinated evenly. 

By the way, here is our all-time favorite chicken recipe.

Marinating Beef

The best marinade ingredients to use when marinating beef would be red wine, beer, or pineapple juice.

You can also use other types of fruit juice too!

For example, here’s a recipe that utilizes apple juice and one that uses orange juice!

You mainly want to use marinade ingredients that are high in acidity when marinating beef.

This is because it can help neutralize the naturally strong flavor profile of beef.

This not only makes it less ‘gamey’ but it can also halve the overall cooking time.

That way you’ll be left with nice and tender meat that also tastes absolutely amazing!

By the way, here are some of our favorite grilling recipes for beef.

How Long Can You Marinate Chicken and Beef Together Safely?

We don’t really recommend marinating chicken and beef together.

This is because the marinating time for these two types of meat differs from one another.

Much like how a chicken kebab grilling time is different from the grilling time of a flank steak.

One of our steak tips is to give your beef marinating time of at least 12 to 24 hours.

However, it is always best to marinate your beef cuts for at least 24 hours.

However, you can get away with an overnight marinade if you’re really short of time.

On the other hand the sweet spot for marinating chicken is only around five to six hours.

Leaving chicken to marinade for 24 hours is acceptable.

But the acidity in some of the simple pantry ingredients will definitely ruin the texture of the chicken by then.

The solution to this would include taking out the chicken meat after about 5 hours and to leave the beef to marinate a little longer.

Are There Any Recipe Recommendations for Chicken and Beef?

Yes! We do have a few all-purpose marinade recipes that we recommend you try out!

Beef marinades usually use a lot of dry rub ingredients.

So, you may find that some of your pantry spices that pair well with beef may not necessarily work with chicken.

However, we’ve found that a lot of Asian spices tend to work for both!

Wet marinades also tend to work best if you’re looking to marinade chicken and beef together at the same time.

So none of these recipes will include a dry hand-mixed spice rub.

Here are the recipes:

Just make sure to follow the recipes we’ve recommended and you should be all set!

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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