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Can You Marinate Chicken and Beef Together?

There are very few people who would pass up the opportunity to find new ways to cut down on the time spent in the kitchen. All over the internet, kitchen hacks and shortcuts keep appearing. Not all of them are useful or even work, which makes those that do all the more valuable. 

Possibly the best way to limit your time spent cooking is to combine two tasks at once, such as marinating chicken and beef at the same time. But can such different meats really be marinated together? 

It is safe to marinate chicken and beef together, but doing so may not be the best choice. Chicken may not taste great with the flavour of a beef marinade and vice versa. If you do want to marinate the two meats together, a lot of Asian-inspired marinades can work well. 

How Long To Marinate Chicken And Beef Together?

Possibly the biggest mistake that people make when trying to marinate two very different meats together is not understanding how long each meat should be marinated for.

Chicken and beef are meats that can taste delicious with similar flavours but require different treatments and marinating times. 

Beef is quite a versatile meat in the sense that different cuts of beef offer different flavours and textures to a dish. Some beef has more fat, others have a more gamey taste. 

To unlock those characteristics, most cuts of beef benefit from being marinated for 12 to 24 hours.

This is because the acidity in the marinade needs enough time to break down any tough connective tissue in the beef to make it deliciously tender.

Chicken Needs Less Time!

Chicken requires a much shorter marinating time. The standard marinating time for every cut of chicken, from the thigh to the breast, is 5 to 6 hours.

By the end of that time, the chicken will be full of flavours and perfectly tender. 

Marinating chicken for longer than this can break the fresh down too far, even cooking it when acid is used. This can result in tough, chewy and stringy meat.

Marinating Chicken

Consider Acid Levels

How long you marinate your chicken and beef depends entirely on how acidic your marinade is.

Vinegar, citrus juice, hot sauce, and pickle juice each have their own acidic levels. The higher the acidity of your marinade, the quicker it will tenderize your meat. 

Overly tenderizing your beef or chicken will completely ruin the texture of the meat when it is cooked, turning it into a soggy mess. 

For the best results, start marinating your chicken and beef at the same time but take your chicken out of the marinate after 5 to 6 hours.

Allow the beef to carry on marinating while you pat the chicken dry and leave it to rest covered in your fridge until you are ready to cook. 

The Best Flavours for Marinating Chicken And Beef Together

It is worth noting that beef tends to be a very flavourful meat already. The specific taste of the beef will vary from cut to cut, but beef as a whole is complexly savoury and gamey, often with a hint of sweetness. 

When marinating your chicken with your beef, the chicken is very likely to absorb and adapt to the natural flavours of the beef.

As such, it is best to try and shape your dish’s taste and the final taste of the chicken on the natural profile of the beef, working with the intense flavours rather than against them.

There are a lot of flavours in Asian cooking that can complement both the beef and the chicken with little work.

Although, you can also pull inspiration from your favourite dishes that you know work with either meat to create your own marinade. 

A little sweetness can help balance the complex savoury flavour of the beef. On the other hand, soy sauce can form the liquid base of your marinade while highlighting the savoury and umami flavour of the beef.

Ginger is often used to flavour chicken because of its sweet and spicy mix, but as a spice, it can also have a delicious effect when used with beef.

Of course, garlic powder and onion powder are go-to choices for any marinade, used across all cuisines and paired perfectly with both beef and chicken. 

Our Easy Go-To Marinade

This is the most effortless marinade that can be used on a range of proteins (and even veggies): Combine 60ml soy sauce, 2tsp grated ginger, 1tsp sriracha, 2 grated garlic cloves, a drizzle of honey and 2tbsp mirin.

Soy and Ginger Marinade for Meat

Can You Cook Chicken And Beef Together? 

You may be looking to marinate chicken and beef together to save on making two batches of the marinade and wasting expensive ingredients. Or, maybe you are looking for quicker ways to meal prep for your week ahead. 

The good news is that you can cut yourself even more time in the kitchen and cook chicken and beef together. Though, like when marinating the meats together, chicken and beef have different requirements to consider when it comes to cooking. 

For chicken to be safe to eat, internally, it has to reach 75C at least.

This is the same no matter how you cook the chicken, either on the grill or in the pan. 

It can take different lengths of time to reach this temperature depending on how you cook the chicken, but 75C is the minimum internal temperature for chicken to be safe. 

As for beef, it only needs to reach an internal temperature of 62C before it can be enjoyed. 

Again, how long the beef takes to reach this temperature will vary depending on the cooking time.

But the standard length of time for cooking a medium-rare beef steak, for example, is only 4 or so minutes. Chicken needs at least 10 minutes in most situations. 

So, to cook chicken and beef simultaneously, you must pay close attention to the internal temperature of either meat and be on top of your cooking timings to ensure perfectly cooked meat.

Otherwise, you risk overcooking the beef or undercooking the chicken. 

Marinating Chicken and Beef FAQs

You’ve probably got more questions about marinating chicken and beef together. These might be answered below, if not, drop a comment at the end of the page:

Can You Marinate Chicken and Shrimp Together?

Although it is likely to be safe to marinate chicken and shrimp together, they will need completely different marinating times. You’ll also find that any acid content toughens up the shrimp.

Can You Marinate Chicken and Pork Together?

As both chicken and pork have a mild flavour and tend to take on marinades in the same way, you can marinate them together.

Can You Marinate Beef and Pork Together?

Yes, beef and pork can be marinated together, but you’ll want to marinate the pork for half the time you marinate the beef.

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