Soaking Chicken in Milk: A Comprehensive Guide

Soaking chicken in milk is a popular technique used to tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor. This practice is often employed in Southern-style fried chicken recipes, but it can also be used for other dishes like roasted chicken or chicken breasts.

Benefits of Soaking Chicken in Milk

There are several reasons why soaking chicken in milk can be beneficial:

  • Tenderization: Milk contains lactic acid, which acts as a natural tenderizer. It breaks down the protein fibers in the chicken, making it more tender and juicy.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Milk adds a subtle richness and creaminess to the chicken, complementing the flavors of other ingredients in the recipe.
  • Improved Browning: The milk solids in the milk help the chicken brown more evenly when cooked.
  • Improved Texture: Soaking in milk can help prevent the chicken from drying out during cooking, resulting in a more moist and succulent texture.

How to Soak Chicken in Milk

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to soak chicken in milk:

  1. Choose the right milk: Whole milk or buttermilk are the best choices for soaking chicken. Buttermilk contains more lactic acid than whole milk, making it a more effective tenderizer.
  2. Prepare the milk: If using buttermilk, shake it well before using. If using whole milk, you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to increase the acidity.
  3. Submerge the chicken: Place the chicken pieces in a bowl or container and pour the milk over them, ensuring all pieces are completely submerged.
  4. Refrigerate: Cover the container and refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for maximum tenderization.
  5. Remove the chicken: Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cooking. This will help it cook more evenly.
  6. Pat dry: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before cooking to remove excess moisture and ensure even browning.

Tips for Soaking Chicken in Milk

  • Use fresh milk: Ensure the milk you use is fresh and hasn’t gone sour.
  • Don’t over soak: Soaking the chicken for too long can make it mushy. 30 minutes to overnight is the ideal range.
  • Season the milk: You can add spices and herbs to the milk for additional flavor.
  • Discard the milk: Do not reuse the milk after soaking the chicken. Discard it for safety reasons.

Safety Considerations

When soaking chicken in milk, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines:

  • Use a clean container: Make sure the container you use to soak the chicken is clean and sanitized.
  • Refrigerate the chicken: Always keep the chicken refrigerated while it’s soaking.
  • Cook the chicken thoroughly: Cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.


Soaking chicken in milk is a simple yet effective technique for tenderizing and enhancing the flavor of the meat. By following the steps and tips outlined above, you can achieve perfectly cooked and delicious chicken in your next dish.

Steps to Marinate Chicken in Regular Milk

Marinating chicken in regular milk involves a few simple steps. Heres how you can do it:

Preparing the Chicken for Marination

Make sure the chicken is cleaned and free of extra fat before marinating it. To achieve optimal effects, lightly score the meat to enable the marinade to seep deeper. Additionally, this step facilitates the chicken’s more efficient flavor absorption.

Cleaning the chicken is a crucial step in order to get rid of any dirt or bacteria that might be on its surface. After giving the chicken a quick wash in cold water, pat it dry with paper towels. Remove any fat that is readily apparent because too much fat can prevent the marinade from being absorbed.

Making small incisions on the chicken’s exterior is the process of scoring it. By using this method, the marinade is able to permeate the chicken and infuse flavor into every bite. Make tiny, diagonal cuts on the chicken’s two sides with a sharp knife. Take care not to cut through the meat by cutting too deeply.

Why do you soak chicken in milk before frying?


What does soaking chicken in milk do?

Tenderness: The lactic acid in milk helps to break down the proteins in the chicken, resulting in a tender and moist texture. Flavor Infusion: Milk can act as a carrier for other flavors, such as herbs and spices, allowing them to penetrate the chicken and create a delicious taste profile.

What is the purpose of milk in chicken?

the lactic acid in milk can help tenderize chicken, and it’s also possible the calcium plays a role by activating an enzyme to help tenderize.

How long to soak chicken in milk before frying?

Soak the chicken in the milk mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll the chicken in flour, being sure to completely cover each piece. Set aside to dry. In a large cast-iron skillet melt lard over medium heat.

Why dip chicken in milk before frying?

The lactic acid in dairy breaks down the proteins and collagen in the chicken, which softens the flesh and will make it more tender when cooked. By piercing the chicken, you’re allowing the dairy to reach farther in and tenderize more of the meat!

Why do you soak chicken in milk?

Milk Is also a brilliant tenderizing and soaking agent as it works in two ways with chicken. The lactic acid destabilizes the protein, and the calcium accelerates the natural breakdown process. It provides the answer to why to soak the chicken in milk. How long can you marinate the chicken?

Does soaking chicken in milk make it tender?

The most important benefit of soaking chicken in milk is that the milk makes it more tender. The calcium in the milk tends to activate the natural enzyme in chicken that helps it to tenderize. Milk also breaks up the acidity and heat, and it creates a creamy sauce that makes a roast chicken juicier.

How do you eat chicken soaked in milk?

Chicken soaked in milk is a great way to get protein into your diet. To soak chicken in milk, place the chicken breast in a bowl and pour enough whole milk over it until it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes before cooking.

Why do chefs soak chicken in yogurt before cooking?

These enzymes and acids work together in order to break down the proteins allowing the chicken meat to become tenderer. This is the reason why chefs soak chicken in yogurt or milk overnight before cooking it. The marinade will yield for a better result especially when you plan to fry the chicken.

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