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Grilled chicken on a white plate with corn on the cob in the background.
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5 from 13 votes

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade

The best Grilled Chicken Marinade for tender, juicy, incredibly flavorful chicken with gorgeous color. Elevate your next summer BBQ with this easy chicken marinade recipe.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Dish, Marinade
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 434kcal


  • cup olive oil
  • cup less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce optional
  • 2 to 3 pounds assorted chicken pieces


  • Place all the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  • Place the chicken into a gallon sized plastic storage bag and add the marinade (split the chicken between two bags, if needed). Seal the bag and turn it around a few times to distribute the marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Grilling Instructions

  • Grill over MEDIUM-HIGH heat until seared then continue to cook over indirect heat until the internal temperature of the thickest portion of chicken reaches 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.


Chicken Grilling Tips
  • Size and cut - Try to use chicken pieces that are close to the same size so they will cook at an even rate. Boneless breasts and be very thick and it's best to pound them slightly thinner or even cut them down into smaller portions before grilling so they'll cook more quickly without drying out.
  • Indirect heat - You want to cook over a high enough heat to sear the chicken, but much of the grilling time should take place over indirect heat. On a charcoal grill, build your coals off to one side so the chicken can be moved over. A rotating grill grate makes it easy to spin the grill around as needed. For a gas grill, just turn off one or more of the burners directly underneath the chicken.
  • Cover the grill - Covering your grill creates an oven-like environment which will speed along the cooking process. Plus, the drippings are more likely to catch fire in an uncovered grill.
  • Temperature - Using a meat thermometer may be the most important tip of all. Chicken should be grilled to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You don't want to exceed this temperature for the best tender, juicy chicken. Check the temperature in the thickest portion of the thickest piece of chicken.


Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 865mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg