The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

For years now, we’ve used a simple marinade that I quickly throw together for our grilled chicken. It uses ingredients that you’ll most likely have on hand. If not, I urge you to buy them the next time you are at the grocery store, along with your favorite cuts of chicken and make it! It makes the perfect way to start your grilling season! I think you’ll love it.

Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

A few years ago, we made grilled chicken legs using this marinade when my sister-in-law Karen, her husband Todd, and their three boys were on an RV trip with us. I knew that our son loved it and hoped that their boys would as well. We won’t even talk about how much chicken we got all of the kids to eat, let’s just say they loved it as much if not even more than I’d hoped!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

In all seriousness, I’ve not fed anyone chicken made with this marinade that hasn’t loved it.

I originally just included this marinade recipe in with my grilled chicken legs recipe that I shared a long time ago. However, I have requests for it so often, I thought it deserved it’s own little spot in the world. Ha!

How to Make Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

You’ll grab a few spices that really kick up the smokey flavor of this grilled chicken marinade and another that adds a little kick, too.

Cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

This spice blend just works beautifully and is one that is great to have on hand, too.

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

The other special ingredient in this chicken marinade is beer.

Now, I have to admit something to you. I rarely cook with beer, but it absolutely adds something to this chicken. For the beer, I would recommend using whatever beer you prefer. I usually use Corona or Yeungling, but any beer that you prefer will work. If you can’t use beer or prefer not to, I’ve included a couple of other options that I’ve tested in the recipe below for you.

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Once I’ve mixed up my spices and beer, along with a few other ingredients, I just pour it over the chicken legs that have been placed in a large zip top bag.

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Carefully, remove as much air from the bag as possible and then seal the bag. Then, turn the bag from side to side to make sure all the chicken is well coated with the chicken marinade.

Then, I place it on a half sheet pan and into the refrigerator for at least an hour, but hopefully overnight so the chicken has plenty of time to soak up all that goodness.

Every few hours, I’ll turn the bag from one side over to the other to keep the chicken coated with the marinade. Then, you’ll just grill your chicken according to your favorite grilled chicken recipe. We love it so much that I’ll pull out my grill pan in the dead of winter!

Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

Here’s The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Yield: 2 cups
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken marinade, chicken marinade recipe, chicken recipe, grilled chicken, grilled chicken marinade recipe

The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Total Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite!
4.72 from 73 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups beer

Directions

  1. Pour olive oil into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.
  2. Mix together salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper and add to olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and parsley. Mix together well with a fork. Slowly add beer as it will cause the mixture to foam and bubble slightly.
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken in the zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Turn the bag from side to side to make sure all chicken has been coated with the marinade.
  4. Place the bag flat on a small, rimmed kitchen sheet pan and into the refrigerator. Allow to sit up to 1 hour or overnight for best results, turning the bag over every few hours to keep the chicken coated.

Notes

Time does not include time to marinate chicken.
Marinade works best for about 5 pounds of chicken.
If you prefer not to use beer, you can replace with apple cider or ginger ale.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

 Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe - Grilled Chicken recipes are always a crowd-pleaser. This easy grilled chicken marinade recipe will become a favorite! // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.

397 comments on “The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this grilling-mate recipe! I can’t see myself grilling chicken without it!

  2. Have you tried white wine instead of beer?

  3. I use this site a lot great recipes. I pulled a chocolate cake and chocolate butter cream frosting recipe that is really good. I also pulled a white cake and butter cream frosting recipe that is also great. I copied this chicken marinade recipe to try I am sure it will be great.

    • The chocolate cake is beyond wonderful. I eat gluten free due to allergies, but have taken it to 4-5 events. Most of the time alcohol is involved. The boiling water makes it a very moist cake. At first I wasn’t as convinced, due to some drinking. However, took it to a birthday party last week. 5 people ate half that cake. Also use the butter cream frosting – it was a last minute party, so I didn’t have time to soften the butter. Using the microwave melted it a bit more than I’d like and i needed to add a little more powder sugar. still tasted great. =) Can’t wait to try the chicken tonight. No time to grill it, but going to bake it and hope it’s as awesome.

  4. This is now my default recipe for grilling chicken! I bought a small grill to fool around with, and this was my second receipe. I do add all little extra garlic and salt because I don’t use sauce on it, but the way it melts in your mouth should be a sin. Thanks so much

  5. Loving it, thank you!

  6. Question, can I use it on boneless chicken breasts?

  7. I’m a garlic fiend so I doubled the garlic. We really enjoyed this marinade!

  8. I have no method of grilling the chicken 🙁 Will they be just as delicious in the oven?

  9. I love this marinade I would like to know if I can bake the chicken beside grill it

  10. This was super good my family loved it 

  11. can you use alcohol-free beer?

  12. Outstanding! I used shocktop Belgian wheat and it was so good!! I could literally drink this marinade. Bravo.

  13. Hi there, sorry if this is a stupid question but what do you do with the marinade juices? Do you throw then away or cook them with the chicken? Thanks. 

  14. I want to try this. Can you make it with boneless chicken thighs? I dont like bone in chicken. Also can i eliminate the cumin. I dont like it

  15. I did make the recipe altho i used Cidar Vinegar. Instead of beer and it came out marvelous Thank you for sharing

  16. What kind of beer do you reccomend? I don’t drink but I’m not opposed to cooking with it. 

    • One of the beers she suggested was Corona. We sometimes have Redds Apple Ale on hand and I think we’ll try it with that! 

  17. What kind of beer do you use with this? 

    • im pretty sure she said corona but maybe even a rich stout or porter might go really niceley giving a dark caramel cook to it, Its not rocket science at the end of the day

  18. Just made this marinade, it’s in the fridge waiting to be grilled later. I followed the recipe exactly but it looks a lot lighter in color than in your pictures. Did I do something wrong? Well I hope it still tastes as good first time trying it and grilling for friends tonight. So we will see. I did use ginger ale instead of beer. But beer and g ale are similar in color so I’m not sure what happened. Anyone else have this happen to them? Thanks for the recipe!

    • I am having the same issue. It’s lighter in colour and also is very watery looking, not thick like the pictures. How did yours turn out?

    • Hi Jessica,
      It may be a bit lighter from the ginger ale as some beers are deeper in color. We aren’t beer drinkers, but do like it for this marinade, but some of them are darker than others and make the marinade a shade different.
      It should still be delicious. I hope you enjoyed it! xo

  19. Can you use this for pork chops too or do you have a specific marinade for them?

  20. Can I use soda instead of beer/ like 7up or sprite with it ?

  21. Tried the recipe but air fried instead and the taste is awesome with the chicken skin as crispy as the pork skin.

  22. This chicken came out amazing!!!!! I added some curry powder and turmeric because we love those two spices in our house, but I followed everything else exactly as the recipe stated. My 3 year old is so picky and she devoured the chicken. It was so relieving watching her ea5 with such joy. Thank you for that!!! I did marinate for 48 hourse and I’m so glad I did because the chicken was off the bone tender. 

     I used split chicken breast because it was on sale for super cheap! I cooked it covered for an hour at 350, then uncovered and toasted/broiled to crisp up the skin for 5-10 minutes.

    This recipe is such a hit and so easy.

    I have strip steaks marinating in the same recipe and I’m dying to see how it turns out. 

  23. Can I substiture ginger beer for the Corona?

  24. I prefer to use fresh ingredients but I made this recipe last minute and I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used dried. I was also only able to marinate the chicken for a little over an hour. I was amazed at how good it was! I can’t imagine how good it will be when I’m able to follow the directions completely. I will definitely be making this again!

  25. I would have to omit the beer because of gluten, has anyone tried it with the apple cider?

  26. Perfect recipe. I made it for my boyfriend and he was really impressed!!

  27. Great marinade! Made it for boneless chicken breasts…forgot to add the avocado last minute, but it was great! Compliments from guests about how tender the chicken was!

  28. For those who dont drink, i used apple juice and it was great.

  29. I just made this marinade and feel that it’s very thin, not like the picture at all……it’s not sticking to the chicken. Is this normal? I used 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup Corona. I’m worried it’s not going to work.

    • Hi Jenn,
      I’m sorry your marinade didn’t turn out – but the issue is most likely that you mistakenly used an ingredient not in the recipe. The substitutes for beer are apple cider or ginger ale – not apple cider vinegar as you mentioned using. I’ve not tried it with ACV and I’m sure the taste will be different. I hope you try it again as it is truly delicious! Thanks!

  30. This is really the best grilled chicken marinade!

  31. It was GREAT!!!!!

  32. Absalutly excellent chicken. It came of the grill moist and tender. Beer made it sweet but it had a nice kick in there as well definetly makin this again.

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