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.

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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!
4.77 from 90 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.

463 comments on “The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe”

  1. Hi there, how long will the marinade alone keep in the fridge?

  2. ThIs was so good, my 9 year old raved about it to Grandma! I cook a lot so she’s not very picky but this chicken she loved. Used Founders Lager, and have a second dinner marinating now with ginger ale for tonight. Question, though, when you grill have you added BBQ sauce too? I didn’t but was wondering if it would be good or not? And, leftovers were dry, daughter didn’t like so I reserved some marinade this morning to use on leftovers heating.

    • Hi Denise,
      I’m so happy you and your daughter enjoyed this! It’s one of our family favorites! I’ve not used it and added other bbq sauce just because we love the flavor the marinade gives it. Thanks so much! xo

  3. i ran out of olive oil, can i use regular vegetable oil? I have all the other ingredients. thanks

  4. If beer (alcohol) isn’t an option, what you recommend to replace it?

    • Hi Holly,
      I give a couple of substitutions in the recipe notes that have worked well for me – ginger ale or apple cider (not apple cider vinegar).

  5. Hey Robyn, in substitution of the beer can I use soya sauce.

  6. Hey Robyn, in substitution for beer can use soya sauce as well?

  7. The recipe sounds delicious. Thanks. The apple cider version appeals to me. I love barbecued foods, but at age 56, I now love quickly and easy more! So I don’t have a grill. I used to cook all my chicken recipes by baking chicken thighs in a 9×9 pan half way through, pouring off the fat/juices, then pouring on a homemade sauce or marinade recipe directly into the pan, over thea chicken. Then finish baking it and serving over Brown rice with a green vegetable. Saves the time and steps of marinating in a bag. The only problem was having to clean the oven! Due to back pain, I need to make cooking even easier and faster, so now I microwave the chicken thighs in a covered Corningware casserole, pour off the grease, then pour a marinade over the chicken and microwave a few more minutes. It comes out so moist and delicious. From the time I open the chicken package and remove the chicken with a fork into the casserole dish, until done, it’s 15 – 20 minutes, and only a fork and the casserole dish to wash. Plus the rice/veg pot, and my plate and utensils.
    I’m going to try your marinade. I bet it will be delicious. Thank you.

  8. What can I serve this with? Can you recommend an easy side dish preferably either bread or rice related?

  9. I’ve made your recipe 3 times now. Seems to work well with whatever I pop open 😊. So far Hard Cider, belgain ale, and tonight sprite! Awesome every time. Thanks

  10. can you freeze this for around 2 months, chicken and all the marinade together

  11. Absolutely w/o a doubt, the best Grilled Chicken Marinade I’ve ever tried! I allowed the chicken to marinade a Min of 8hrs. The seasoning was flat out perfect! This will always be my GO TO MARINDE for Grilled Chicken!!!
    Thx a lot,
    Gerald

  12. Hi, when you say chopped onion, do you mean an actual onion chopped up? Or would it be minced onion or onion powder that you get in the spice aisle?

    Thank you

  13. Excellent good tasting everyone enjoyed easy to make

  14. I made this marinade tonight and marinated the chicken strips in it for an hour. It was delicious but overnight would have been even better!

  15. I use this recipe for my chicken pieces I use in my chicken wraps – the best ever. Making some tonight for Friday night wraps 😁

  16. Simple and yummy

  17. Wonderful recipe Robyn, your marinade is simple and fun to make. I’m 63 years old and really enjoy grilling year round.  While looking for a new marinade to try I saw yours and I must say I’m very glad I did, it’s so delicious! I have made this recipe lots of times and wanted to thank you for sharing it.  My family and friends never turn down a cookout invite when I tell them it’s chicken:-)

  18. Hi,
    Do you think a beer with lime in it would be good or would the flavors clash?

  19. Could you bake this recipe? I need to get around 8 whole chickens done that will be served rewarmed so grilling isn’t really an option

  20. Thank you for posting. Family challenged me to do grilled chicken breast strips for wraps through the week. This recipe is a hit, alcohol cooks off of course but what it does for the flavour…! I use a potent Craft India Pale Ale to help penetrate the meat. Grilled over charcoal, it’s amazing. 🍻

    • Must add I’ve started using cilantro instead of parsley and a snap of fresh lemon juice or lemon pepper seasoning, so yummy. 🍻

  21. I am making this recipe today, but not grilling it how long would i need to bake it for and what temperature please ? 
    thank you. 

  22. I made this grilled chicken last night.. It was the BEST chicken I have ever tried… I ran out of beer at home, so I skipped that ingredient… My husband and son just loved it & have asked me to make this again next week! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. Wish you all the best!

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