FoodMaster the art of grilled chicken with these marinade secrets

Master the art of grilled chicken with these marinade secrets

This is how you will prepare the best marinade for the grill
This is how you will prepare the best marinade for the grill
Images source: © Adobe Stock

6:16 PM EDT, April 9, 2024

A marinade for grilled chicken should be a delightful blend of slightly sweet and sour, with a robust salty taste complemented by a hint of spiciness. When the meat is fully immersed in this concoction, it gains an exceptional flavor and aroma and becomes tender, juicy, and flaky. Discover how to create a marinade for grilled chicken that will transform your dish.

Essential components of an excellent grilled chicken marinade Crafting a homemade marinade is simple. However, it's important to keep a few key points in mind to choose the right ingredients and create the ultimate blend. A good marinade should not just enhance the meat's flavor and aroma but also tenderize it and retain its moisture.

The secret to a perfect grilled chicken marinade

A top-notch marinade for grilled chicken accentuates the poultry's natural delicacy. Alongside picking the right spices and herbs, incorporating a liquid component is crucial. Options include oil, ketchup, mustard, beer, or dairy products like kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt, which excellently soften the meat. Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar are also beneficial. Adding a bit of honey to the mix will ensure the chicken gets a caramelized outer layer. The sweetness perfectly offsets the spicy, salty, and sour nuances.

For an exemplary grilled chicken marinade, consider using spices and herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, sweet and hot paprika, garlic, and curry, along with essential salt and freshly ground black pepper. Natural spices also mitigate harmful substances that may form on the meat during grilling. Incorporating rosemary, turmeric, ginger, and sage can be particularly beneficial for both flavor and health benefits.

Marinating chicken for grilling: How to ensure it's tender and juicy?

Combine the marinade ingredients, then submerge the meat pieces fully. The marinade must cover every portion of the poultry, whether it's leg or breast. Ensure the chicken pieces are uniformly sized. For thicker cuts, consider scoring or piercing them slightly so the marinade can soak in thoroughly.

How to make a marinade for grilled chicken?
How to make a marinade for grilled chicken?© Pixabay

Let the chicken marinate for at least one hour to achieve the best results, though overnight is ideal. Cover the marinating chicken, perhaps with foil, and refrigerate. It is recommended that the meat be brought to room temperature about an hour before grilling. Avoid grilling it straight from the fridge or when it's still frozen.

Recipes for grilled chicken marinades


  • 4 tablespoons mustard,
  • 4 tablespoons honey,
  • About 3.4 fluid ounces of oil,
  • Salt, pepper,
  • A clove of garlic.


  • Juice from half a lemon,
  • Salt, lemon pepper,
  • 2 tablespoons oil,
  • 2 large cloves of garlic,
  • Thyme.


  • 1 cup buttermilk,
  • Lemon juice and zest,
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • 2 tablespoons oil,
  • 1 tablespoon honey,
  • Salt, pepper.


  • 2 tablespoons mustard,
  • 2 tablespoons honey,
  • 2 tablespoons oil,
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup,
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce,
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika,
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,
  • Salt and pepper.
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