BBQ Chicken Marinade Recipe

Bbq Chicken Marinade

This BBQ Chicken Marinade recipe will take your grilled chicken to new heights of flavor. As a BBQ enthusiast with years of grilling experience, I love sharing my passion and knowledge with fellow BBQ fans.

This easy Grilled Chicken Marinade is perfect for anyone, regardless of their level of expertise in the kitchen or at the grill.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your BBQ journey, our chicken recipes are always simple and easy to follow, ensuring mouthwatering results every time.

For this recipe, you’ll need just a few basic tools, including a large resealable plastic bag for marinating, a grill for cooking, and an instant-read thermometer to ensure your easy-grilled chicken is cooked to perfection.

With these tools in hand, you’ll be ready to create a scrumptious BBQ dish that’s sure to impress family and friends.

So, fire up that grill and join me as we explore the fantastic flavors of this BBQ Chicken Marinade recipe together. Happy grilling!

Yones Bbq Rubs

How To Make This BBQ Chicken Marinade

Prepare the Marinade

Start by combining ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, paprika, grated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Give it a good mix to blend all the flavors together.

Marinate Chicken

Now, add your chicken pieces to the bag with the marinade. Seal the bag tightly, making sure to squeeze out any excess air.

Gently massage the bag to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the chicken marinate, or you can even freeze chicken in the marinade for up to a month.

Defrost and Grill

If you froze the marinating chicken, remember to defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before grilling. When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from the bag and preheat your grill.

Grill chicken over indirect heat, covered, for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F, and the chicken is cooked through with a nice, light char on the outside.

Serve BBQ Chicken

It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Remove chicken from the grill, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce alongside your favorite side dishes.

Tips For Making BBQ Chicken Marinade

This grilled chicken marinade is an easy and delicious way to elevate your grilled chicken experience. Here are a few simple tips for beginners to make the most of this tasty recipe.

  • Customize your Marinade: Feel free to tweak the marinade ingredients to your taste. Add some heat with a dash of hot sauce, or go for a sweeter profile with a bit of honey.
  • Longer Marinating Time: For a more intense flavor, you can marinate the chicken for up to 4-6 hours. But be cautious not to marinate for too long, as the acid in the marinade can break down the chicken texture.
  • Use a Food-Safe Brush: When grilling the chicken, use a food-safe brush to baste the chicken with any leftover marinade during the cooking process. This will keep the chicken moist and add extra flavor.

Customizing Your BBQ Chicken Marinade

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your BBQ Chicken Marinade!

Feel free to add or substitute ingredients to suit your personal taste preferences. For a spicy kick, try adding some hot sauce, cayenne pepper, chili powder, or red pepper flakes.

If you prefer a more tangy marinade, you can increase the amount of apple cider vinegar or add a splash of lemon juice.

Experimenting with different herbs and spices, like rosemary, thyme, or smoked paprika, can also add a unique twist to your marinade. You can also add your favorite go-to seasonings like garlic powder and onion powder.

Storing and Reusing Leftover Marinade

If you find yourself with leftover marinade, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a sealed container.

However, it’s essential to never reuse marinade that has come in contact with raw meat, as it may contain harmful bacteria. If you want to use the marinade as a sauce or glaze, simply set aside a portion before adding the raw chicken.

This way, you can safely use the leftover marinade to add extra flavor to your cooked chicken or other dishes without any risks.

Pairing Sides with BBQ Chicken

To complete your meal, consider pairing your BBQ chicken with delicious side dishes that complement the flavors. The right combination of sides can truly elevate your BBQ experience and make your meal memorable.


One popular side dish for BBQ chicken includes grilled or steamed vegetables. Veggies such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers, which add a healthy and colorful touch to your plate.

Potato salad and coleslaw are classic BBQ accompaniments that can be made in various styles, from creamy and tangy to light and vinegar-based.

Baked Beans

Baked beans, with their rich and hearty taste, make a perfect companion to BBQ chicken, and you can customize them with different seasonings and add-ins.

For a fresh and light option, consider a mixed green salad with a simple vinaigrette or a more elaborate salad featuring fruits, nuts, and cheese to balance the smoky and savory chicken.

Rice or Pasta Dishes

Rice or pasta dishes can also be excellent side choices for BBQ chicken, providing a satisfying and filling base for your meal.

From classic buttered noodles or garlic mashed potatoes to more adventurous options like cilantro lime rice or a Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad, the possibilities are endless.

When selecting your side dishes, remember to choose options that balance the richness of the BBQ chicken marinade ingredients and enhance the overall dining experience.

Aim for a variety of textures, colors, and flavors to create a harmonious and visually appealing meal that will leave everyone at the table satisfied and impressed with your BBQ chicken spread.

Best Beer To Serve With BBQ Chicken

There’s nothing like enjoying a perfectly grilled BBQ chicken with a refreshing beer to complement the flavors. Here are my top 3 beer picks that pair exceptionally well with a grilled chicken breast that marinated in this BBQ marinade.

American Pale Ale

An American Pale Ale is a great choice to pair with BBQ chicken. The balanced bitterness of the hops cuts through the sweetness of the marinade, while the malt backbone complements the smoky flavors from the grill. It’s a match made in BBQ heaven!

Amber Lager

An Amber Lager brings a slightly sweet, toasted maltiness that pairs nicely with the caramelized BBQ flavors of the chicken. Its crisp and clean finish helps cleanse your palate, making every bite of chicken taste just as delicious as the first.


If you’re looking for something a bit lighter and more refreshing, a Hefeweizen is an excellent choice. Its fruity and slightly spicy notes offer a delightful contrast to the rich, bold flavors of the BBQ chicken. The effervescence of this beer also works as a palate cleanser, leaving you ready for more mouthwatering bites.

BBQ Chicken Marinade can use with this following Recipes

Bbq Chicken Marinade

BBQ Chicken Marinade Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes



  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless skinless thighs


  • Mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, paprika, grated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of pepper in a large resealable plastic bag.
  • Add the chicken to the bag, seal it tightly, and massage gently to coat the chicken with the marinade.
  • Refrigerate the chicken for 2 hours, or freeze it for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it over indirect heat, covered, for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through, lightly charred, and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Keyword chicken

BBQ Chicken Marinade FAQs

How long should I marinate my BBQ chicken?

For the best flavor, marinate your chicken for at least 2 hours. You can also marinate it for up to 4-6 hours for a more intense flavor, but be cautious not to marinate for too long, as the acid in the marinade can break down the chicken texture.

Can I freeze marinated chicken?

Yes, you can freeze marinated BBQ chicken for up to a month. Make sure to defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

What is the best temperature to grill marinated BBQ chicken?

Grill your marinated BBQ chicken over indirect heat, maintaining a consistent grill temperature. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, which usually takes about 20-25 minutes.

Can I use this BBQ chicken marinade for other cuts of chicken?

Absolutely! This versatile BBQ chicken marinade works great with boneless chicken breasts and chicken thighs but it also works well with drumsticks or even a whole chicken!

Can I use this chicken marinade for other meats besides chicken?

Yes, you can use this BBQ chicken marinade for other meats, such as pork or beef. Just make sure to adjust the marinating time and cooking temperature according to the type and thickness of the meat you’re using.

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