6 Easy Homemade Chicken Marinades for the BBQ

6 Easy Homemade Chicken Marinades for the BBQ
6 Easy Homemade Chicken Marinades for the BBQ

Here are 6 easy homemade chicken marinades for the BBQ.

How to marinate chicken at home? It’s easy, and it’s definitely worth it because this way the meat gains flavour and remains tender and juicy after you’ve cooked it. Marinate it in oil, lemon juice or yoghurt, flavouring it with garlic, spices or herbs. The recipes for chicken marinades are countless. 

Below we have listed a few of our favourite marinade recipes.

Homemade Chicken Marinades for the BBQ

Just remember — if you want marinated meat for the party, plan ahead. You’ll need to marinate the meat in advance, as it takes a minimum of 1 hour, often more, for the marinade to do its magic.

Try these easy homemade chicken marinades for the BBQ!

1. Lemon Garlic Marinade

A simple and spicy chicken marinade.

This tangy marinade is easy to make and will add loads of flavour to your chicken. Perfect for a warm summer day BBQ party.

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated or peeled
  • Honey to taste
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Marinating time: at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. 

For a better taste, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Garlic, Soy and Lime Marinade

A super easy chicken marinade for your next BBQ dinner.

There are only 6 ingredients, and it takes only minutes to make it. Being almost as simple as a 4 ingredient chicken marinade, this garlic, soy and lime marinade infuses the meat with deep lime flavours and gives just the right amount of sweetness.

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Cayenne pepper or hot chilli pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (optional)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 60 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Marinating time: overnight.

3. Chicken Kebab Marinade

Chicken kebab is one of the top BBQ dishes for many.

One of the reasons behind this being the fact that chicken kebabs are simple to make. Just marinate the meat, thread it onto skewers and cook through. Easy and delicious! If you are cooking the kebab on a charcoal grill, it will have the unique smoky taste that only charcoal grills offer.

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 120 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

Marinating time: 2-8 hours.

If you have kebab seasoning spice mix, you can also use that. Mix it with yoghurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and ketchup.

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4. Teriyaki Marinade

A simple chicken marinade for an Asian-inspired meal. 

The chicken teriyaki is the perfect option for an Asian-inspired barbecue meal. It’s easy to make and it makes your chicken delicious, juicy and tender. Teriyaki marinade gives meat sweet, savoury and tangy flavour which is favourite combination for so many BBQ enthusiasts. 

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 120 ml cup soy sauce
  • 120 ml cup water or pineapple juice
  • 120 ml cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Marinating time: at least 2 hours. 

For a better taste, marinate overnight.

5. BBQ Marinade

The BBQ marinade is one of the best marinade recipes for summer grilling.

It is easy to make and will give your chicken a sweet and smoky barbecue flavour. It’s also one of our favorite recipes for chicken marinade.

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
  • A pinch of garlic powder (optional)
  • A couple of pinches of chilli (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Marinating time: at least 2 hours, for a better taste — overnight.

6. Italian Marinade

A refreshing chicken marinade, perfect for hot summer days.

Also, it makes the chicken tender and juicy.

The Italian-style chicken is best eaten with fresh salad.

Ingredients (for 500 grams of chicken):

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or use basil, thyme and oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and / or basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Marinating time: 1 – 12 hours.

How to Marinate Chicken at Home?

What containers can you use for marinating?

Method 1 — Zip-Lock Bag

You can place all the ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag / zip-lock bag. Seal and shake to combine the ingredients. Then place the meat in the bag. Close the bag and move the meat around to coat it in the marinade. Massage the meat to distribute the marinade evenly.

Put the zip-lock bag in the fridge.

Method 2 — Plastic Container

Mix all the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. Put the meat in the marinade, close the lid and shake the container well. Pierce the meat with fork so that the marinade seeps through and gives it a deeper flavour.

Put the container in the fridge.

Method 3 — Metal Bowl

Mix all the ingredients in a metal bowl. 

Cover the meat in the marinade. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil.

Put the bowl in the fridge.

Accessories for grilling

How Long Do You Need to Marinate the Chicken?

If you don’t have much time, 1 or 2 hours will be OK.

Just remember that the flavour won’t be as intense as when you marinate the meat for a longer period of time. At the same time it’s important to understand that you also shouldn’t be marinating for too long. 

How long is enough, and how long is too long?

It depends from the type of marinade you plan to use.

Acidic marinades (lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt) can ruin your chicken if you marinate it too long. It’s best to leave the marinated meat in the fridge for a maximum of 5-6 hours. If you leave the chicken in the marinade for too long, the meat will become dry and stringy, and the texture will be ruined.

If the marinade doesn’t contain acid — up to 48 hours. 

Not all homemade marinades for chicken work the same way. Take that into account when you’ll be looking for marinade ideas for chicken and choosing the one for your next meal.

For more tips see our Charcoal Grilling 101.

What are your favourite chicken marinades for the bbq?

Featured photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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