How to Marinate Chicken for Grilling?

Marinating chicken before grilling is a simple and effective way to add flavor and moisture to the meat. You can transform a mundane piece of chicken into a delicious and aromatic meal by using a flavorful marinade and allowing it to soak in it for a period of time.

In this article, we will go over the steps for marinating chicken for grilling as well as some success tips. Whether you are a novice griller or a seasoned pro, marinating chicken is a technique worth learning. You can elevate your grilled chicken to new levels with a little forethought and a flavorful marinade.

How to Marinate Chicken for Grilling

How to Marinate Chicken for Grilling?

One of the easiest ways to improve the flavor of chicken on the grill is to marinate it in various flavors. While wet marinades are ideal for grilling, you can also use dry rubs. These rubs contain herbs and spices that seal in moisture and amplify the flavor.

Some good dry rubs include garlic powder, red chile flakes, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar. Here’s how to make the grilled chicken marinade:

  1. Choose a marinade: There are numerous marinades, including a basic oil and vinegar mixture, a citrusy marinade, and a spicy marinade. You can also make your marinade by combining ingredients such as oil, vinegar, herbs, spices, and any other flavorings you prefer.
  2. Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels after rinsing it in cold water. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  3. Pour in the marinade: Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure that it is evenly coated. If using a dish, turn the chicken pieces to coat them evenly. If you’re using a bag, seal it and massage the marinade into the chicken.
  4. Marinate in the refrigerator: Place the bag or dish in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be.
  5. Grill the chicken: Set the grill to medium-high heat before grilling the chicken. Grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Take the chicken out of the marinade and throw away any marinade that is left over.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest: Take the chicken off the grill and set it aside for a few minutes before serving. This allows the chicken to finish cooking and the juices to redistribute.

To avoid cross-contamination, remember to wash your hands and all surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken.

Some Tips

  • You can also add some dried herbs. Parsley, for example, is a great option for marinating chicken.
  • The flavor it adds is both bright and salty. You can experiment with the ingredients to make the marinade more unique and tasty.
  • Another bonus is that the marinade can be made ahead of time, allowing the flavors to blend.
  • Another trick to marinate chicken for the grill is bringing. Brining chicken requires just a few minutes of your time, but it can help the meat hold up well under the grill’s heat. It will also improve the flavor of the grilled chicken.
  • This marinade can be used to prepare salads, wraps, and sandwiches. You can also use this marinade in oven or stovetop cooking.

How to Marinate Chicken in a Ziplock Bag?

To marinate chicken in a dry rub, you can place it in a gallon zip-top bag. Make sure the bag is tightly closed to prevent air from escaping. You can also use a shallow dish and turn the chicken around periodically to ensure even marinating. Once marinated, the chicken should sit in the fridge for at least one hour before grilling.

Once marinated, place the chicken on a preheated grill and cook for about 45 minutes before removing the chicken from the marinade, discarding any excess marinade. After cooking, the chicken should register 165°F internal temperature. Once it has reached this internal temperature, please remove it from the marinade and serve it hot.

Before grilling the chicken, cut the chicken breast in half. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and is thick enough. Remember that the larger the breast, the longer it needs to be grilled. The larger the breast, the longer it needs to be grilled, and this will cause it to dry out.

How do you Add Smoky Flavor to Chicken?

If you want to add a smoky flavor to your chicken, use liquid smoke. It is a very easy and convenient way to add flavor to your chicken. You can also add chili garlic sauce for a spicy kick. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl to prepare the marinade.

After mixing the marinade, put the chicken into a plastic storage bag. Turn the bag over to distribute the marinade evenly throughout the chicken.

You can experiment with different flavors and herbs for your chicken marinade. You can include herbs and aromatics, spices, and citrus zest to give it a unique flavor and aroma. Remember to add salt! This will help the chicken cook evenly and retain moisture and juices.

For the best results, leave the chicken to marinate for at least five to six hours. However, you can leave the marinade overnight or marinate it for 15 minutes.

Should you Take Chicken Out of Fridge Before Grilling?

You should remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 15 to 30 minutes before grilling. If you are grilling chicken for the first time, you should let it rest for 15-30 minutes before putting it on the grill.

When it is done, place it on the grill using one tablespoon of olive oil and cook it for 3-4 minutes or until the breasts are golden. The temperature inside the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should you Soak Chicken Before Grilling?

Soaking chicken in water or another liquid before grilling is not necessary, and it won’t change the way the chicken tastes or how it cooks. In fact, soaking chicken in water can make it tougher and less tasty because it dilutes the chicken’s natural flavors.

Marinating is a great alternative to add moisture and flavor to your grilled chicken. To marinate chicken, combine the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl or plastic bag, add the chicken, and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 24 hours. Marinating the chicken adds flavor and moisture to the flesh, producing a more soft and tasty finished product.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the excess marinade when ready to grill. Grill the chicken over medium-high heat, occasionally flipping, until cooked and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

What to Serve with Marinated Chicken?

Numerous delectable sides pair well with marinated chicken. Among the options are:

  1. Grilled vegetables: To serve alongside the chicken, grill a variety of vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
  2. Salad: A light salad is a great way to counteract the richness of the chicken. Make a straightforward green salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and your favorite dressing.
  3. Roasted potatoes: Roasted potatoes are a classic side dish with grilled chicken. Roasting potatoes, such as red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or fingerlings, with herbs, spices, and olive oil is an option.
  4. Grilled corn: Grilled corn on the cob is a summertime favorite that pairs well with grilled chicken. Shuck the corn, brush it lightly with oil, and grill it until tender.
  5. Pasta salad: Pasta salad is a versatile side dish that can be prepared ahead of time and served cold or at room temperature. Make a quick pasta salad with cooked pasta, vegetables, and a tasty dressing.
  6. Rice or grains: Grilled chicken pairs well with rice, quinoa, or couscous. You can eat plain grains or herbs, spices, and vegetables.

When selecting sides, keep the flavor profile of the marinade in mind, as you want the side dishes to complement the flavors of the chicken.

Should YOU Put Oil on the Chicken Before Grilling?

It’s a good idea to oil your chicken before grilling it. This can help keep the chicken from sticking to the grill and add taste to the meat.

You may oil your chicken in a variety of ways before grilling it:

  • Brush the chicken with oil: Use a brush or a spoon to coat the chicken with a thin layer of oil. This is a quick and easy technique to put a little oil on the chicken before grilling it.
  • Marinate the chicken in oil: Another option is to marinate the chicken in oil with other tasty ingredients such as herbs, spices, and citrus liquids. This can assist in adding flavor to the chicken and keep it moist and soft while it cooks.
  • Rub the chicken with oil: You can also rub the chicken with a mixture of oil and your favorite herbs and spices. This can assist in flavoring the chicken and keep it from drying out while it cooks.

Whatever method you use, make sure to use a good-quality oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or grapeseed oil. When exposed to high heat, these oils are less prone to burn or smoke, ensuring that your grilled chicken turns out correctly every time.


If you have leftover cooked chicken that you want to save or freeze, do it as soon as possible after cooking to avoid bacterial growth. Wrap leftover cooked chicken tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in a sealable container to preserve in the refrigerator.

Cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cooked chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap leftover cooked chicken tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in a sealable plastic bag or container to freeze.

It is critical to use proper packaging when freezing food to avoid freezer burn and other types of deterioration. Airtight packing and removing as much air as possible can increase frozen food’s shelf life.