Go Back
+ servings

Grilled Chicken Marinade

This is my favorite grilled chicken marinade of all time! It’s so simple and only has 6 ingredients (one of them is balsamic vinegar so you know it’s going to be good). Cook up the leftover marinade to make a delicious glaze to drizzle over the chicken after it’s slow grilled to perfection!
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 584kcal
Author Karen


  • 2 pounds chicken any cut (I love thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons steak seasoning
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice *
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar for boiling with marinade


  • In a large gallon size ziplock bag, add the chicken. Sprinkle with steak seasoning and use your hands to work it into the chicken a little bit.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Zip it up and shake it a little to make sure everything is coated.
  • Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, or up to 48 hours. (You can even do as little as 30 minutes, but the longer you marinate the tastier it will be!
  • Strain the chicken through a colander with a small saucepan underneath to catch the marinade. Set the marinade aside and place the chicken on a plate or cutting board.
  • Preheat your grill to high heat. If you are using wood or coals, make sure you leave an area of the grill with fewer coals. After the initial sear you will be cooking the chicken over indirect heat.
  • When it's very hot (wait several minutes), place the chicken pieces over direct heat. Be sure to oil the grill so that it doesn't stick. Close the lid and grill for 2-3 minutes, or until the outside is as crisp and brown as you want it.
  • Use tongs to flip the chicken and place over the low-heat part of the grill. I have a gas grill, so I just turn off one of the burners. (The chicken should cover the half of the grill that is turned off). Reduce the heat on the other half of the grill to medium-low heat, between 250-275 degrees F.
  • Cover and cook for 30-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Brush with marinade once or twice while cooking.
  • The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Or you can cut it to see if the juices run clear (not pink).
  • If you want, you can quickly sear the other side of the chicken over direct high heat before serving.
  • Meanwhile, place the saucepan of remaining marinade on the stove over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened somewhat. Serve the sauce over the grilled chicken.


* I like the tang that a little lemon juice adds, but if you don't have a lemon don't sweat it. Just leave it out. It's still going to taste amazing!


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 584kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg