Rating: 4.5 stars 4.6
918 Ratings
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  • 2 star values: 13
  • 1 star values: 8

This is the best chicken marinade for grilling! For tender, juicy chicken with a beautiful caramel color, this easy recipe is a must-try. Don't marinate the chicken for more than 4 hours, or the lemon juice will affect the texture. This is my fiancé's favorite chicken.

Recipe Summary

5 mins
20 mins
1 hr
1 hr 25 mins

Irresistibly juicy, chargrilled chicken begins with a well-executed marinade — and we have a perfectly smoky, salty, and delicious chicken breast marinade recipe that gets the job done every time. TaraNicole's tantalizing blend of soy sauce, liquid smoke, spicy brown mustard, and lemon creates a rich flavor that will make you the star of the cookout. Learn how long to marinate chicken breasts, plus get storage and freezing tips. 

How to Make Chicken Marinade for Grilling

Mouthwatering, citrus-spiked grilled chicken breasts are just a few ingredients away.  You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe:

Begin by combining all ingredients except the chicken breasts in a large bowl. Next, place the chicken in the bowl to coat thoroughly. Cook the chicken according to your recipe. 

How Long to Marinate Grilled Chicken Breast

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the marinating chicken for one to four hours. Be sure not to exceed the four-hour mark —  lemon juice's acidity can make the meat tough and stringy if left too long. 

Next, shake off any excess marinade and cook the chicken breasts on a preheated grill until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You're sure to love the succulent, deeply savory flavor in each bite. 

Can I Cook with Leftover Marinade?

Yes, you can cook with leftover marinade as long as the mixture is boiled for at least five minutes to kill any harmful pathogens. 

Can I Freeze Chicken in a Marinade? 

Make a scrumptious meal from frozen marinated chicken breasts in a flash. Add marinade and chicken breasts to a heavy-duty freezer bag, making sure to swirl and coat the meat before freezing — they will last up to three months. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise 

"I marinated the chicken for about an hour and used my oven broiler," shares Dorothy. "The chicken breasts were done in about 7 minutes and were juicy, flavorful, and tender."

"A perfect pairing with roasted veggies and a pasta salad," says Sam

"My family is very particular when it comes to chicken and this was a huge hit at our house," according to Josietoes. "The flavor was excellent and the chicken was nice and tender. We will definitely make this one again."

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, liquid smoke, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large glass or ceramic bowl.

  • Place chicken in the bowl turn to coat with marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. Do not marinate longer than 4 hours.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  • Remove chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.

  • Cook chicken on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes information for the full amount of the marinade ingredients. Depending on marinating time, ingredients, cooking method, etc., the actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

549 calories; protein 27.5g; carbohydrates 7g; fat 46.1g; cholesterol 67.2mg; sodium 1573.9mg. Full Nutrition