How Do I Choose the Best Grilled Chicken Marinade?

Most grilled chicken marinade recipes include acidic ingredients.
Dry rubs are a popular choice instead of marinades.
A Caribbean-style jerk marinade is one option for grilled chicken.
Cumin and chili powder are common ingredients in Mexican marinades used to flavor chicken.
When cooking for a crowd, it's wise to choose a simple marinade for grilled chicken that will appeal to most palates.
Chili peppers can be used to add heat to the marinade.
Honey is a popular ingredient in chicken marinade.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
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Choose the best grilled chicken marinade by ensuring that the marinade's ingredients includes an acidic ingredient. In addition, chefs should consider whether the marinade fits in with their or their guests’ tastes and is appropriate for the specific type of event the food is going to be served at. Chefs check the different herbs and spices used in each marinade and look for fresh ingredients. If the chef is pressed for time, he or she should look for a grilled chicken marinade which does not need 12 to 24 hours for maximum effectiveness.

Acidic ingredients are included in most recipes for grilled chicken marinade. This is because acidic ingredients are particularly suited to tenderizing meat, which makes the resulting dish more juicy and enjoyable. Generally, acidic ingredients included in a grilled chicken marinade will be things like lemon juice or vinegar, particularly cider or white wine vinegar. Some recipes will include multiple acidic ingredients. Chefs should marinate the chicken in marinades with acidic ingredients for at least four hours to allow them to have the most pronounced effects.


Chefs should look over the specific herbs and spices used in a dish to determine whether they will be suitable for their guests’ tastes. A general familiarity with the flavors produced by different herbs and spices can be useful when choosing a grilled chicken marinade. Many different herbs and spices can be used, such as thyme, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and oregano. If a marinade uses a specific mixture of herbs and spices, it can help chefs to make a small test mixture before applying it to the chicken. A lot of the flavor produced by a grilled chicken marinade comes from the herbs and spices used.

Choosing a style of cooking can be easier than choosing an individual grilled chicken marinade. For example, the chef may decide that he or she wishes to make a Chinese-style marinade for the chicken. This decision can help him or her to choose the best marinade. A honey and soy sauce-based marinade is a common choice for Chinese-style marinade, or chefs can choose Caribbean-style jerk marinade. Use the specific type of cooking in conjunction with other aspects of choosing a marinade.

Fresh ingredients are an important inclusion in a grilled chicken marinade. Chefs should choose recipes which feature fresh ingredients such as onion, garlic, or chili peppers over those which do not. Ingredients that are fresh generally hold more flavor than dried or synthetic versions of the same thing. Herbs picked fresh are also a viable substitute for dried herbs in any marinade. Pre-cooked jars of marinade are generally worse than freshly prepared marinades for this reason.



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