the best 4 ingredient chicken marinade

Just 4 ingredients is all you need for the best chicken marinade!

Over the weekend we fired up the grill. My husband makes the best grilled chicken. He has it down to a science.

Our friends shared this quick marinade with us last Summer, and I have to say…we love it! It is now my go to marinade when it comes to chicken.

It’s the perfect solution for when your brown sugar gets too hard for baking. It dissolves right into the liquid of the marinade. Technically speaking…I did not measure the brown sugar exact here, but that’s the beauty of cooking vs. baking, right?!

Let it marinade for at least 4 hours or best over night. Give it some time to marinate.

4 Ingredient Chicken Marinade:

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar

Here’s Kyle’s best grilling How-To when it comes to chicken:

Fire up the grill and preheat to medium high. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and do not touch them for 6 minutes. Right at 6 minutes, you flip them over and then don’t touch them for another 4 to 5 minutes. Then you put it on a plate, let it rest a bit (not long) and then serve.

It’s the best grilled chicken! You’ve gotta try it!

Happy Grilling!

Looking for more great chicken recipes? Here’s some of our favorites:

-Chicken Brocoli Casserole
chicken broccoli casserole recipe - NoBiggie.net

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad
Asian Chicken Pasta Salad - so good! find the recipe on NoBiggie.net


Comments

  1. yum, I must try this!

  2. What kind of vinegar do you use? Apple cider? White? Rice? – Does it even matter?
    This looks really good (and easy) and I’d love to try it! Thank you!!

  3. I’m going to try this tonight if I can get my act together!

  4. Hi Kami,
    Just a tip : If your brown sugar gets hard, put it in a container with a tight fitting lid and add a slice of bread.
    in 24 hours you will have soft brown sugar.

  5. Carolyn Timmerman says:

    More snow this weekend! Looking forward to trying this. BTW, did you know a slice of white bread in your brown sugar will keep your sugar soft. Good for chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, & when the bread gets hard, & it will, I break it up for my birds!

  6. It looks amazing! We grill all year long- in snow boots and gloves :)

  7. This looks super yummy but one question, does it taste vinegary at all? We don’t use vinegar hardly ever due to the smell. Just wondering if you can taste it! Thanks!

  8. mama23girls says:

    What kind of vinegar did you use? They all have a noticeable difference in flavor and I dont want to us the wrong one and hve it taste bad!

  9. I don’t have a grill. Will it be good to cook on stove top or bake it? I would love to try it, I really havent been cooking long so i’m just starting to try new recipes.

    • Sure! It would work! For the stovetop, I would pound the chicken flat before you marinade for faster cooking. For the oven, I would make a tinfoil tent so it won’t dry out.

  10. I made this tonight… AMAZING! My picky eater asked for seconds! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Dorothy says:

    This was awesome followed it to a t. Kids and hubby loved it!!!!!

  12. I made the marinade last night but I used grape-seed oil and I thought I was supposed to use 1 cup of vinegar so I used 1/2 cup rice vinegar and 1/2 cup white wine vinegar. Chicken marinated over night and all day. This evening, I cooked as directed and I have to say the chicken came out fabulous! Thanks for the great quick and easy marinade…I’ll definitely be using it again.

  13. How long do you recommend marinating the chicken?
    Thanks! Looks delish:)

  14. Jacquelyn says:

    Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce? How would it compare? Thanks!

    • I would say no on the worcestershire sauce. The soy sauce is the perfect saltiness to go with the sweetness of the brown sugar.

      I wouldn’t mess with the it. But that’s just me…

  15. sarah yeager says:

    at what temp would you put this on if I was to use the George Forman grill? I would leave it on there for 12 mins total and not flip it because it grills on both sides..thanks

    • Hi Sarah! sorry, I couldn’t tell you the answer to this. Hopefully you can try it out and figure it out as you go. Good Luck!

    • Cassandra says:

      Wondering if Sarah figured this out? I have mine marinating right now and am planning on doing them on my George Foreman since I live in an apartment building and don’t have a regular bbq.

      • It should work great!

      • i did mine on the GF and mine dried out. im never good at getting the chicken moist enough. i think i ended up putting it on the lowest temp and for about 5 mins since i had the chicken that was already pre cooked.

        • Cassandra says:

          I used thawed boneless skinless breasts… baked them just until done then put them on the GF for a few minutes on medium heat to give them a little bit of a sear. They were delicious! Definitely will make again, next time will plan ahead and marinade them overnight.

        • I would say pre-cooked meat is your problem. It should begin with raw meat to marinate.

  16. Might sound a little ridiculous, but can this be baked or fried on the stove instead of being grilled? I find myself a little intimidated to use the grill without my boyfriend around, I want to surprise him with a new dinner!

  17. This chicken is amazing!! Made it with boneless chicken thighs and it was a hi with my husband and company. They could not stop eating.

  18. Made this for 4th of July dinner and cooked it over a campfire and it was wonderful. I will make this again.

  19. How many lbs chicken does this make?

  20. Alejandra says:

    Add a little pineapple juice, fresh ginger and garlic and it tastes just like the Hawaiian bbqs.

  21. Thank you, my kids loved it!

  22. I ended up baking the chicken instead of grilling them. I put them in a pan, pour some of the marinade on it (just a little) and then covered the pan in foil and baked for about 45 minutes @350. I also put aside some of the marinade before I added the chicken, so I could use it as a sauce to pour over the chicken before serving. Came out amazing and was such a hit. Thank you for sharing!!

  23. YUM! We made this tonight and really enjoyed it!!

  24. HI,just wanna ask is it can only be used to marinade chicken?

  25. Hey Kami, this looks great, i have some marinating now :) What do you usually serve it with?

    • Hi Bianca!

      You could serve it with steamed veggies or roasted veggies along with a baked potato or wild rice. Depending on the time of year…

  26. Madeline Epp says:

    Could you do this in a crock pot?!?!

  27. Kim Ravera says:

    What kind of vinegar do you use???

  28. I’ve made this 3 times in past month and it’s amazing and really makes the chicken tender. I only made one addition, added a T. of Montreal Steak Seasoning. It’s a huge hit and I served it aside a lemon asparagus risotto. Delish

  29. Can you do this mariade, then bake chicken in oven?

  30. How many servings does this recipe make?

    • It totally depends on how many chicken breasts you marinate. You could do chicken tenders and feed more or chicken breasts. Sorry not of much help on that one.

  31. Deb Boden says:

    I would sub olive oil, and tamari for the soy sauce. Also, apple cider vinegar t make it completely gluten free! Sounds delicious!

  32. Can i broil this? White or apple cider?

  33. Mmm I followed this general recipe but I didn’t have everything at hand so.. I improvised!
    Also… my name is Cami with a C! :)

    I also have a cooking blog :)

    Take care!

  34. yellowlablover says:

    Just made it..cant wait to eat it. Thank you!

  35. Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil? And would balsamic vinegar work instead of regular?

  36. Tiffany says:

    This recipe was super delish and super easy! I used the crock pot and cooked it in the marinade at the end I added some broccoli. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  37. chris nash says:

    This is called TERIYAKI Brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and oil. It has been a famous taste from Japan all over the world for years.

  38. Jessica Desarro says:

    Tried this last night. Wasn’t very impressed. I had high hopes for it but I ended up having to use BBQ sauce because of the taste (I don’t know if it just wasn’t strong enough of it I didn’t like it all together). Very oily

  39. What an easy marinade. I will definitely try this tomorrow. I am mixing it up now so the chicken can soak overnight. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Shelley says:

    How much chicken do you need for the receipe that you have listed?

  41. Crystal says:

    This is such an easy marinade to do! I have been looking for a marinade that makes chicken juicy and flavorful and this one is it!!! I will be using this recipe from now on!!!

  42. I’m out of vinegar. Would it be okay still if I left it out?

  43. amor isaac says:

    Can i put red wine instead of vinegar?

  44. Trying Balsamic tonight!!

  45. I have chicken tenders marinating now. Going to do them on the grill with bacon on skewers. Can’t wait to try them!

  46. so i’m marinating the chicken right now. im going to cook it in a pan let’s see how this goes :)

  47. This marinade works really well with chicken. I used an apple cider vinegar and it tasted delicious.

  48. I really wasn’t impressed with this marinade. I think it had too much brown sugar for my taste. Sorry I will have to find a different recipe to try.

  49. I’ve made this twice within 10 days. I use the chicken for burrito bowls. The first time it marinated for 1 day. Second time, 2 days; better than ever! I let it marinate so long because I’m meal prepping throughout the week instead of doing it all on one day. I prep a new meal every 2-3 days. So far so good. Thank you sooo much for sharing this!

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