Go Back
+ servings
Closeup of grilled chicken thighs with grill marks on them.
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Chicken Thigh Marinade

The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade - chicken marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. Sweet and tangy in every bite!
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword grilled chicken marinade
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
marinade time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 chicken thighs
Calories 230kcal
Author Rachel


  • cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • cup Soy Sauce reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar I use light, but dark brown sugar works too
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil 2 teaspoon if using dried
  • 2 tablespoon Yellow Mustard If using dijon, use 1 tablespoon less
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2.5 lbs Skinless Chicken Thighs boneless or bone-in is fine


  • Whisk together all marinade ingredients.
  • Make sure chicken is all relatively the same thickness. Pound out with a meat mallet if necessary.
  • Place chicken in a gallon Ziplock bag or a bowl. Pour the marinade over chicken and toss to fully coat chicken.
  • Seal bag or bowl and marinade 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. In a pinch, the minimum I would recommend marinating is 30 minutes.
  • Grill over medium to medium high heat until done, 8 to 10 minutes, turning half way through. Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Grilling Tips
  1. Make sure your chicken is mostly even in thickness. You don't need to pound thighs, but I generally lay them out flat before marinating. If there is a particularly thick lump (over 1.5 inches) I press it a little flatter.
  2. Marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator (you can do less time but it won't brine or seep as well into the chicken).
  3. Cook chicken on medium to medium high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Storage Suggestions
Serve: You can keep cooked chicken at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be refrigerated.
Refrigerate: Cooked chicken should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Don't cut up the meat until ready to reheat.
Freeze: You can freeze with the marinade or after cooking. Cool your chicken to room temperature, and place in a freezer or foodsaver bag to minimize freezer burn. Freeze for up to 4 months. You can pre-cut this for salads and sandwiches to reduce thaw time. 


Calories: 230kcal