Best Chicken Marinade

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4.75 from 32 votes
This grilled chicken marinade is the best. It's just like the classic chicken bbq recipe you get at the church picinic.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade - The Cornell Recipe is the best marinade for grilled chicken. It's the recipe used by all of the best chicken barbecue places

Get ready to hit “print”!  This is the best grilled chicken marinade EVER!   It’s known as the Cornell chicken marinade and it is the best I’ve ever had.  It’s the recipe used by all of the best chicken barbecue places.

The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade - The Cornell Recipe is the best marinade for grilled chicken. It's the recipe used by all of the best chicken barbecue places

Did you ever notice that every local organization that holds a chicken barbecue fundraiser has the most amazing grilled chicken?  Sure the low an slow indirect heat from their massive grills helps, but the marinade is really the star of the show.

Chances are, if you’ve ever had a chicken barbecue dinner from your local fire department, baseball league or church, you’ve probably had the Cornell Chicken Marinade and didn’t even know it.

I’ve always wondered how all of these places made their amazing grilled chicken so I did a little digging and found the most incredible not-so-secret recipe that most of them use.  It’s called the Cornell Recipe.

The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade - The Cornell Recipe is the best marinade for grilled chicken. It's the recipe used by all of the best chicken barbecue places

Named for it’s creator, Bob Baker a professor at Cornell University.  The Cornell Chicken Marinade has just the right balance of tang from the vinegar and seasoning.  And, there’s one ingredient in this marinade that I’m sure you won’t be able to guess.  You’ll have to head over to the recipe to see 😉

The Cornell Chicken Marinade recipe has become my go-to grilling marinade.  It makes a good amount so you can make it a few weeks in advance and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

You can easily whisk the ingredients together by hand, but I prefer to use this.  It really makes it easy.

You are going to want to pin this recipe or print it out.  It’s perfect for summer grilling!  And, it definitely is the BEST chicken marinade recipe you’ll ever try!

Tools Used to Make This Chicken

More Chicken Recipes You Might Like

Looking for more?  Check out all of the grilled chicken recipes on It Is a Keeper.

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The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade - The Cornell Recipe is the best marinade for grilled chicken. It's the recipe used by all of the best chicken barbecue places

The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade

4.8 from 32 votes
This grilled chicken marinade is the best. It's just like the classic chicken bbq recipe you get at the church picinic.
Print Pin
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg.
  • Add the vegetable oil to the egg and whisk until fully combined.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.
  • Use a fork to poke the chicken all over, allowing the marinade to get into the meat.
  • Place the chicken legs in a zip top bag.
  • Pour half of the marinade over the chicken and allow it to marinate for 3-24 hours.
  • Place the rest of the marinade in an air tight container or jar; refrigerate.
  • Grill marinated chicken over indirect heat, basting with the reserved marinade every 5-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.
  • Once chicken is at 150 degrees, place on direct heat and grill on all sides to crisp the skin.
  • When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove from the heat.

Video

Expert Tips

Make Clean up easy: Marinade your chicken in a zip top bag for easy clean up.
Add the flavor before grilling. It can be be a brine, marinade, or a rub!
Prep your grill and make sure it's clean, oiled, and ready to go.
Cover the grill while chicken is grilling! Not only will you lose fuel, but the chicken will take longer to cook.
use a thermometer or cut into a thick piece to make sure the juices are clear.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 696mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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Recipe adapted from Cornell University.