The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade

TAG Level - The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade

This recipe was passed on by the wife of a South African colleague while living overseas. It is extremely straight-forward, but without a doubt, has been a crowd pleaser in every single bbq, dinner or event. The combination of the spicy cayenne, and the full bodied cumin, seems to really make the flavors combine to create truly delicious results. This is for us, the best grilled chicken marinade we have tried!

Grilled Chicken Marinade

Combine all the dry ingredients into a bow, and mix well. Add the beer and mix thoroughly.

Using a bowl, or container, pour the mixture over the chicken, and mix well to ensure it is completely covered. We prefer to use a good quality ‘ziploc’ style back, which makes less cleanup work, and improves the overall effect, as you can remove much of the air from the bag when you seal it, which we feel will increase the effectiveness of the marinade. Everyone we’ve served this to seems to love it, and by all accounts, makes it the best grilled chicken marinade in our book.


A fresh, delicious, South African-inspired grilled chicken recipe that is perfect for a summer bbq, but delicious enough for any time of year:

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of beer (any brand of your choice)


  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients, and then add the additional onions, garlic and parsley – and mix together lightly until it is well blended together. Add the olive oil and continue mixing. This should result in a light paste, after which you can begin slowly adding the beer. While adding the beer, don’t pour too fast, though you do want a small amount of foam and bubbles to give some body to the marinade.
  2. With the marinade prepared, you can now place all the chicken pieces (thighs or legs work best) into a sealable container. We prefer to use ziploc style bags, as this reduces cleanup, and also permits you to remove excess air when sealing, which we believe increases the effectiveness of the marinade.
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken in the container or bag. If you are using a ziploc style bag, squeeze as much air as possible from the bag, and then seal it. If you are using a sealable bowl or container, be sure there is a tight seal on the lid or Seran Wrap covering.
  4. Place the bag or container into the fridge (preferably on a plate or baking pan), and let it sit in the refrigerator. You should mix it about if you are using a container, or turn the bag, hourly – this is to ensure all the goodness gets into the chicken
  5. You can leave the chicken in the refrigerator overnight, though if you are in a rush, one or two hours will still give amazing results
  6. When you are ready, and the grill is hot, place the chicken on the grill and let the fun begin!

Additional Information

-This marinade works in general for about 2.5 kg of chicken.

Summary – Grilled Chicken Marinade

We absolutely love this recipe, and it is always a hit with every BBQ we have had. We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe for the best grilled chicken marinade, with a South African twist!! Let us know your thoughts, and leave us a note to let us know how it worked out for you – we love to hear about your experiences. If you enjoyed this recipe, check out another of our great recipes (like our article on How to Make Beef Jerky at Home), and other great food and cooking inspirations!

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