Sticky Grilled Chicken | RecipeTin Eats


This is the grilled chicken recipe my friends beg me to make every barbecue season. It’s sticky, sweet and savory, marinated to tenderize and infuse flavor. The shiny icing is the icing on the cake. The smell when the chicken hits the barbecue is outrageous. Scandalous!

(And you don’t even need a barbecue….)

Brush the sticky grilled chicken

Grilled chicken

I have a feeling the flavor of this marinade will be familiar to everyone, even if you’ve never made it yourself before. It’s a bit like barbecue sauce, a bit like a country seasoning, with a hint of sweet and sour sauce.

My friends describe it as country style barbecue chicken, which is a good way to describe it. But that’s kind of a mouthful to say – so I just call it sticky grilled chicken!!

This grilled chicken is finished with the most amazing shiny glaze!

Sticky chicken being grilled on the BBQ

Sticky Chicken Marinade and Glaze

Here’s what you need for the marinade that doubles as a basting sauce so you get a truly fantastic glaze on chicken.

Sticky Grilled Chicken Ingredients

What I really like about this marinade is that it’s made with pantry staples – and there are plenty of substitution options and ways to customize it. Fancy a hot flash? Add a dash of hot sauce! Try a pinch of dried herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a splash of ginger, or a healthy dose of extra black pepper!

Also, I’ve listed the substitution options in the recipe notes. 😇

Sticky Grilled Chicken Marinade and Basting Sauce

TIPS for Sticky Grilled Chicken!

Want to be the KING of grilled chicken in your neighborhood?? Here are a few tricks to get your chicken beautifully browned, super sticky, and super shiny!!

  1. Boneless CHICKEN THIGH is the best cut of chicken for this sticky marinade. The cooking time of the chicken on the BBQ is perfect to obtain this beautiful golden color. The brisket also works but the caramelization isn’t as good. Pieces of bone like drumsticks and thighs take too long to cook and the chicken can turn quite dark before the insides are cooked.

  2. RESERVE part of the marinade to use for basting. You can use the leftover marinade in the bowl, but you will need to ensure that the basted side is recooked for at least 1 minute before consuming it to avoid any hygiene issues with raw chicken in the marinade. Much easier to just reserve a clean marinade for basting!

  3. Average cooking temperature – If you want a sticky chicken, you need sugar in the marinade. And sweet marinades tend to burn quite easily on the BBQ. The trick here is to cook a little longer on medium heat.

  4. WATER GENEROUSLY several times! Brush, brush!

  5. REST the chicken for a few minutes after removing it from the heat, for extra juicy and tender chicken.


No problem! Cook it or fry it in a pan – instructions in the recipe!

How to Make Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky grilled chicken on a plate with macaroni salad and arugula salad

Complete your BBQ!

Whether you’re grilling out mid-week outdoors or throwing a big barbecue for your friends on the weekend, sides are a must!

Warm weather favorites for this grilled chicken that are great for making big batches and storing in the fridge for days and days!) include a classic macaroni salad (picture below), Coleslaw Where Potato salad (here’s also a no-mayo version with grilled corn and bacon!)

For something a little lighter, try a Lemon potato salad (no mayonnaise!), Broccoli salada creamy German cucumber salad, a big juicy Greek salad Where Corn salad with avocado.

For some people BBQ side disheslook no further than Grilled corn and TOASTED GARLIC BREAD!! –Nagi x

Watch how to do it

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Sticky grilled chicken

Servings4 – 5 people

Tap or hover to scale

Video recipe above. Sticky, savory and sweet, this is the marinade I use for grilled chicken and which I know will please everyone, young and old! It tastes like a country-style rub, and it’s finger-licking good.


Marinade / Glaze (Note 2 for subs):


  • Mix the marinade in a large bowl.

  • Scoop out 1/2 cup and set aside for brushing (“frosting”).

  • Add chicken, turn to coat. Marinate overnight (minimum 3 hours, up to 48 hours, or freeze).


  • Brush the BBQ with vegetable or canola oil, then preheat over medium heat.

  • Pick up the chicken letting the excess marinade drip off.

  • Place on the BBQ, cook for 4 minutes until caramelized.

  • Turn the chicken, then brush generously with Glaze. Cook 4 minutes.

  • Flip, brush with more Glaze, flip again and brush with Glaze.

  • Remove chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil.

  • Rest 3 minutes before serving, sprinkled with parsley if using. Pictured in post with macaroni salad!


  • Stove – follow the steps in a non-stick skillet, heated over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil (cook in batches if necessary).

  • Oven – use this recipe: Sticky Baked Chicken

Recipe Notes:

1. Chicken – this marinade is ideal with the boneless thigh because it caramelizes perfectly during the cooking time of the chicken. Bone-in chicken pieces take longer to cook, by which time the marinade gets quite dark! Brisket also works great – mash until evenly thick, then about 3 minutes on each side. Finish by basting a lot!
2. Marinade / Glaze – lots of sub-options here, it’s a really flexible recipe:

  • Ketchup – Aussie tomato sauce, BBQ sauce or other similar sauces
  • Brown sugar – white sugar, or 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or anything else sweetened in a similar liquid form
  • Soya sauce – light or all-purpose soy sauce, do not use dark sauce, it will be too intense. Fish sauce would also work, but reduce to 1 tbsp.
  • apple cider vinegar – submarine with any clear (rather) clear vinegar, e.g. plain white vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, champagne vinegar, etc.
  • Worcestershire sauce – add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper then add an extra pinch of all the other ingredients. A sprinkle of onion and/or garlic powder on the chicken before tossing it in the sauce would also help.
  • Complements – shoot if your favorite hot sauce doesn’t get lost! Pinch of herbs (mixed, oregano, thyme), cayenne pepper for the spiciness, sprinkle with paprika for the hot, cumin or coriander for the South-West rim.

3. Food guess half the marinade ends up being thrown away.

Nutrition Information:

calories: 297callus (15%)Carbohydrates: 14g (5%)Protein: 35g (70%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated fat: 2g (13%)Cholesterol: 166mg (55%)Sodium: 743mg (32%)Potassium: 528mg (15%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 119UI (2%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 26mg (3%)The iron: 2mg (11%)

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