Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky Grilled Chicken – finger licking’ good! Sweet and savoury, this is THE chicken marinade I reach for when I want a guaranteed hit – and it’s made with pantry staples! The smell when the chicken hits the BBQ is outrageous. Outrageous!

{Pan frying and baking directions also included}

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky Grilled Chicken

I feel like this is a marinade that will be familiar to everyone, even if you haven’t made something like it yourself before. It’s a bit like Barbecue Sauce, sort of like a country rub, with a hint of sweet and sour sauce.

My friends describe it as a Country Style Barbecue Sauce Chicken, which is a good way to describe it. But it’s kind of a mouthful to say – so I just call it a Sticky Grilled Chicken!!

This sticky chicken is sweet with great layers of savoury flavour!

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky Chicken Marinade & Glaze

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

Sticky Grilled Chicken

What I really love about this marinade is that it’s made with pantry staples – and there’s loads of substitution options and ways to customise it. Want a hit of heat? Add a dash of hot sauce! Try a sprinkle of dried herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a touch of ginger, or a good hit of extra black pepper!

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

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Sticky Grilled Chicken TIPS!

Want to be the KING of sticky chicken in the neighbourhood?? Here are some tips so your grilled chicken will be beautifully golden, ultra sticky and super glossy!!

  1. Boneless CHICKEN THIGHS is the best cut of chicken for this sticky marinade. The length of time it takes for the chicken to cook on the BBQ is perfect to achieve that beautiful golden colour. Breast works too but the caramelisation isn’t quite as good. Bone in pieces like drumsticks and thigh take too long to cook and the chicken can get quite dark before the inside is cooked.
  2. RESERVE some of the marinade to use for basting. You can use the leftover marinade in the bowl, but you’ll need to be careful to ensure the basted side is recooked for at least 1 minute before consuming to avoid any hygiene concerns about raw chicken in the marinade. Much easier to just reserve some clean marinade for basting!
  3. MEDIUM heat – If you want a sticky chicken, you need sugar in the marinade. And sweet marinades have a tendency to burn quite easily on the BBQ. The trick here is to cook is slightly longer on a medium heat.
  4. BASTE GENEROUSLY multiple times! Baste flip, baste flip!
  5. REST the chicken for a few minutes after taking it off the stove, for extra juicy, tender chicken.

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

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Complete your BBQ!

Whether you’re grilling outdoors midweek or throwing a big BBQ for your friends on the weekend, sides are a must!

Warm weather favourites that are ideal for making in big batches and keeping in the fridge for days 9and days!) include a classic Macaroni Salad (pictured below), Coleslaw or Potato Salad.

For something a little lighter, try a Lemon Potato Salad (no mayo!), Broccoli Salad, a big juicy Greek Salad or Corn Salad with Avocado.

For some side dishes to cook on the BBQ, look no further than Grilled Corn and Grilled GARLIC BREAD!! – Nagi x

Sticky Grilled Chicken

Watch how to make it


Sticky Grilled Chicken

Recipe video above. Sticky, savoury and sweet, this is the marinade I use for grilled chicken that I know is a guaranteed hit with everyone, kids and adults! It tastes like a country-style rub, and it’s finger licking’ good!
Course BBQ, Grilling, Mains
Cuisine Western
Keyword Grilled chicken, Grilled chicken marinade, Sticky grilled chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Servings 4 – 5 people
Calories 297kcal
Author Nagi


  • 700g/ 1.4lb chicken thighs , skinless boneless (Note 1)

Marinade / Glaze (Note 2 for subs):

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3cup (70g) brown sugar , packed
  • 1/4 cup (65g) soy sauce , all purpose or light (NOT dark)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced


  • Mix Marinade in a large bowl.
  • Scoop out 1/2 cup and reserve for basting (“Glaze”).
  • Add chicken, turn to coat. Marinade overnight (minimum 3 hours, up to 48 hours, or freeze).


  • Brush BBQ with vegetable or canola oil, then preheat to medium.
  • Pick up chicken, allowing excess Marinade to drip off.
  • Place on BBQ, cook 4 minutes until nicely caramelised.
  • Turn chicken, then brush generously with Glaze. Cook 4 minutes.
  • Flip, brush with more Glaze, flip again and brush with Glaze.
  • Remove chicken onto plate, cover loosely with foil.
  • Rest 3 minutes before serving, sprinkled with parsley if using. Pictured in post with Macaroni Salad!


  • Stove – follow up steps in a non stick pan, heated to medium high with 1 tbsp oil (cook in batches if needed).
  • Oven – use this recipe: Sticky Baked Chicken


1. Chicken – this marinade is best with boneless thigh because it caramelises perfectly in the time it takes for the chicken to cook. Bone-in chicken pieces take longer to cook by which time the marinade gets quite dark! Breast also works great – pound to even thickness, then about 3 minutes on each side. Finish by basting lots!

2. Marinade / Glaze – plenty of sub options here, this is 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 any other sweet thing in similar liquid form
  • Soy Sauce – light or all purpose soy sauce, don’t use dark it will be too intense. Fish sauce would also work but reduce to 1 tbsp.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – sub with any clear(ish) plain vinegars eg plain white vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, champagne vinegar etc.
  • Worcestershire sauce – add 1/4 tsp black pepper then add an extra dash of all the other ingredients. A sprinkle of onion and/or garlic powder on the chicken before coating in sauce would also help.
  • Add ins – dash if your favourite hot sauce wouldn’t go astray! Pinch of herbs (mixed, oregano, thyme), cayenne pepper for heat, sprinkle of paprika for warmth, cumin or coriander for South-West edge.

3. Nutrition assumes half the marinade ends up discarded.


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 528mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

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Sticky Grilled Chicken

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