This bbq marinade is perfect for chicken you plan to throw on the grill, smoke, or even sous vide! The marinade is essentially a simple, more liquidy barbecue sauce. In fact, I recommend setting some aside to brush the chicken with after cooking.

It’s made with just 9 ingredients you likely have on hand already – nothing to track down or make a special trip for.

Ingredients for marinade on white tray on yellow surface.
All you need for this marinade is brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

If you’re looking for more marinade inspiration, make sure to check out my cookbook Sous Vide Meal Prep! It’s full of marinade, rub, and sauce recipes for all your favorite sous vide proteins.

If you do opt to sous vide this chicken, you can finish it or not – it will be fully cooked after sous viding, it just won’t have an char or texture on the outside.

Use this marinade with any cut of chicken! Here are preparation instructions for a few staples:

This marinade is also great for seafood and pork – don’t limit yourself to just chicken!

You can also view this recipe as a step-by-step web story here.

Marinated barbecue chicken on a cutting board being brushed with more barbecue sauce.
5 stars from 2 reviews

Get the Recipe:

BBQ Chicken Marinade (with pantry staples)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Marinade Time: 2 hours
Yield: 2 lbs chicken
This easy BBQ chicken marinade is perfect for grilling, smoking, or sous vide cooking. It's made up of just 9 pantry staples, including brown sugar and apple cider vinegar, resulting in a juicy, flavorful chicken. Whether it's chicken wings for the air fryer or a whole bird for the sous vide, this versatile marinade will take your poultry (and even seafood or pork!) to drool-worthy levels.


  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  • In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until completely combined.
  • Set aside about 1/4 cup of the marinade for brushing on cooked chicken. Add your chicken to a large zipper top bag or tupperware container and pour the marinade over the top. Toss to completely coat the chicken in the marinade.
  • Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours before cooking.
  • Cook as desired, whether it's on the grill, smoker, sous vide, stove top, oven, or air fryer.
  • After chicken has cooked, brush with the marinade that was set aside for more flavor.


Use this marinade with any cut of chicken! Here are preparation instructions for a few staples:
This marinade is also great with seafood and pork.
Cuisine: American
Course: Marinades and Rubs
Author: Chelsea Cole
Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.