What Chicken Works Best For Teriyaki Chicken
I recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for grilled teriyaki chicken. They are incredibly affordable, have a little more fat than breasts, and there is plenty of surface area for the chicken to be seasoned by the marinade. Chicken thighs also grill up quicker than other cuts, which means I spend less time babysitting the fire and more time enjoying my meal.
If you dont love chicken thighs, breasts are always an option! I do recommend splitting the breasts or using a meat mallet to pound them to a more even thickness. This will give more of your chicken access to the flavorful marinade.
If you want to grill up bone-in chicken cuts , I recommend seasoning them simply and basting them with my homemade teriyaki BBQ sauce. Bone-in cuts typically take longer to cook, the marinades dont penetrate the skin as well, and you risk burning the sugars in this marinade on the grill before the chicken is cooked through.
How Do I Grill Teriyaki Chicken
Prepare Teriyaki Marinade -All you need to do is whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
Place the chicken breasts in a sealable bag and pour the marinade on top. Let set for at least 2 hours.
Grill Chicken Grill the chicken at 425 degrees for at least 7-10 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Its doesnt get easier than that! Anyone can throw this recipe on the grill!
Youll notice that as you grill, the marinade will start to caramelize a bit due to the added brown sugar.
Serve With Extra Sauce
Now its time to dig in! If you set some teriyaki sauce aside, you can use it as-is on your grilled teriyaki chicken or you can thicken it with some cornstarch.
To thicken, create a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water. Transfer the leftover marinade into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the cornstarch slurry and whisk until thickened.
Serve your grilled teriyaki chicken next to some white rice and one of our favorite grilled sides below:
- Foil-Pack Grilled Potatoes: These foil pack grilled potatoes are an easy side to add to any bbq. All you need to do to make these grilled potatoes in foil is toss them in olive oil, spices, and create a foil pack!
- Baked Potatoes in Foil: One of our favorites dinner sides is a baked potato in foil. Whether youre hoping to make a grilled baked potato in foil or oven baked potatoes in foil, well teach you how to make a perfect baked potato every time!
- Grilled Peppers and Onions: With just 5 ingredients, you can make these super simple grilled peppers and onions in a foil pack!
- Grilled Carrots: These grilled carrots are sweet and savory, perfectly cooked, and full of amazing flavor! Throw these grilled carrots on the grill and serve them alongside any of your favorite BBQ dishes.
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What To Serve With Your Teriyaki Chicken
Teriyaki sauce is a wonderfully versatile sauce, able to help flavor a bed of rice or provide a sticky, sweet, and savory glaze for chicken.
However, because of its strong flavors and noticeable presence in any meal, it can feel a bit challenging to try and decide what to serve with it.
Instead of trying to come up with all kinds of intricate side dishes and other fancy accompaniments for your chicken, consider keeping it really simple.
A simple bed of steamed rice that has been lightly salted is more than enough. For a veggie, consider just a little bit of chopped green onions, as well as a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top as well.
You dont want to go too complex here, as the chicken itself is going to have so much flavor that you dont want to overpower all of that great browned flavor you worked so hard to make on the grill.
Looking for more delicious Chicken Breast recipes? Try these out:
What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken
Of course, this Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken is incredible on its own or with simple sides such as white rice or steamed vegetables, but it is also amazing when added to other dishes. Our favorite way to serve teriyaki chicken is as part of a plate lunch but you can also put it over salad or add it to a Hawaiian rice bowl. If you want to serve it more Panda Express style, you can serve it with fried rice and/or lo mein noodles. You can also try it fusion style and slice it and serve it in a sandwich, or serve in a pasta like our Chicken Stir Fry Over Noddles. There are so many possibilities!
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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Marinade And Sauce
This marinade does double duty as both the base flavor for the chicken AND the teriyaki sauce used to baste the chicken during the grilling process. Using a marinade as a sauce does require an additional boiling step to ensure no cross-contamination, so after gathering the ingredients, make sure you follow the recipe to keep everything food-safe!
Heres what you need to make this grilled teriyaki chicken marinade:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Oven Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Can you cook this chicken on the stove? Yes! You can pan sear the chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side.
Can you cook this in the instant pot? We wouldnt recommend it, but you can cook it for 11 minutes on sealing, pressure cook.
Can you make this chicken ahead of time? Absolutely! This chicken is great for prepping ahead of time. Grill or bake and store in the fridge until youre ready to eat.
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Why This Will Be Your Favorite Thing To Throw On The Grill
- Fast. Not including the marinating time, these grilled chicken thighs are done in under 30 minutes.
- Easy. Marinate, grill, temp, and serve. A simple recipe that is perfect for beginner grilling.
- Low Carb. Only 2 net carbs per serving, making this a great option for weekly keto meal prep.
- Versatile. Mix up the flavors in the marinade to make these chicken thighs pair with a variety of side dishes.
Grilled chicken thighs are a great option for a quick, easy, and delicious meal that will please everyone in the family. With this recipe, you’ll have a delicious and juicy grilled chicken in no time.
Ingredients For Teriyaki Chicken
Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: For best flavor and grilling use fresh over frozen chicken breasts.
- Homemade Teriyaki: You can use your favorite bottled or you can make this out of this world homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish: These are optional but they add both flavor and color.
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How To Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
These flavor-filled skewers start with a quick teriyaki-inspired marinade made with tamari , coconut sugar, garlic powder, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. The marinade packs major umami, infusing the chicken with flavor with just a quick 30 minute marinating time.
The same ingredients, thickened with the addition of a little arrowroot starch + water slurry, double as a glaze for brushing at the end.
Next, we assemble the skewers by arranging the marinated chicken between squares of red onion, which adds natural sweetness with every bite.
Then theyre ready to grill until the chicken is tender with charred edges and grill marks galore.
Lastly, brush on the teriyaki glaze and prepare for your dinner guests to be asking Whens the next invite?
We hope you LOVE these grilled teriyaki chicken skewers! Theyre:Umami-filledVersatile& SO delicious!
They pair especially well with our Creamy Sesame Noodle Salad and grilled veggies like bell pepper, eggplant, and/or zucchini.
What Is The Best Teriyaki Sauce
Save yourself the stress and buy a tried-and-true bottled sauce. Trader Joes Soyaki Sauce or Soy Vays Veri Veri Teriyaki are amazing and similar in flavor. Both are sweet and salty, while also thick enough to stay coated on the chicken while cooking. Marinate your chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. Overnight is preferred.
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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
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This post was originally published in May 2020. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
How To Make This Recipe
- Step 1-In a small bowl add soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, water, garlic and ginger.
- Step 2-Place chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag or container pour half of the mixture over the chicken and let marinate for at least 4-24 hours.
- Step 3-Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened.
- Step 4-Heat a outdoor grill on medium high heat, grill until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 164 degrees.
- Step 5-Removes to a platter and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve with extra sauce.
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Favorite Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
We are all about grilled chicken and when it comes with a teriyaki twist, even better! This grilled teriyaki chicken recipe is a personal favorite and we make it all summer long.
I love that the teriyaki chicken marinade is so easy to make and that dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes! The grill marks truly enhance the flavor and texture of this meal.
Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients And Possible Substitutes
- Low-sodium soy sauce: If needed you can use 1/3 cup regular soy sauce mixed with 3 1/2 Tbsp water.
- Mirin: This is a Japanese rice wine you can find at most larger grocery stores, in the Asian section. A dry sherry wine or marsala wine can be substituted.
- Light brown sugar: This offers the marinade that irresistible sweetness. Granulated sugar will work fine too.
- Honey: I like using the blend of two sweeteners for a two dimensional sweetness, but if needed all brown sugar will work.
- Rice vinegar: This is a milder vinegar. You could also use apple cider vinegar.
- Garlic: Fresh is best but 1 tsp dried granulated garlic will work to avoid an extra trip to the store.
- Ginger: Again fresh is best but if you must 1 tsp dried ginger will work.
- Toasted sesame oil: This is the darker sesame oil . This ingredient has a unique flavor but you could also try perilla oil or unrefined peanut oil.
- Chicken thighs: chicken breasts will work well here too if you prefer them, but as always be careful to cook just to 165 degrees in center so they dont start to dry out.
- Cornstarch: This is used to thicken a portion of the sauce to brush over the chicken after cooking. You could try arrowroot or tapioca starch here if needed.
- Green onions and sesame seeds: These are optional garnishes that add color and texture.
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How To Make Teriyaki Chicken
All you need to do is throw everything together, marinate and grill!
Note: After brushing the chicken with the leftover sauce, discard the rest of the sauce since raw chicken was marinating in it. If you want more teriyaki sauce for dipping or extra drizzling before serving, make an extra portion of the sauce, or a half portion!
How To Grill Chicken:
We recommend grilling chicken on medium to high heat around 375-400 degrees. Depending on the thickness of your chicken youll need about 7-9 minutes on each side.
How do you know if your chicken is done? You can check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure its cooked thoroughly, it should be at 165°! This is our favorite meat thermometer.
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What Makes This Recipe Authentic
- Mirin- This Japanese rice wine is a traditional ingredients and gives teriyaki some of its tangy sweetness. This is also a low-alcohol version of rice wine.
- Rice wine- Also known as sake, this is a dry, tangy ingredient that adds an authentic flavor to Japanese cooking.
- Fresh ginger- Using freshly grated ginger will make all the difference in the traditional taste of this teriyaki marinade.
- Soy sauce- This is a common base for many Japanese dishes, including teriyaki chicken. It adds umami and salty flavors to the marinade.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken For Your Backyard Bbq
Your friends and family will devour this tender and flavorful cookout favorite. The saucy marinade works magic on the chicken the charring produced by the grill takes it over the top.
Everything in this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. Mix the sauce up to several days ahead and keep chilled until ready to use. Marinade the chicken overnight for incredible flavor and tenderness. All thats left is to throw the chicken onto hot grill while your guests munch on edamame hummus and chips.
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Tips For The Best Teriyaki Chicken
Cut if pieces are too large Some of the chicken breasts I see at the stores are enormous and super thick. You can butterfly them and cut them into smaller pieces to avoid getting tough, oversized chicken pieces.
Either way, butterflying the chicken helps to ensure you have even thin pieces.
Pound/Tenderize Ever had chicken that is way too bouncy or rubbery? Yuck! The easiest way to prevent that is to tenderize your chicken with a meat tenderizer.
Put your chicken in between parchment paper or saran wrap and pound the chicken until it is thinner.
Make sure you marinate your chicken! Its SO important for extra flavor. 30 minutes will do but 1-3 hours is even better
Different Cooking Methods To Try
Want teriyaki chicken but dont want to pull out the ol grill? No worries, there are several different ways you can prepare it:
- Stir Fry If I cant grill the chicken, my next favorite way to prepare teriyaki chicken is to cut it into bite sized pieces and stir-fry it in a large wok or skillet. Add a little sesame oil to the skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken and sauté until white on the outside, and then add the sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.
- Stove Top Similar to stir fry, but keep the chicken pieces whole. In a large skillet, sear each chicken thigh on each side until golden brown then add sauce and simmer until sauce has reduced .
- Crock Pot / Instant Pot The slow or pressure cooked methods are my least preferred methods because the sauce seems to get watered down. If you do these methods, simmer the sauce down in a separate pot on the stove until it thickens . You can serve the chicken whole or shred it.
- Baked Place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour about 1-2 cups of the homemade teriyaki sauce over the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken has cooked through
No matter how you prepare it, serve with extra teriyaki sauce and maybe a few sesame seeds and some diced green onion for garnish.
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How To Freeze For Later
You can also freeze grilled chicken thighs for up to 4 months, but you should be aware that frozen and thawed chicken can lose some of its texture and moisture.
To freeze grilled chicken thighs, make sure they are cooled down completely and then wrap each one in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, ensuring there’s as little air as possible. Then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag, and store them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it until it’s hot throughout before serving.
How To Make Chicken Teriyaki
Chicken teriyaki is super easy to make. The key is grilling the chicken at the right temperature and for the right amount of time. Follow these steps to nail it on your first try:
Note: You can also use an indoor grill, cast iron grill skillet or panini press. All of the above will give you those nice grill marks.
Hot tip: Check doneness by slicing each chicken piece to see if the juices run clear. You can also use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is 165 °F. Since chicken thighs are quite thin, they shouldnt take more than 3-5 minutes per side.
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