BBQ Lemon Chicken

Looking for a mouthwatering and simple chicken recipe? Look no further than my BBQ Lemon Chicken! This zesty delight features tender chicken marinated in a refreshing lemon brine, delivering a burst of smoky citrus goodness with every bite. If you’re craving an easy and flavorful way to grill chicken to perfection, this recipe is your answer!

Lemon BBQ chicken being picked up with a fork.

Why I Love This Recipe

I always make this BBQ Lemon Chicken recipe because of its sheer simplicity and ease of preparation! This delightful dish belongs to the realm of worldwide cuisine and features boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in a sea salt and lemon brine, resulting in flavorful main course. I crafted the flavor profile to strike a perfect balance between smoky juicy tender chicken and citrus notes, making it a treat for those who savor a hint of tanginess in their grilled delights!

My recipe is the go-to choice for anyone in search of a hassle-free way to grill chicken to perfection! Similar to my beloved Baked Soy Sauce Chicken and Korean BBQ Marinated Chicken, it follows a comparable marinade approach, ensuring an irresistible addition to your collection of chicken recipes. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, treat yourself to the delightful flavors of this grilled chicken recipe today!



  • Chicken – boneless and skinless chicken thigh.
  • Water – used for the salt brine.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Lemons – fresh lemons cut in halves into the brine.

🍗 Chicken Ingredient Note

You have the option to use Chicken Breasts for this recipe as well.

Chicken thigh prepared on a wooden cutting board for marinating.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

  • Large Glass Bowl


Step 1 Combine water, salt, lemon juice, lemon shell, and chicken in a glass mixing bowl. Marinate for 4-6 hours at room temperature.

Chicken marinating in a lemon brine.

💡 Marinating Pro Tip

Avoid Over-Marinating in this acidic-based marinade. Over-marination can lead to the chicken cooking within the marinade, which we want to avoid for the ideal texture and flavor.

Step 2 Grill the marinated chicken at 350°F, covered, for 7-9 minutes per side.

Lemon chicken being BBQ.

🔥 Grilling Note

You can grill the chicken whole and then cut it into cubes afterward for a more convenient method, but it’s important to note that this approach may not yield BBQ char on each side of the chicken.

🌡 Internal Temperature Check

Grill the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165°F to ensure safe consumption.

Step 3 Serve with a wedge of lemon or lemon zest, and optionally garnish with parsley.

Paring Recommendations

Pair with a classic Caesar Salad for a timeless combination. If you prefer a heartier side, opt for Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice, or make it a co-main dish with comforting Peruvian Chicken Soup. These choices add variety and complement the zesty chicken flavors.

Chicken thigh being marinated inside a lemon brine for BBQ grilling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?

While fresh lemons are recommended for the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice as a substitute.

Can I grill the chicken on an indoor grill or stovetop grill pan?

Yes, you can grill the chicken indoors using an indoor grill or stovetop grill pan if you don't have access to an outdoor barbecue.

What type of salt is best to use for the salt brine?

Kosher sea salt is the preferred salt to use for the salt brine.

Lemon BBQ chicken served on a plate with a wedge of lemon.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. The chicken will remain fresh for 5-7 days. When reheating, use a microwave for a quick reheat.

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Watch How To Make It

Lemon BBQ chicken being picked up with a fork.

BBQ Lemon Chicken

Savor the mouthwatering flavors of BBQ Lemon Chicken. This easy recipe yields tender, zesty chicken infused with citrus goodness. Perfect for your next barbecue!
4.70 from 10 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Worldwide
Keyword: bbq lemon chicken, lemon barbeque chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marination Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 177kcal



  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for lemon BBQ chicken.
  • In a glass mixing bowl, add water, salt, chicken, lemon juice and lemon shell. Marinate for 4-6 hours. Note - it's recommended not to use metal bowls due to the interaction with lemon's acidity.
    Chicken marinating in a lemon brine.
  • Preheat grill to 350F.
    Grill preheated.
  • Once the grill is up to temp, reduce heat to medium and place chicken pieces on the grill. Close lid and cook for 7-9 minutes per side or until internal temp reaches 165F while occasionally rotating the chicken.
    Lemon chicken being BBQ.
  • Cut chicken in to bite size pieces and transfer chicken to a serving plate.
    BBQ lemon chickened served on a plate.


Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 162mg | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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