Our pork marinade recipe will give your favorite cut of pork so much flavor and juiciness you will never want to cook without it. Sweet, salty and amped up on garlic, this recipe takes your grilled or smoked pork over the top.
Why You Want to Marinate Pork
Flavor. One of my favorite restaurant memories was a little place that was famous for it’s pork chop. The secret was in the marinade! Pork by itself can be bland and dry. Adding a marinade pumps it full of flavor from the inside out and amplifies the flavors already there.
Moisture. If grilling pork makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up because it always tends to dry out, this recipe is for you. Never worry about dry, sandpapery pork chops again. The soy sauce in this marinade acts as a brine, sealing in moisture for juicy meat your whole family will love.
Ease. Put the pork in the marinade the night before or the morning of and come home to meat ready to throw on the grill – no additional seasoning required.
Soy Sauce | This brings salt to your marinade but also brings that crazy umami flavor. If you need a gluten-free option, you can use Tamari sauce. You can also use coconut aminos as a similar substitute.
Worcestershire Sauce | Did you know this classic sauce includes anchovies? It also adds salt and depth of flavor to your marinade so don’t let the fish deter you from using it.
Dijon Mustard | You could substitute this with spicy mustard or regular mustard if you don’t have Dijon in your refrigerator.
Garlic Cloves | The recipe calls for two cloves, freshly minced. Let’s face it – some of us can never have enough garlic. Feel free to add more garlic to taste but two is a minimum for us.
Brown Sugar | A little sweetness to counteract the salt and acidity of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Sweet and savory come together to infuse the pork meat with everything good about food all at the same time.
Pepper | Adds a faint spiciness. This ingredient can be left out or replaced if desired.
Step One. Mince the garlic using a garlic press or sharp knife and cutting board.
Step Two. Combine all of the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and mix it well.
Step Three. Add the pork to the bag and mix it to ensure every surface is coated.
Step Four. Remove the air from the bag as you seal it and refrigerate it for one to four hours.
Step Five. Discard the marinade, remove the pork from the bag, and allow it to come to room temperature.
Step Six. Cook the pork. Use a wireless meat thermometer to gauge doneness and cook your pork until it is at least 160ºF. Always let your meat rest for five to ten minutes at a minimum before serving.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Want to bring the heat? Add a half teaspoon or full teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Easily take the skin off your garlic by popping a handful of cloves in the microwave for thirty seconds or so. The skins will come right off making the garlic easy to mince.
If you don’t use plastic bags, a glass dish with a lid is best for marinating meat. Plastic containers can absorb bacteria and odors.
Want to know how to cook your pork? Here are some ideas!
- Grill pork chops for 6-7 minutes per side.
- Oven roast pork chops for 15-20 minutes at 375ºF.
- Air Fry pork chops for 10-15 minutes at 400ºF.
- Smoke your pork chops until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Remove it from the smoker and tent the meat while it rests and finishes cooking. Approximately one hour in the smoker.
- Smoke a pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon for 1½ hours at 275ºF.
Need some variety? Add citrus juice such as lemon juice or orange juice to the marinade. Change it up with fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or basil. Get spicy with jalapeño or Serrano peppers diced and added to the marinade with or without seeds depending on your tolerance for heat.
Want it more like BBQ? Add tomato paste or ketchup to the marinade. You can make small changes to this pork marinade recipe every time you make it to keep things interesting.
Do not baste your meat in the marinade. It should be discarded or cooked separately to kill any existing bacteria. It won’t need basting as the soy sauce helps to seal the pores.
Keep your marinade in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before using it with meat. It should be sealed in a jar or airtight container.
Marinate and freeze your pork so that it’s ready to go whenever you want. As the pork thaws it will absorb the flavors of the marinade and can go straight into the smoker.
Always make a few extra pieces of meat to dice and freeze. This delicious meat can be used in tacos, soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for baked potatoes. In diced form, it will thaw quickly and cook fast in a skillet, so that adding protein to weeknight meals is a breeze after the practice or game.
Use this marinade for pork chops, pork ribs, pork shoulder cubes, or even pork tenderloin. Smoke or grill the marinated meat for a beautiful dinner every single time. Serve the meat alongside mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, grilled baked beans, or a simple salad. Don’t forget the cornbread!
One hour. Any less then that and the meat really won’t pick up any of the flavor or saltiness.
If you have added the marinade to meat, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one day depending on the sell-by date of your meat. Meat should be cooked within two days of the sell by date. Leaving the meat in the marinade for too long may make it too salty or strong.
Yes. During the time it takes for the meat to freeze and then subsequently thaw it will be absorbing the marinade which makes this method just about perfect for meal prep.
No. And yes. Technically you can, but you would basically just be boiling the meat and it isn’t going to be very appetizing. We do not recommend this approach, but if you must cook the marinade make sure the sauce reaches 180ºF.
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- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Pepper black, coarse ground
- Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and mix well.
- Add pork to the bag and work the marinade so it covers all surfaces.
- Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
- Remove pork, discard marinade and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Grill or cook pork in oven as desired.