Marinades For Better Grilling

Grilled food is delicious when seasoned with just salt and pepper, but marinating meat and vegetables brings outdoor grilling and dining to delicious new heights.

We have put together some fabulous tasting Marinades for you to enjoy all Summer long plus some easy guidelines and safety measures when using marinades with raw meats.



A marinade is a liquid solution in which you soak foods, particularly meats, before cooking. A marinade adds flavor to foods and makes them more tender by beginning the breakdown process of cooking. This action can be due to acidic ingredients such as vinegar, wine, or fruit such as pineapple, papaya, guava or ginger. Marinades vary from recipe to recipe but they generally contain three basic components – oils, acids, and seasonings.

Meat such as chicken breasts and pork loin are more likely to dry out on the grill and will benefit from a marinade to retain moisture.



Refrigerate When Marinating: Never marinate at room temperature or outdoors when barbecuing as bacteria can quickly multiply on raw meat if it is warm.

Reusing Marinades: If you plan to use some of the marinades as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood to avoid bacterial contamination of cooked meat. Never reuse the marinade once it has been spent.


Marinating Containers: Do NOT marinate in a metal container since the acidic mixture can react with the metal.  Marinate in a resealable plastic bag, a resealable plastic container, or a glass container only. Turn meat occasionally so all sides are coated evenly with the marinade.

Kitchen Timer

How Long Should You Marinate?  

Marinating times vary depending on the type, cut, and size of the meat.  All meats have a refrigerated shelf life and marinating does not extend that shelf life (shelf life includes the day of purchase and thawing time).  Use this Marinating Time Chart as a guide.

Type of Meat Cut of Meat Approximate Marinating Times
Lamb, Beef & Pork Steaks, Chops 2 to 4 hours
Beef Flank Steak 2 hours to overnight
Whole Roast 4 to 6 hours (or overnight)
Brisket 24 hours
Poultry Chicken breast-boneless, skinless
Chicken thighs-boneless, skinless
Duck breast-boneless, skinless
2 hours to overnight
Whole roast or chicken 4 to 6 hours (or overnight)
Seafood Shrimp
15 to 30 minutes
5 minutes
Fish Steaks and filets 15 to 30 minutes

NOTE: For Vegetables marinate in a shallow dish from between 30 minutes to an hour before grilling.



When creating these wonderfully tasting marinades keep it simple. All you really need for these recipes is a quart sized heavy-duty freezer bag and a sharpie. Keep in mind that you can make these marinades ahead and freeze them, as the meats thaw out the marinade can slowly be absorbed. Make sure to refer to the Marinating Time Chart to ensure the proper amount of marinating time as frozen meats do not absorb the marinade.

Make Ahead and Freeze Marinades

So, I found these baggie holders at Bed, Bath & Beyond which are totally unnecessary, but also totally fun.  They make it a bit easier to get the meat and the marinade into the bags without making a mess. $3.99 each.


Marinade Recipes


The included recipes in this section are great for Chicken, Beef, Pork, Seafood, and Vegetables. Keep in mind that for lesser cuts of meat we suggest you marinate for the longest acceptable time to achieve a more tender result.

Before placing your marinated meats or vegetables on the grill don’t forget to rub olive Oil or Coconut Oil on the grill to avoid sticking.

Spicy Orange & Cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Brown Sugar & Bourbon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lemon & Garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Red Wine Marinade


Easy Red Wine Marinade for Beef (London Broil is perfect)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 dry bay leaf
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons dry minced onions
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
½ cup Newman’s Own Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup red wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Lemon Rosemary Pork Chops

Lemon and Rosemary (Best with Chicken or Pork)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For a great presentation serve over Baby Arugula and garnish with lemon slices

Basil Shrimp

Basil and Dijon Mustard (Perfect for Shrimp, Chicken or Pork)

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (such as Grey Poupon Country Mustard(TM))
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
White pepper

Orange Chicken Lime Skewers

Orange, Ginger, and Lime (Great with Chicken. Use fresh juices if possible!)

¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 pound chicken skewers

Papaya Soy

Papaya Soy (This marinade is fabulous with any meats, but requires a food processor)

1 small ripe papaya, peeled halved and seeded
1/3 cup (80 mL) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pepper

Chop papaya into small chunks. Place into a food processor with remaining ingredients. Pulse until mixture is pureed, about 10 to 12 pulses. Add a few tablespoons of water if the mixture is too thick.

Let us know at Corky’s Catering how you used these recipes. Leave a comment or join us on Facebook and share your thoughts!

Thank you for your support.

Share this

Related Articles



Recent Posts

Signup Our Newsletter


To Order CALL
(630) 396-3030