All Purpose Marinade:
Your search for the best ever all purpose marinade for chicken or pork has come to an end. This is it. It is everything you want in a marinade: It leaves your chicken or pork tender and incredibly moist and deliciously flavorful. And pairs perfectly with these smashed potatoes, cucumber salad, and bacon cheddar sweet corn.
All purpose marinade is both easy and versatile, and made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. It makes perfectly marinated chicken or pork every time, that can be grilled, baked, broiled, sautéed or even air fried! This easy chicken marinade is quickly going to become a family favorite.
During the summer months we spend a huge amount of time outdoors, grilling meats and enjoying the sunshine with sides like this summer fruit salad, and strawberry spinach salad. And so I knew I needed to find the perfect all-purpose marinade I could whip up in large batches, and use on whatever meats we are grilling that week.
This marinade is it! I personally like it on ALL. THE. THINGS. But think it is best on chicken and pork. So whether you are making chicken wings, chicken thighs, or chicken breasts, this is the perfect marinade.
Marinades For Chicken and Pork
Chicken and pork are two of my favorite meats to marinate, but the rules with marinating chicken and pork are different from other meats.
- They take less time. Most chicken and pork don’t need to tenderize, so marinades are more for adding flavor than for tenderizing. But if you use the wrong marinade the opposite happens and the meat becomes tough.
- You have to be careful with acids. Citrus and vinegar is great for adding flavor, but you can’t leave chicken and pork in it too long or it will make the meat tougher. Max out at 12 hours. But really 30 minutes to 4 hours is usually best.
- Marinades add flavor, and chicken and pork are like a blank canvas. When you put them in a mojo marinade, for example, you get bright citrus and garlic flavors. Same meat in a Greek Marinade, and you are going to have all the herby mediterranean vibes, and if you use jerk marinade you are going to get spice and complexity. So you have to make sure you like how the marinade tastes, on its own, as that is how your pork or chicken will taste.
This marinade is a blend of all the classics: garlic, herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, and has some surprises with soy sauce, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Combined, it produces outrageous flavor, and perfectly marinated chicken or pork, every time!
It is a little sweet, a little salty, and so versatilely delicious.
The only question you will have with this marinade is should I bake, broil, grill, or sauté my chicken or pork?
Can you marinate chicken?
Absolutely, just be sure to not marinate for too long, especially when using an acid marinade.
How long can chicken marinate in the fridge before it goes bad?
This chicken marinade leaves your chicken breasts tender and flavorful. Most chicken is already tender, so you do not have to do much to it. Adding oil into a marinade will help as chicken does not have a lot of natural fat.
And avoiding letting it sit in acids like citrus or vinegar for too long will help as well. In many foods acids break down proteins to result in a more tender meat. In chicken it does break down the proteins but tends to toughen. So again shoot for that 2-4 hour range of marinating time.
You can also use a meat mallet to pound chicken to help tenderize it if you are worried.
What is in this All-Purpose Chicken Marinade/ All Purpose Pork Chop Marinade?
The lovely thing about this marinade is it is mostly things you probably already have in your pantry like brown sugar, onion powder, olive oil, etc.
The fun flavor adds come from soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire.
And the fresh stuff you need are lemon juice and minced garlic!
So as you can see it is comprised of pretty common ingredients that area easy to find.
Every ingredient has a purpose. For example, the extra virgin olive oil is the added fat that keeps the chicken moist and juicy. No dry meat here!
The fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar break down the proteins in the chicken to make it tender, as long as you don’t leave it on too long.
You get salty depth of flavor from the ingredients like the soy sauce and a smokiness from the Worcestershire sauce. And then we sweeten everything up with some brown sugar.
How to Cook Meats Marinated in this All-Purpose Marinade
Because this marinade is so versatile and you can bake, or grill, or saute, or whatever method of cooking you want, let’s just talk about temperatures.
If you want to cook chicken well, it needs to be cooked to 165 degrees. This is the temperature where it is safe to consume. Get above it by too much and you will have dry and not nearly as good, chicken.
For under $20 you can buy an instant read meat thermometer and have perfectly cooked marinated chicken from here on out. Here is the one I use and love.
This is really important because every chicken breast is a different size. Every grill, oven, stove top heats a little differently. So while I can tell you that I like to grill my marinated chicken at 450 degrees and it usually takes 5-6 minutes per side, if you were to try this and used a smaller chicken breast, yours might turn out charred and dry.
Never waste another piece of meat again, get an instant read thermometer and use it!
Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.
Pork should be cooked to 145 degrees.
All-Purpose Chicken Marinade or All Purpose Pork Chop Marinade
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice Fresh
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbs Garlic minced
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- Add all ingredients to a jar or bowl
- Shake or whisk together
- Pour over chicken and pork, and allow to marinate 4-12 hours.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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