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Easy Marinades for Everything You Grill

When life gets busy, it can be difficult to find time to make dinner. These marinades can make your busy weeknights easier or even take center stage for your weekend entertaining. Read on for some great recipes that can help you with convenient meal prep.

The Basics of Marinades

To begin, effective marinades should always consist of these 3 elements: an acid, such as vinegar, wine, citrus juice, or yogurt; a fat, such as olive oil, coconut milk, or other vegetable oil; and seasonings, such as aromatics, salt, citrus zest, chile peppers, or even sugars.

Acids help break down the proteins, which allows the flavor to penetrate. Fats help keep the proteins moist. Seasonings add flavor. A good rule of thumb for proportions is to combine 3 parts fat with 1 part acid and then season to taste.

You can be as creative as you like with your marinades, as long as all of these elements are included, and we’ve also included several below that you can begin with.

Let’s start with a classic steak marinade:

The BEST Steak Marinade

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Put a gallon-sized freezer bag in a bowl and add all the ingredients of the marinade to the bag. (The bowl helps keep the bag upright and in place.)
  2. Seal the bag and shake the bag around a bit, as well as squish it around with your hands to mix all the ingredients.
  3. Add the steak and squish it all around again, until the marinade covers the steak.
  4. Allow to marinate for 3-6 hours, depending on the thickness of your steak.
  5. Grill steak 2-6 minutes per side, depending on the type of steak used and overall thickness. Enjoy!

You can find more details on this recipe here.

Next, get creative with your pork marinades:

Cilantro-Lime Pork Marinade

Pork Kebabs

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • zest of 1 lime

Instructions:

  • Mix together all ingredients in a glass container or freezer bag.
  • Add pork and toss to coat.
  • Seal and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  • Grill the pork and enjoy!

Find more delicious pork marinades here.

Also, chicken marinades are always popular:

The Best Chicken Marinade

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lower-sodium soy sauce OR liquid aminos
  • Juice from 1 lemon, about ¼ cup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a large storage bag. Shake to combine all ingredients. Add chicken and marinate in refrigerator for several hours, or overnight.
  2. Grill or bake your chicken until cooked through, 165ºF when inserted with meat thermometer. Enjoy!

Check out more details on this tasty, healthy recipe.

Of course, we wouldn’t want to forget about seafood marinades:

Lemon & Herb Seafood Marinade

Shrimp Grilling

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic; finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano (dry or fresh); finely chopped if fresh
  • 1 tsp thyme (dry or fresh); finely chopped if fresh
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients is small mixing bowl, mix well.
  2. Place seafood in a large seal-tight container & pour over marinade.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours but no more than 24 hours.
  4. Bake, broil or grill seafood to your liking, and enjoy!

This recipe is recommended for all your favorite fish and seafood!

Last but certainly not least, the world’s easiest veggie marinade:

Easy Grilled Vegetable Marinade

Grilled Corn on the Cob and Veggies

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients well and add vegetables.
  2. After 4 hours, cook veggies as desired, and enjoy!

You should be able to make up any of these marinades fairly quickly in the morning and have your entree ready to cook when you get home! Think about how much time you can save!

Do you have a favorite marinade recipe? Please make sure to share it with us in the comments!

A Few Notes About Brining

If you have more time, like to plan further ahead, or do Sunday meal prep for the week, you may want to consider brining (sometimes called corning) as an option to add flavor to your meats. Brining helps tenderize the meat, adds flavor, and shortens cooking time.

The general rule for brining is that you should use 1 cup of salt for each gallon of water or other liquid. You can check the concentration with a raw egg. If a raw egg floats in the mixture, there is enough salt.

Here’s a basic brine recipe:

  • 1/2 c. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1 gallon water

You can find a few other brine recipes here.

Please allow the meat to sit in the brine for 1 hour per pound, and get as creative as you want about the ingredients! You can add cut up vegetables, fruit, and spices.

Do you have a brining recipe or any tips? Let us know!

Thanks for grilling along with us!

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