How to Make an Easy Pork Marinade

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Premade sauces are easy pork marinades.
Premade sauces are easy pork marinades. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A marinade introduces flavor as it tenderizes a piece of meat. Depending on the intended dish, you can choose from a number of flavor profiles. The technical definition of a marinade is a liquid mixture of fat, acid and aromatics. Marinades do well flavoring pork, as the meat is neutral in natural flavor. A pork marinade can be made using herbs, spices or both. Salad dressings can also be used as quick marinades straight from the bottle.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic zipper-top bag
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Chopped rosemary
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Granulated garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Lime juice

Lemon-Rosemary Marinade

Combine 3 to 4 tbsp. olive oil and lemon juice, 1 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary and one clove of roughly chopped garlic in a plastic bag.

Taste the marinade for balance and adjust the individual ingredients for your liking. You should have about 1/3 cup of liquid for every pound of meat.

Place the pork in the plastic bag with the prepared marinade.

Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Move the meat around so that the marinade is touching as much of the pork as possible.

Place the bag into a large container and refrigerate until ready to cook. The meat can remain in the marinade up to a day in advance, for best results.

Smoky Southwestern Marinade

Combine equal parts of cumin, paprika, chili powder and black pepper in a plastic bag. A half teaspoon each is a good place to start to make marinade for for one to two pounds of pork.

Add four parts of granulated garlic and onion powder to the mixture. For example, if 1/2 tsp. of each of the other spices was used, then add 2 tsp. of the onion and garlic.

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tsp. lime juice and mix. The marinade should resemble a thin paste.

Place the pork in the plastic bag, press out excess air and seal. Move the meat around until well coated.

Place the bag in a large container and chill until ready to use. The marinade can be done up to a day in advance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the individual ingredients until you reach the desired flavor profile.
  • Some oil-based salad dressings can also be used as marinades, straight from the bottle.
  • Do not taste the marinade after it has come in contact with raw pork.

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