This is the world’s best and most versatile meat marinade flavoring and tenderizing steak, pork, chicken, and wild game. The seasoning infuses the meat with taste while keeping it juicy and tender.
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to make, use, and keep on hand!
- Flavors all meats including wild game, poultry, pork, and beef.
- Can use it for grilling or cooking meat indoors.
- Tenderizes the meat while seasoning it.
Make a double or triple batch and keep the all-purpose marinade in the refrigerator to use on all of your meats.
Note: For the exact measurements, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Olive oil: adds fat to the meat so it doesn’t dry out.
- Soy Sauce: adds salt and lots of flavor.
- Garlic: is part of the seasoning.
- Light brown sugar: balances the acid and the salt plus it helps to caramelize the meat
- Worcestershire sauce: an umami flavor that blends well with the soy sauce.
- Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce): infuses the sauce with smoky heat.
- Dijon mustard (or your favorite spicy brown mustard): flavors the meat plus helps to keep the oil and liquids emulsified.
- Apple cider vinegar: the acid that helps to tenderize and flavor.
- Red pepper flakes: gives the meat a bit of heat.
- Black pepper: adds to the taste and heat.
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Place all of your ingredients in a medium glass bowl or the glass bowl of a blender.
- Using an immersion blender, mix the marinade until well blended. If using a blender, mix until blended.
- Store the marinade in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator. The marinade is best made ahead of time for the flavors to meld but you may use it right away.
- We recommend using resealable bags for marinating and allowing the mixture to marinate the meat in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Since the marinade contains an acid, never marinate in an aluminum container. The acid will react with the metal. Use glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or plastic containers.
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You’ll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
- Immersion Blender
- Sharp knife
- Medium glass bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Glass jar with lid
The perfect formula for a marinade is:
- 1 part acid.
- 3 parts fat or oil.
- Seasonings of your choice.
Acidic marinades can toughen chicken if you leave the poultry in liquid too long. Less than two hours is best plus a bit more olive oil.
EXPERT: You need to completely immerse the meat in the marinade. Usually, 1/2 cup of liquid marinade for every 1 pound of meat will suffice. If you can’t completely immerse the meat, turn it over occasionally in the marinade.
Store the marinade in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. It will keep for over a week.
Discard the marinate that was in contact with the meat. If you wish to use the marinade as a sauce. Let the liquid come to a boil then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The best solution is to make enough marinade that you are able to set some aside before you marinate the meat.
There are 3 types:
Acidic: Has a base of wine, vinegar, or high acidic juices such as tomato or citrus.
Enzyme: Papain or bromelain, found in fruits such as kiwi, papaya leaves or fruit, and pineapple.
Dairy: Calcium has a tenderizing effect. Buttermilk and Yogurt is also acidic which is an additional benefit.
By immersing the meat in the liquid seasoned marinade. Depending on the type of meat and thickness, the for marinating will vary.
🍽 Serve with . . .
Italian Summer Salad is fresh and crisp and you can make it ahead of time while you’re busy grilling.
Antipasto Caprese Salad is delicious and a wonderful start to any summer meal. This only takes 5 minutes to put together so do it while the meat is resting.
Panzanella Salad or Italian bread salad is a welcome side with any summer meal. Make it ahead and toss with dressing before serving.
Ramen Broccoli Slaw is a fantastic switch from regular salads. The noodles add a delightful crunch to the slaw.
The main ingredients in a marinade is the oil and acid. But if you wish to experiment there are many variations you can try.
- Instead of the olive oil base, try truffle, peanut, sesame, walnut, grape, or chile oil. You can also use milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, or yogurt. Buttermilk and yogurt is excellent to use with chicken.
- Instead of apple cider vinegar, try wines, beers, balsamic and flavored vinegars, lemon or lime juice, yogurt.
- The seasonings are wide open going from Asian flavored to Italian and Mexican. Use fresh or dried herbs, spices, and chile peppers. Also onions, shallots, garlic, ginger, and citrus zest. Experiment with prepared condiments such as mustard, ketchup, chili sauce.
📚 Related Recipes
Grilled London Broil uses a variation of the all-purpose meat marinade to make a steak that is tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Grilled Marinated Venison is fork tender and the meat rivals the best beef you’ve ever eaten. The marinade seasons the meat but doesn’t mask the delicious taste.
Pork Kebabs are marinated first and then grilled. They’re quick and easy to cook and always turn out perfectly.
We love using marinades! They give the meat such intense flavor without any effort. And the bonus is that is also tenderizes the meat.
Our son, the hunter, gifts us with delicious cuts of game meat. Every time we’ve ever grilled or broiled the meat, whether it was venison, elk, or antelope, the meat was tasty and tender like the most expensive dry-aged beef.
So, it’s no more dry rubbery meats for you!
Start off with this tasty all-purpose marinade then experiment with different flavors. I know that you’ll end up agreeing with us that this is by far the best marinade base for all of your meats.
If you love this recipe, pleas give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The World’s Best All-Purpose Meat Marinade
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 6 tbsp light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar *** see notes
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Immersion Blender
- Medium size glass bowl
- Liquid measuring cup
- 24 oz. Glass jar with lid for storing the marinade
- Add all of the ingredients to a medium size glass bowl.
- Using an immersion blender, blend all of the ingredients together.
- Pour the marinade into a glass jar and screw on the lid. Let the flavors meld in refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to use, place the meat in a zip lock bag. Pour enough of the marinade over the meat so that it is covered with the seasoning.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. The longer it marinates, the better the seasoning penetration.
- If you're marinating chicken, marinate under 2 hours. The texture of the meat does not do well with long marinates in acidic liquids such as vinegars or citrus.