PWWB All-Purpose Grilling Marinade

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Equal parts zesty, sweet & spicy, this all-purpose grill marinade hits on all of the right notes! Brown sugar lends the perfect amount of sweetness to help create an addictively caramelized crust on whatever you’re grilling, & pantry spices like chili powder & smoked paprika add just the right amount of kick to this homemade marinade.

This easy all-purpose marinade recipe is the answer when grilling chicken, steak, pork, veggies, and more. If you want to give your grilled food an extra boost of flavor or need a crowd-pleasing marinade recipe this is it!

Char-grilled chicken & veggies marinated with all-purpose grill marinade on top of a white plate garnished with green onion and a side salad

Pin this All-Purpose Grill Marinade recipe for later!!!

One easy marinade recipe perfect for grilled chicken, steak, pork, veggies & more!

There’s a reason why this is our go-to choice for a quick all-purpose marinade recipe & our tried & true PWWB house marinade! Made with pantry ingredients you likely keep on hand at all times, this all-purpose marinade recipe is easy to whip up on a complete whim (without any extra trips to the grocery store!). Plus, you can use it on pretty much anything & it’ll be completely delicious.

We’re completely obsessed…& I’m pretty sure that you will be too! ♡ Read on to learn more about this all-purpose marinade, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!

All-purpose grill marinade ingredients

One of my favorite parts of this homemade marinade recipe is that it’s made with ingredients we almost always have in our pantry, which is exactly what you want for a quick summertime grilled meal!

The cast of characters in this quick marinade recipe includes…(Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below):

  • olive oil
  • brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic
  • & some of my favorite spices: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, & a pinch of cayenne
A flat-lay image with text overlay of each of the pantry ingredients (spices, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, worcestershire, and olive oil) that make up the homemade grilling recipe

The flavors come together seriously perfectly. The ACV, soy sauce & Worcestershire add a great zestiness that flavors the meat inside out. The all the spices help amp up the smoky flavor you get from the grill. & The brown sugar? It’s the secret to creating crusty & charred bits of goodness you crave whenever you grill chicken, beef, or pork.

This marinade is a zesty, smoky, & sweet addition to any grilled meal!

How to use this all-purpose grill marinade recipe:

This all-purpose grilling marinade goes well with pretty much everything, hence its name! A few of our favorite ways to use it include:

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Grilled Steaks
  • Grilled Pork Chops
  • Grilled Kebabs – of any kind!
  • Grilled Veggies (bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, & sweet potatoes…mmm!)
Slices of raw sweet potato marinate in a white dish filled with all-purpose grilling marinade

The possibilities are endless making this one of the best recipes to keep on hand all grilling season long!

My personal favorite way to put this all-purpose marinade recipe to use? Marinate some chicken thighs & sweet potatoes (separately to avoid cross-contamination). Grill them both over medium-high heat until crusty & charred. Serve the grilled chicken & sweet potatoes alongside a simple salad, & be sure to sprinkle everything with some freshly snipped chives – yum!

Raw chicken thighs marinate in a glass bowl filled with all-purpose grill marinade

Homemade grill marinade tips & tricks:

  • Meal prep tip: if I know I want to use this all-purpose grilling marinade later in the week, I’ll whip up up a batch on Sunday night or whenever I’m meal prepping for the week. It only takes 5 minutes, & storing it in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator helps the flavors meld together even more. The night before you want to use it, simply pour the marinade over whatever meat or veggies you’re grilling up. So easy!
  • Make it vegan: use your favorite vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce (this is my go-to!), or double up on soy sauce & omit Worcestershire sauce altogether.
Char-grilled chicken & veggies that have been marinated in an all-purpose grill marinade sit on top of a white plate with a small side salad

I can’t wait for you to try this All-Purpose Grilling Marinade recipe. It goes with everything & will be your new weeknight obsession!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know!: Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡

Print
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Equal parts zesty, sweet & spicy, this all-purpose grilling marinade hits on all of the the right notes. Brown sugar lends the perfect amount of sweetness to help create an addictively caramelized crust on whatever you’re grilling, & pantry spices like chili powder & smoked paprika add just the right amount of kick. #playswellwithbutter #marinaderecipe #easymarinade #grillingrecipes #steakmarinade #chickenmarinade #porkmarinade #vegetablemarinade

PWWB All-Purpose Grilling Marinade

  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Condiments
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Equal parts zesty, sweet & spicy, this all-purpose grilling marinade hits on all of the right notes. Brown sugar lends the perfect amount of sweetness to help create an addictively caramelized crust on whatever you’re grilling, & pantry spices like chili powder & smoked paprika add just the right amount of kick. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds meat or veggies of choice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (see Recipe Notes, below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • optional: pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix the all-purpose grill marinade: Add the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, paprika, Kosher salt, ground black pepper, & a pinch of cayenne pepper, if using, to a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine.
  2. Marinate: Pour the all-purpose marinade over your meat or veggies of choice. Marinate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Grill as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Make it vegan: use your favorite vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce (this is my go-to!), or double up on soy sauce & omit Worcestershire sauce altogether.
  • Meal prep tip: if I know I want to use this all-purpose grilling marinade later in the week, I’ll whip up up a batch on Sunday night or whenever I’m meal prepping for the week. It only takes 5 minutes, & storing it in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator helps the flavors meld together even more. the night before you want to use it, simply pour the marinade over whatever meat or veggies you’re grilling up. So easy!

Keywords: all-purpose grill marinade, all-purpose marinade, grilled chicken marinade, grilled pork chop marinade, steak marinade

Other grilled recipes you’ll love!

Can’t wait to hit the grill? Be sure to check out Let’s Grill, Girls!, a grilling series here on PWWB created to help you grill more confidently & deliciously all summer long!

All purpose marinade is poured into a clear glass bowl of raw chicken thighs to marinate

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Thank you so much for reading & supporting Plays Well With Butter. This post includes affiliate links for products I truly love & use on the reg in my own home. All opinions are always my own! Should you make a purchase using one of these links, PWWB will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original & free content.

Don’t forget to pin this all-purpose grill marinade recipe for later!!!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 4.25.20
    Amanda said:

    My dad has a strong aversion to all chicken except fried chicken. I grilled chicken thighs with your all purpose marinade tonight, and my dad went back for seconds! He even asked for the recipe, so he could make on his own. Big win tonight! Great marinade recipe that I will be using again and again.

    • 4.26.20
      jess said:

      Ahhh, I’m SO SO glad to hear it, Amanda!!! That’s the highest compliment! Hopefully it’ll be a go-to for you & your family all summer. =) xx

  2. 11.13.19
    Sammy Jo said:

    The only marinade you’ll ever need. I use it basically every time I grill now. It’s great on everything, especially sweet potatoes!! Try it on shrimp as well!

    • 12.20.19
      jess said:

      Shrimp sounds like it would be an AMAZING combination with this marinade! So glad you love it, Sammy Jo! xx

  3. 11.12.19
    Ana said:

    I love this! It is my go to marinade for chicken that I eat with anything and everything.

    • 2.12.20
      jess said:

      SAME!!! I’m so glad you love it, Ana!!!

  4. 11.12.19
    Alice said:

    I LOVE this marinade! I use it ALL. THE. TIME. Chicken, pork, veggies- it’s so good!!

    • 11.12.19
      jess said:

      Ahhhh, I LOVE hearing this!! It goes perfectly on ALL of the things! =) So glad you love it, Alice. xx

  5. 5.17.19
    Lauren R said:

    Hi! Just FYI your instructions for step 1 say “maple syrup” instead of brown sugar. ?

    • 5.17.19
      jess said:

      ah, good catch! all fixed now! =)