Equal parts zesty, sweet & spicy, this All-Purpose Marinade recipe hits all of the right notes! Pantry spices like chili powder & smoked paprika add just the right amount of kick to this homemade marinade, while brown sugar lends the perfect amount of sweetness, creating an absolutely crave-worthy caramelized crust on whatever you’re grilling. This easy grill marinade is an all-purpose solution for grilling more flavorful chicken, steak, pork, seafood, veggies, & more!
- 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
- optional: pinch cayenne pepper
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Mix the all-purpose grill marinade: Add the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, paprika, & a pinch of cayenne pepper, if using, to a bowl or jar. Season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk or shake to combine.
- Marinate: Pour the all-purpose marinade over your meat or veggies of choice. Marinate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
- Grill as desired. Enjoy!
- 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.
- Suggested marinade time: Marinating time will vary based on the type of protein you’d like to use. Having tested this All-Purpose Marinade recipe with a variety of different proteins & a variety of different marinating times, here’s what I suggest:
- Seafood – At least 20 minutes & no more than 1 hour.
- Chicken & pork – At least 6 hours & up to 3 days.
- Beef & lamb – At least 12 hours & up to 3 days.
- Veggies – At least 20 minutes or up to 5 days.
- 10-Minute Meal Prep: If you’d like to marinate something beyond the suggested marinade times above but would like to do some meal prep, I suggest prepping the marinade in advance. Store it in a jar or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days – the flavors meld together even more as the marinade sits. When you’re ready to start marinating (refer to the suggested marinating times above), simply give it the marinade a shake & pour it over whatever meat or veggies you’re using it on – easy!
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