This simple sweet and savory pork marinade is perfect for adding flavor and will give you tender and juicy pork every time!
Great for grilling, baking, and roasting all your favorite cuts of pork such as pork loin, tenderloin, chops, and ribs!
If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
A pork marinade is used for a variety of purposes, but knowing how it works has a lot more to do with breaking down the ingredients than just soaking meat in liquids.
A good pork marinade, like this one, will add moisture, tenderness, flavor, and delicious aromas to your cut of pork.
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Pork Marinade Ingredients
- soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- dijon mustard
- brown sugar
- black pepper
Soy Sauce – Feel free to use tamari or ponzu if so desired.
Dijon Mustard – If you don’t have Dijon, feel free to use stone ground or yellow mustard.
Garlic – Fresh garlic is the best in my opinion but if you don’t have any feel free to use garlic powder instead.
Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar gives the best flavor but you can use dark brown or even white sugar if that’s what you have.
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How to marinate pork chops
STEP ONE: Add all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine completely.
STEP TWO: Place the pork in a large ziplock bag or sealable container. Pour the marinade over the pork to cover.
STEP THREE: Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
STEP FOUR: When ready to cook, remove the pork and marinade from the refrigerator. Let the pork sit so the chill is taken off (20-30 minutes). Cook pork chops as desired to an internal temperature of at least 145F.
For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to tenderize pork chops
Let’s talk about how a marinade works and why we will use it on our pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork ribs, and more. When you allow your pork to rest in a marinade that includes a naturally acidic ingredient (mustard, Worcestershire) it will help to tenderize the protein and make it easier for your teeth and stomach to digest.
The addition of sugars helps to change the texture as well as the flavor of the pork. The pork will also soak up the flavors of the marinade so you get that full flavor in each bite.
If you want to make sure even more of the pork gets added flavor you can pierce the meat with a fork or thin knife to allow more access for the marinade to get into the meat fibers.
How long do I marinate pork?
The length of time you allow pork to marinate is really up to you and the pork recipe you’re making, the thickness of the meat, and how much you planned ahead! Some recipes will call for overnight and others will say only 30 minutes.
The biggest thing to remember is that you need to keep the pork in the refrigerator so you don’t introduce unwelcome guests like bacteria (food poisoning) to your marinating party!
What temperature do I cook pork to?
Pork needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 145° F to be safe to consume.
Best ways to cook marinated pork
Using a marinade will take your favorite grilled pork chops, baked pork tenderloin, grilled ribs, and even a pork roast up a notch in flavor and texture.
If you thought a marinade was only for grilled meat, I invite you to expand your palate and try baked pork recipes with a marinade too!
Tips for no leftover pork marinade
- Let the cooked pork set 5 minutes before serving or slicing to the juices have a chance to stay in the meat.
- I would not recommend basting the pork with the marinade it was sitting in but you save a little marinade off (unused) to the side then use this for basting.
- You can make this marinade up to 3 days ahead of time.
- If you want it to be a little spicier then add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the mix.
- If the soy sauce is too strong, try using half soy and half olive oil.
- Cook the pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees or higher.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!
Now that you know how to add great flavor and juicy goodness to your pork I want to hear how you jazz up your next chicken recipe!
Let me know in the comments what you added, which cut of pork you used in this great marinade, and what you thought of it, I always like to hear how my readers put these recipes into rotation in their homes.
Other marinades to try
Pork Marinade Recipe
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