Bourbon Marinade

Bourbon Marinade
Danielle D. Hughson / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 38 servings
Yield: 4 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
80 Calories
6g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 38
Amount per serving
Calories 80
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 145mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 74mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This ​sweet bourbon marinade ​works perfectly on just about anything. Use it on chicken, salmon, pork chops, ribs, roasts, kabobs, and even vegetables. It only takes mere minutes to whip this sweet and tangy bourbon marinade recipe up, consisting of items that are most likely already in your pantry, including brown sugar, oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and of course, bourbon. This is a mild marinade, so you'll want to plan several hours of marinating time before you grill.

This marinade is a great way to add flavor to whatever protein you decide to put on the grill, plus it fits well with whatever side dishes you decide to serve, from baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, to tossed salads. Perfect for those summer picnic get-togethers or family gatherings, this is sure to be a marinade recipe that you will use over and over again. 


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all the ingredients—bourbon, brown sugar, oil, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce—and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Use it right away.

  3. Marinate meat for four to 12 hours.

  4. Use it to grill your choice of meat, and enjoy!


  • If making ahead, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for no more than a week after initial preparation.
  • Reduce or increase the recipe as needed. This will make quite a bit, so adjust accordingly if you are only grilling a small portion of meat.
  • Since this recipe only needs to use 1 cup, grab a bourbon that you will enjoy using to drink and make cocktails.

How to Use Marinade

You should always marinate in a glass, plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel container. Do not marinate in aluminum as the marinade will react with the metal and your food will not have the proper taste. We like to use large zip-top bags forcing out as much of the air as we possibly can. 

You should always marinate your meat or vegetables in the refrigerator and never at room temperature.

Before putting the food in the marinade, set some aside to use for basting when your food is on the grill. You should not reuse any marinade that has been in contact with raw food.

Marinating Times

Fish and other seafood should be marinated for only 15 to 30 minutes.

Vegetables and meat substitutes for up to one hour.

Chicken and other poultry can be marinated for two hours up to six hours.

Beef and pork can be left marinating for 12 hours or overnight. 

Why Marinade Meat?

Marinading not only adds flavor to the meat with the addition of oil, herbs, spices, and other ingredients, including alcohol, but it also helps to make the meat tender due to the acids in the marinade, which break down protein chains in the meat. 

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. How to marinate safely. Updated May 2020.