Overnight Brisket Marinade

Overnight brisket marinade in a glass jar with a resealable clasp

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Marinate Time: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
130 Calories
11g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 223mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 61mg 1%
*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.)

A marinade can make a tremendous difference when you're cooking meat. It serves so many purposes. It's a fantastic way to add a lot of flavor while also tenderizing tougher cuts of meat and adding moisture, too.

In the case of a brisket, a marinade will offer all of that and more. This marinade delivers a pungent hit horseradish, mustard, red wine, olive oil, lemon juice, wine vinegar, salt, and onion and garlic powders. It calls for cayenne, but you can use less or skip it if your crowd isn't into heat.

This marinade is great because you can either make it way ahead of time, such as a week in advance, then keep it in the fridge, or you can use it to marinate a brisket, keep it in the fridge overnight, and cook it the next day. Whether you are smoking or grilling a brisket, this marinade will add a lot of flavor and help keep the meat tender.

"The marinade was incredibly easy to put together, and the brisket turned out tender and delicious. I marinated a 3-pound brisket for about 12 hours in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It makes enough to cover about 5 pounds of meat." —Diana Rattray

Brisket marinade in a glass jar and over a brisket in a casserole dish
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 cups red wine

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoonred wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients gathered for brisket marinade

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Whisk the red wine, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, horseradish, salt, cayenne pepper, if using, and onion and garlic powder together in a medium bowl.

    Brisket marinade ingredients whisked together in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Pour the marinade over brisket and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

    Marinade poured over a brisket on a metal platter with handles

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Remove brisket from marinade. In a medium saucepan, boil the marinade for 5 minutes to use as a mop.


  • If you want to make the marinade ahead of time, it will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • Boiling the marinade after it is used for at least five minutes destroys any bacteria. Use this thin sauce to brush over or "mop" the top of the meat for extra flavor during the cooking process, whether it's smoking, grilling, or braising.

How to Use Overnight Brisket Marinade

You can use this over a brisket, but it's also great as a marinade on other cuts of beef and pork.

Here are a few ideas:

Smoked Mini-Brisket

Slow Cooker Brisket With Caramelized Onions

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

What kind of red wine is best in a meat marinade?

Use what you would drink with the brisket. Zinfandel, merlot, or cabernet are good choices, or use a red blend.

What containers are best for marinating meat?

The best containers for marinating are nonreactive. Glass, ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, and enamel-lined containers are great choices. Because of the acidic ingredients in marinades, reactive containers such as ones made of copper, iron, or aluminum, will impart a metallic taste.