Dr. Pepper Marinade

Barbecued brisket
photo by Katherine Lewinski / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Marinate: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
380 Calories
41g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 441mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 47mg 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.)

When it comes to sodas, Dr. Pepper has one of the most complex flavors, making it an ideal ingredient in marinades. This carbonated beverage is described as bold, with hints of licorice, mint, and allspice as well as fruit like cherries, prunes, and plums. Using Dr. Pepper in a marinade means you only need a few other ingredients to create a well-rounded mixture. The regular flavored Dr. Pepper is best for this recipe—avoid diet or any other flavor varieties.

This richly flavored beverage works well with soy sauce, lime juice, and hot sauce, creating an intriguing marinade with salty, tangy, and spicy accents. The recipe serves two purposes: First, it is used as a marinade, and then as a basting sauce. Once the meat is removed from the marinade, the liquid is boiled and then brushed onto the meat as it cooks, creating another layer of delicious flavor. Do keep in mind that the meat needs to marinate for eight to 12 hours, so make sure to plan ahead.

Dr. Pepper marinade is great with steaks, beef brisket, chuck roast, and 7-bone roast. You can also try it with chicken, ham, and pork tenderloin.


  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper soda

  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 2 to 3 limes

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • Meat (about 2 pounds), for using the marinade, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the Dr. Pepper, soy sauce, lime juice, vegetable oil, and hot sauce.

  3. Pour the mixture into a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Add the meat, squeeze out the air, seal the bag tight, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

  4. Remove the meat, and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Boil for at least 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  5. Grill or roast the meat to desired tenderness, basting with the cooled sauce.

  6. Enjoy.

Why do I need to boil the marinade?

Since marinades are used to flavor raw meat, this means any bacteria that is in the raw food—like Salmonella and E. coli—can transfer to the marinating liquid. Boiling, which is at a temperature of 212 F, will kill off any pathogens, making the sauce safe for consumption. Cooking at this high heat will also reduce the liquid a bit and thicken it, making it ideal for brushing onto meat while it cooks.