Because pork has a mild taste and, similar to chicken, is something of a blank slate for any type of flavor profile, it is a meat that can benefit from a good marinade. Pork can take on the character of the cuisines of the Caribbean, Asia, and South America, or become a simple weeknight meal with subtle flavors from a marinade of vinegar and mustard.
Make ahead and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. A good trick is to take a couple of hours of your weekend, make many marinades, freeze your cuts of pork with different marinades, label the bags and use them when you're ready.
01 of 10
This Asian-style marinade works well on all cuts of pork but yields particularly moist and tasty pork chops. It is reminiscent of a teriyaki marinade with a hint of heat from the chili sauce. Brown sugar, spices, and soy sauce give sweet and savory flavors, while the fresh ginger adds a bit of pungency.
If you really like the spice, you can heat this up even more with some extra chili sauce or perhaps a pinch of cayenne. Mix up all of the ingredients and have your marinade ready in 25 minutes.
02 of 10
This sweet, fruity marinade works great on any cut of pork. You'll get a great Hawaiian-teriyaki flavor, perfect for when you're serving a simple pork-over-rice dish. Make extra marinade to use as a sauce, or to baste the meat as it's cooking. Keep the basting sauce separate from the marinade to avoid cross-contamination.
Combine crushed pineapple, soy, spices, vinegar, and honey. Ready to use in 20 minutes, after it has rested for 15 minutes.
03 of 10
Ideal for either chops or tenderloin cuts, this Asian-inspired marinade combines the best of savory flavors (peanuts, soy, and Worcestershire sauce) with fresh ginger and earthy liquid smoke. Marinate your chops for 4 to 6 hours and cook as preferred.
If there are allergies present, use vegetable oil instead of peanuts. Mix all of the ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes for the flavors to develop. Ready in 5 minutes.
04 of 10
Jamaican jerk seasonings and jerk rubs provide amazing Caribbean flavors to the outsides of meats, but our marinade gets that great jerk flavor deep into the meat. Let the pork rest in the mixture for up to 8 hours and cook as preferred. You're going to love the delicious outer crust, but be amazed by the flavorful meat inside.
There's a mild heat due to the hot peppers, but not enough to overpower the dish. Serve with baked potatoes or white rice to balance out spice versus not. Ready in 15 minutes.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Like a delicious mustard-based salad dressing, this marinade is a nice break from the typical. The acidity of the vinegar and Dijon mustard tenderize the meat, adding flavor while the porks marinates.
Combine mustard, olive oil, garlic, dry herbs, and spices to form a paste. Let stand for 10 minutes for the flavors to develop. Marinate your meat and cook as preferred. Ready in 5 minutes.
06 of 10
Avoid all the preservatives in store-bought Teriyaki sauces by making your own in a snap. Our marinade doubles as a sauce. Simply cook it until it's thickened and use on top of your cooked pork or any other meat. Because of the generous amount of salty soy sauce, keep an eye on the amount of salt you're using when cooking the rest of the dishes that you're serving with the pork.
Mix soy sauce, water, sugar, garlic, vinegar, and green onions. Add a dash of hot sauce for heat, or a tablespoon of molasses to thicken the preparation and make it sweeter. Ready in 10 minutes.
07 of 10
Injecting is a method for adding flavor and moisture right into the meat. They're great in pork roasts that will be smoked and pulled, but you need to grind the herbs and spices in the sauce carefully so they won't clog the injection needle.
Our Boston marinade can also be used on large pork roasts or even pork tenderloin. The quick version uses a blender, but if you want to get the best out of the herbs use a mortar to combine basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic, oil, and spices. If you're not injecting your meat you can still use this sauce as a marinade. Ready in 15 minutes.
08 of 10
By using a pre-made pork rub and combining it with vinegar and water, the rub "magically" turns into a marinade! This is a great way to add flavor to ribs, regardless of how they are cooked. Choose any rub you like and make different versions of this marinade, conserving the amounts for better results. Use Italian seasoning, Provence herbs, curry mixtures, onion salt, or any combination of dry spices that you can think of.
Replace the corn syrup with maple syrup, honey, agave or molasses to create different flavor profiles. Ready in 10 minutes.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
This sweet bourbon marinade is amazing on any type of meat. Although it is comprised of strong flavors like bourbon, brown sugar, mustard, oil, and Worcestershire sauce, the end result is actually somewhat mild. Use good quality bourbon; like in any recipe that includes alcohol, if the liquor or wine isn't good, the result can't be either.
Make sure you marinate the pork for several hours to assure all of the flavors sink into the meat, and use a neutral oil. Ready in 10 minutes.
10 of 10
Our quick Chinese marinade for stir-fry will add wonderful notes of sherry (or Chinese rice wine) to your pork. If you're pressed for time, use this recipe and have wonderfully flavorful pork in no-time. Mix sugar, soy sauce, sherry, scallions, and corn starch, and let your chopped pork marinate in it for at least 15 minutes.
While it soaks, prep your veggies, steam some rice, and be ready for a delicious pork stir-fry in less than 30 minutes.
For the Best Pork
As simple as it may be to make a marinade and leave the pork unattended to soak up its flavors, there are a few tips to keep in mind to get the best-tasting pork with the right texture:
- Salt can actually cure the meat, leaving some cuts with a ham-like texture. Reducing the salt content in marinades used with pork can prevent this from happening.
- Keep in mind the thickness of the meat (not the bone) when marinating pork chops; this will help determine how long to marinate.
- Plan on two to four hours for chops and thinner cuts, and up to eight hours for roasts and larger cuts of pork.