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5 Delicious Marinade Recipes for Both Steak and Chicken

Have you ever wanted to make your own marinades, but don't know how? Here are some tips on making a great marinade using things already in your kitchen.

1. Add flavor

The reason people marinade their food is to add flavor without adding a lot of extra calories, fat, or salt content. You can add simple things like salt and pepper, herbs, and different seasoning together and make a great marinade. Your options can basically go on forever.

2. Loosen Up

Another reason why people choose to marinade the meat is to tenderize and break down the meat. Marinades contain a lot of acids, which after awhile starts to loosen up and break down the fibers within the muscle of your meat. By doing this you are letting the meat become so tender it will be easy to chew.

You can use may different things to tenderize your meat with using everything from juices to beer will help loosen up the muscle fibers. Fruits and vegetables can also help tenderize different meats, foods that naturally have a lot of acid in them are lemons, pineapples, onion, and peppers, you can use any of these in your marinades recipes.

3. Got Milk?

You can use milk as a marinade for certain meats, for example buttermilk is a great marinade when you are cooking chicken with or without the skin.

4. Let It Do Its Magic

After you have made your marinade and have added whatever type of meat you are using, cover the meat with either plastic wrap or foil and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Let your marinate work on your meat for a good period of time, anywhere from 6-24 hours should be enough time. So make sure to remember that before you start cooking so you aren't eating dinner at 12 a.m. in the morning.

5. Marinades Are Healthier

Marinating your foods can actually be healthier than cooking your food any other way. Marinating helps cut down on excess fats, oils, and sauces that are generally used in other cooking methods.

By letting the meat rest you are helping to keep your meats lean and low fat. Also, marinades help block cancer causing carcinogens that can be created when grilling your foods are high temperature rates.

Make sure before you start cooking that your surface space has been cleaned and you have everything you need to make your recipes. Also keep your meat refrigerated until you are ready to use it in your dish.

5 Delicious Marinade Recipes

Here are 5 versatile marinades that will tempt your taste buds and make everyone think you are a master griller!

Marinade #1 Orange Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp of oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic pressed

In a zipper bag, put in 4 pieces of steak or chicken breast and all ingredients above. Make sure all sides are covered in marinade. Put into refrigerator at least 1 to 2 hrs (best results are overnight).
Take out meat from bag and grill both sides until cooked through. This will be a sweeter marinade, and the acid from the juice will break up the toughness of the meat. You may serve with a side of teriyaki sauce and some rice.

Marinade #2 Citrus pepper for steak and chicken

In this marinade, the Citrus pepper gives zing to the meat, with no salt!

In a zipper bag combine 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice and 2 tbsp pepper and 1 tbsp of sugar. Make sure it is mixed well.

Put in steak or chicken into bag and make sure mixture covers meat. Chill for 4 hrs (if in hurry) or overnight so meat takes in all the flavor and tenderizes. Grill meat until done to your specifications.

Marinade #3 Dry rub

In a bowl combine these ingredients 2 tsp black peppercorn (ran through grinder), 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp lemon zest, 1/2 tbsp coriander (ground), 1 tsp mustard powder 1/2 tbsp ground garlic powder (or crushed fresh garlic)

Cover both sides of meat with mixture and grill to desired doneness.

Marinade #4 Sweet and Savory Onion marinade with red or white wine

In a zipper bag, combine 1 package of golden onion or onion soup mix, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup of red or white wine (my favorite is burgendy for steak and a sweet white wine, even white zinfandel for chicken.) Salt and Pepper 1/4 tsp of each, 2 tbsp dijon mustard and some lemon and lime zest.

Put meat in bag and set overnight. Grill until done to your specifications!

Marinade #5 Spicy and smokey chipotle marinade (not for the faint of heart). 

This will add a punch to your dish!
  • 1/2 package ancho chilies (dried) 1 oz (take out seeds)
  • 1/2 package green jalapeno (dried) 1 oz (take out seeds depending on how spicy you'd like it!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 chicken breasts or small steaks (6 ounces each)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • liquid smoke


Soak dry chilies overnight in water. Add all ingredients except meat in food processor. Puree until smooth. Spread mixture over chicken, or other meats and refrigerate at least 5 hours, up to 24 hours. After marinading, heat grill til hot, approximately 375 degrees, or if cooking inside, heat small amount of oil in skillet or grill pan over high heat. Grill lightly, turning only once, until done. 4 minutes per side for chicken, 8-10 minutes per side for 3/4" thick steak. Before completed, sprinkle with liquid smoke to add smokey flavor.

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