Pork is a meat that can always benefit from a good marinade. It has a mild taste, and, similar to chicken, is somewhat of a blank slate for any type flavor profile, from sweet to spicy, using ingredients like citrus, chilies, and even beer. Pork can take on the character of the cuisines of the Caribbean, Asia, and South America, or become a simple weeknight meal offering subtle flavors from a marinade of vinegar and mustard.
As simple as it may be to make a marinade and let the pork soak up its... flavors unattended, 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. It is also important to 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.
Here are 10 simple marinade recipes that will turn any cut of pork, from a chop to a tenderloin to ribs, from ordinary to extraordinary.
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This is a great Asian-style marinade that works well on all cuts of pork, particularly pork chops. It is reminiscent of a teriyaki marinade with a hint of heat from the chili sauce. If you really like the spice, you can heat this up even more with some extra chili sauce or perhaps a pinch of cayenne.
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This sweet, fruity marinade works great on any cut of pork, as well as chicken. What you get with this marinade is 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 is cooking—just keep it separate from the marinade to avoid cross-contamination.
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This might make you say, "why didn't I think of that?" By using a pre-made pork rub for the seasoning, and combining it with vinegar and water, the rub turns into a marinade! This is a great way to add flavor to ribs, regardless of how they are cooked.
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Ideal for either chops or a tenderloin, this Asian-inspired marinade brings a plain cut of pork to a whole new level. Peanut oil, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic combine with vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to create a deep-flavored marinade that everyone will love. The recipe does call for liquid smoke, but you can omit if you are so inclined.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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You've probably heard of Jamaican jerk seasonings and jerk rubs, which mainly add that Caribbean flavor to the outside of the meat. This jerk marinade, however, gets that great jerk flavor deep into the meat—the result of the pork resting in the mixture for up to eight hours. There is a mild heat due to the hot peppers, but not enough to overpower the dish.
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Like a delicious mustard-based salad dressing, this marinade is a nice change from the ethnic-inspired recipes. It not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the meat. The mustard combines with vinegar and herbs adding a rich taste to a tender pork.
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Want to get that great teriyaki flavor into your favorite dish without all of those store-bought preservatives? This homemade teriyaki-like marinade will do the trick. It works particularly well with pork and poultry and is perfect for kebabs.
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This sweet bourbon marinade is so versatile you can use it with almost any food. Although it is comprised of bourbon, brown sugar, mustard, oil, and Worcestershire sauce, the end result is actually somewhat mild, so make sure you marinate the pork for several hours to assure all of the flavors sink into the meat.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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This marinade works well for injecting pork roasts that will be smoked and pulled. Just remember to grind the herbs and spices well so they won't clog the injection needle. This marinade can also be used on large pork roasts or even pork tenderloin.
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Carne asada translates to "beef grilled," but that doesn't mean the Latin American marinade won't work with pork as well. In fact, it's delicious! Add a twist to taco night with this simple recipe featuring steak sauce, herbs, vinegar, cumin, and dry mustard.