This easy Pork Chop Marinade makes flavorful, juicy pork chops. This simple marinade soaks into the pork chops and gives them the best flavor. It’s made with just a handful of simple ingredients and can be used to marinate pork chops or pork steaks. Whether you're grilling, baking, or air frying your pork chops, this marinade will infuse them with a perfect blend of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors for happy taste buds!
Best Pork Chop Marinade
Today I’m sharing with you my favorite pork chop marinade recipe! If you're tired of dry and flavorless pork chops, this marinade will transform them into juicy and savory delights. Not only is this marinade recipe easy to make, but it also uses pantry staples that you may already have.
Why Marinate Pork Chops?
Marinating pork chops is important for several reasons. Firstly, delicious pork chop marinades helps to add flavor to the meat. Pork chops can often be bland, but marinating them infuses them with a delicious mix of flavors. Marinades can contain herbs, spices, and other seasonings, which add flavor to the meat.
Additionally, Pork chops tend to be dry. Pork Chop Marinade helps to tenderize the meat by breaking down the tough muscle fibers. This makes the pork chops more juicy, with tender meat that's easier to chew.
The best pork marinades typically contain an acidic ingredient like vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, which helps to break down the proteins in the meat.
Marinating your pork chops for at least 1 hour (or longer, depending on the recipe) allows enough time for these flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender pork chop.
Overall, marinating makes for the best pork chops recipe! It is simple and the best way to enhance their flavor, tenderness, and juiciness.
Why I Like This Easy Pork Chop Marinade Recipe
• Simple Ingredients: You only need a handful of ingredients to make this the best pork chop marinade.
• Fast: It only takes a few minutes to make.
• Delicious: No more bland, flavorless pork chops! This easy pork marinade adds a lot of flavor to plain chops!
• Make Ahead: You can freeze your pork chops in this pork chop marinade to cook at a later time (see below for directions).
• Versatile: You can use this marinade to make many pork recipes such as Grilled Pork Chops, Oven Baked Pork Chops, Air Fryer Pork Chops and Pork Tenderloin.
Easy Marinade Ingredients for Pork Chops
Olive Oil - Adds moisture to the meat and helps to prevent it from drying out during cooking. It also is a carrier for the other flavors in the marinade.
Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos - Adds the saltiness and richness. Low sodium soy sauce works the best.
Worcestershire Sauce - Adds a tangy, savory, sweet, and salty flavor, and umami.
Brown Sugar or Honey - Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the savoriness and helps the marinade caramelize on the meat as it cooks.
Dijon Mustard or Spicy Brown Mustard - Bright and tangy flavor that cuts the sugar just enough and adds great flavor.
Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar - Adds acid that helps tenderize the meat.
Garlic - Use minced garlic from a jar, garlic paste, or fresh garlic in this marinade. It adds a wonderful savory flavor.
Black Pepper - For a subtle kick in flavor without being too spicy.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How Much Marinade Does This Recipe Make?
This marinade recipe makes enough for about 4 6-ounce bone-in pork chops, or boneless pork chops (at least 1-inch thick is best).
- Bone-in or Boneless Pork Chops: Bone-in pork chops have great flavor as most bone-in meats do, but either will work. Boneless pork chops dry out easier, but they can still be tender and juicy if cooked correctly. Also, choosing thick chops helps to avoid that.
- Rib Chop vs Pork Loin Chops: Pork ribs are a more marbled, fattier cut of pork than a pork loin, which is a leaner cut.
- Thickness: Choose thick cut pork chops if you can. The best pork chops will be at least ¾ to 1-inch thick. If you can only find thin pork chops in the grocery store (½ inch) they will work with a shorter cook time. When buying multiple chops, be sure they are all of similar size and thickness for even cooking.
How to Choose Pork Chops
Some tips for picking out the kind of pork chops you need for delicious oven baked pork chops or grilled pork chops:
- You can marinate the pork chops in a large zip-top baggie or in a shallow baking dish.
- For a Ziplock Baggie: Add the ingredients directly to the bag and stir. Place the pork chops in the bag and massage them around to coat them. Refrigerate.
- For a Shallow Dish: Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Then pour the marinade over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Optional Step: Before pouring all of the marinade over the pork chops, reserve a few tablespoons of it to baste the meat with during the last few minutes of cooking.
- To Marinate pork chops, make sure the pork chops are well coated in the marinade. Flip the bag over (or turn the pork chops if marinating directly in a dish) halfway through the marinating time so the marinade penetrates both sides.
- Keep the marinating pork chops in the refrigerator until 30-40 minutes before cooking.
- For food safety, discard the extra marinade that came in contact with the raw meat.
How to Make Pork Chops Marinade
This marinade can be used on bone-in pork chops or boneless pork chops. I just use what I have.
How Long to Marinate Pork Chops?
Marinate pork chops for at least 1 hour and ideally overnight. You can marinate them up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
How to Bake Pork Chops in the Oven
Here is my baked pork chop recipe, with step-by-step instructions and photos to help you make it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
• Pat the Meat Dry. Use a paper towel to pat the pork chops dry.
• Poke the chops with a fork. Pierce them all over, and on both sides.
• Make the Pork Chop Marinade: Add the marinade ingredients to a large ziplock bag.
• Stir the ingredients well to mix.
• Place the meat into the marinade, making sure it coats all sides of the pork chops.
• Marinate for 1-12 hours in the fridge. Flipping them over halfway through marinating time.
• Take the chops out of the fridge about 30-40 minutes before cooking.
• Preheat a grill pan (or a cast iron skillet if you don’t have a grill pan) over medium-high heat.
• Butter the pan, then add the pork chops. Sear the outside, without moving them, until browned with grill marks (about 2 minutes. Not too long!).
• Flip them over and sear the other side. Be sure you sear only a couple minutes per side. You don't want them too done at this point as the oven will finish cooking the pork chops.
• Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake the pork chops until they are cooked through (See recipe card for times).
• Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the pork chop and remove when it reads 140°F.
• Remove pork chops from the oven and transfer to a plate. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving (the temperature will rise while resting).
- Bring chops to room temperature before cooking - This helps the meat to cook evenly, but will also help keep the pork chops nice and juicy.
- Use a Pork Marinade Recipe - A good marinade gives the pork chops more flavor, moisture, and will tenderize the meat.
- Sear pork chops in a hot cast iron pan before oven baking - Creates a nice crust and caramelizes some of the marinade on the exterior (use a grill pan to get grill marks).
- Do not to overcook - Overcooking pork chops will make them come out dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature so they come out perfectly done.
- Rest the cooked pork chops - If you slice into the meat right from the oven, the juices and moisture will run out of the pork chops. Resting the pork chops before cutting them allows the juices to redistribute into the meat fibers.
Tips for the Best Baked Pork Chops
Use these tips for the best oven baked pork chops!
- Remove the pork chops from the fridge and bring to room temperature before grilling (about 30 minutes prior).
- Preheat a gas grill to 400°F (medium-high heat).
- Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil.
- Remove the chops from the baggie or dish and place pork chops on the hot grill. Sear pork chops on the grill, about 2 minutes per side (Make extra marinade to baste). Reduce heat to medium.
- Grill the pork chops an additional 4-6 minutes per side to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thickest portion of the pork chop, not touching the bone. Thicker pork chops (more than 1-inch) may need a longer cooking time.
- Move them to a plate and let the pork chops rest for 5 minutes before serving (The internal temperature will rise as they rest).
Instructions to Grill Pork Chops
Here is how to make grilled pork chops (I used bone-in chops*):
*You can use bone-in pork chops or boneless pork chops. Boneless chops may require a few less minutes to cook.
At What Temperature are Pork Chops Done?
• For best results, use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
• Pork chops are done when the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches 145°F, but it’s best to remove them at 140°F and let them rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into them (the internal temperature rises while resting).
• Pork chops should be cooked to a final temperature of at least 145°F.
What to Serve With Pork Chops
Pair your delicious pork chops with a side dish for a complete meal. Here are some of our favorites:
Vegetables: Try Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob.
Bread: Try an Easy Classic Cornbread or our favorite Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe.
Potatoes: Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes or an Air Fryer Baked Potato will go well with pork chops.
Salad: You can’t go wrong with a Creamy Pea Salad, Creamy Coleslaw, Lemon Orzo Salad or this tasty Easy Rice Salad.
- Yes you can! Pork marinade recipes freeze well, and this is a great way to have a make ahead meal in your freezer.
- To freeze marinated pork chops, place the pork chops and marinade in zip-closure plastic bag and massage the bag to make sure all of the pork chops are coated. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to cook the pork chops, place the bag in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Remove thawed pork chops from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before cooking them.
Can I Freeze This Marinade?
Storage of Leftover Pork
Store leftover pork in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What to Do With Leftover Pork Chops?
Leftover pork is delicious in omelets, or make sandwiches, put in tacos, sliced onto a salad, or add to cooked rice.
You Might Also Like These Pork Chop Recipes
Pork Chop Marinade
- Zip Closure Baggie
- Shallow Dish
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ⅓ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 2 large cloves Garlic or 1 Tablespoon, minced or paste
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Add the marinade ingredients to a zip-closure bag big enough to hold your pork chops. Then stir them well.
- Add the pork chops and massage them into the marinade so they are all coated.
- Place in a shallow dish and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator 25-40 minutes before you plan to cook the chops (this is so the meat is not so cold, as that affects cook time).
- Cook the pork chops on the grill, in the oven, or in a frying pan on the stove top. Use the leftover marinade to baste the chops while cooking. Then discard unused marinade.