Not only is this pork chop marinade packed full of flavor, but it offers you a little extra time and convenience. Make up the marinade the night before and store it covered in the refrigerator. When you get up in the morning, start the chops marinating. By the time dinner time rolls around, you’ll be ready to grill or bake some tasty pork chops. This recipe makes enough marinade for 2 1/2-3 pounds of meat.
I love grilled pork chops, but I’ve found through trial and error that one of the best ways to get tender, flavorful chops is to either brine or marinate them first. This recipe is my go-to for all things pork chop related. I even use this marinade on pork tenderloin.
Why use a pork marinade when grilling?
The acids in the marinade permeate the connective tissues that tenderize the pork and impart flavor. We recommend marinating tougher cuts of pork, like thick cut pork cuts, pork loin roasts, pork steaks, and country-style pork ribs.
- Orange juice: Fresh squeezed is always best. Look for pure orange juice, but avoid concentrates. You can purchase 2-3 medium oranges and juice them yourself.
- Vegetable Oil: Use oil that is mild and flavorless. Canola, vegetable, or grapeseed.
- Soy sauce: Now we’re talking. Soy sauce will give you that underlying saltiness and umami flavor that is so dang delicious! If you are looking for a gluten-free alternative, substitute with GF soy sauce or tamari for this pork chop marinade.
- Savories and Aromatics: Fresh ginger and garlic.
- Worcestershire sauce: Offers a subtle touch of sweetness, savoriness, and a slight vinegar-based tanginess. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with balsamic vinegar.
- Spices: White pepper, salt, and paprika are called for in this recipe. Why white pepper and not black pepper? Because the flavor of white pepper is livelier, brighter, and touch sharper than black pepper. It adds a nice boost to this pork chop marinade. If you do not have any in your pantry, you can substitute it with black pepper, pink pepper, or ground mustard.
Making a pork chop marinade:
- Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Once the honey and salt have dissolved into the mixture, it’s ready to use.
- If made ahead of time, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- This sauce is also great on larger cuts of pork; double the recipe and use as directed. This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of marinade.
Pork chop marinating times:
Use 1 cup of marinade per 1- 1 1/2 pounds of meat.
- standard pork chops (1″-2″ thickness), 4 hours
- thick-cut or double-cut pork chops (3″-5″), 4-8 hours
- pork tenderloin, 4 hours
- pork steaks, 4-8 hours
- Gauge how much pork chop marinade you will need. If you’re cooking more than 2 thick-cut pork chops, double the marinade recipe.
- Make a sauce: You can also double this recipe, use 1/2 of it as a marinade, and reserve the other half to make a sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add 2-4 tablespoons sugar or honey along with 2 tablespoons water. Simmer mixture, occasionally stirring, until it reduces enough to coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle over cooked pork chops.
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Pork Chop Marinade
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- A pinch of salt optional
- Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Once the honey and salt have dissolved into the mixture, it’s ready to use. Use 1 cup of marinade per 1-1 1/2 pounds of meat.
- If making ahead of time, store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- This sauce is also great on larger cuts of pork. Simply double the recipe and use it as needed.
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