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 mixture makes enough for 4-6 thin chops or 2-3 thicker cuts.
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 and pork steaks.
Making a pork chop marinade:
- 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.
Pork chop marinating times:
- 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
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 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.
- 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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