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Best marinades for BBQ

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Top 5 Marinades for Your Next BBQ

July 30, 2019

If you love to cook (or eat!) great barbecue, you know the power of a marinade. A little marinade can go a long way to transforming your food and taking your grilling to the next level. Any of these marinades will work a treat on whichever protein you may choose to star at your next barbecue. Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, or plant-based substitutes, these marinades pack the flavor to make your 'cue a hit. Not big on barbecue? Any of these marinades would work beautifully on a roast and a few can even be served on the side as a dipping sauce.

Balsamic Rosemary Marinade

This is the perfect all-rounder for any savory mains you plan on grilling. Tangy and herby and a cinch to whip up, this balsamic rosemary marinade is genius when you need to throw something tasty together quickly with ingredients you have on hand. It also works on grilled vegetable kebabs or even as a dressing for bruschetta. Other herbs like thyme and oregano make a lovely swap (or addition) to this easy-to-make marinade.


½ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk well to mix thoroughly.

Teriyaki Marinade

A well-made teriyaki marinade is always a big hit when it's time to light up the grill. It's also another super easy to make marinade that works well if you're in a rush. Because teriyaki is so flavorful, if you don't have much time to spare, you can get away with a quick marinade or even simply brush it over your mains just before you start cooking. Teriyaki is incredibly versatile. It's delicious on seafood, poultry, meats, and tofu!


1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
¾ cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons onion granules
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Pour the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir regularly until the ingredients combine and the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before use.


Chimichurri is usually served up on the side as a sauce, but this classic Argentinian condiment makes a killer marinade for any sort of grilled meat. The combination of herbs in the green version of this classic sauce gives it a compelling lifted flavor while the vinegar acts as the perfect foil to fattier cuts of meat, cutting the richness and revitalizing your palate. Beef is always a winner here but pork marinated in chimichurri is phenomenal as well.


½ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 shallot, diced
1 medium-sized chili, diced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste

Add shallot, herbs, chili, and garlic into a bowl. Pour in the vinegar, oil, and salt. Whisk to combine, then set some sauce aside. Let the meat marinate for a few hours. When you're cooking, brush the meat with extra marinade and serve as a side on the table for dipping.

Spiced Yogurt (Tandoori) Marinade

Here's a little secret you may not know – yogurt is phenomenal as a marinade. It tenderizes meats while keeping them succulent and tender. This is thanks to the lactic acid and gut-friendly bacteria in yogurt. There are plenty of different spins you can put on a yogurt-based marinade. Take inspiration from the Middle East or India and its neighbors or opt to keep it simple and squeeze some lemon and add a dash of fresh herbs to your marinade. For this recipe, we'll go the spiced route.


1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Allow meat to marinate for several hours or overnight to let the yogurt do its marinading magic.

Honey Mint Marinade

This marinade marries refreshing mint with that irresistible sweetness of honey. It's a brilliant choice for summer. And if you're a fan of getting a bit of caramelization on your grilled eats, the honey in this recipe does the trick, adding another layer flavor to your food. PS – this marinade is outstanding with lamb and chicken.


¼ cup olive oil
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tbsp honey

Mix the ingredients well then coat the meat of your choice in the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for several hours before grilling.

Happy grilling!

Written by Camille Berry for Knockaround.

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