5 Easy Pork Marinades

These 5 easy pork marinade recipes are freezer-friendly, simple to prepare, and totally dependable and delicious!  Perfect for baking, grilling, slow cooking, Instant Pot, meal prep, and more.

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

And finally, after sharing 5 chicken marinades and 5 steak marinades earlier this week, I’m back today with one final collection of recipes to wrap up this marinade merriment…

5 easy pork marinades!  🎉

Because I don’t know about you, but I always tend to think that “the other white meat” is begging for an extra kick of flavor.  So whether you’re craving a nice dijon grilled pork chop, or maybe juicy pork carnitas tacos, or some zesty moo shu pork, or just some classic BBQ spare ribs…these five marinades are sure to hit the spot.  And better yet?  They’re all 100% freezer friendly (perfect for meal prep!), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and ultra-delicious.  Plus, they work well with various cooking methods and nearly any cut of pork you may be craving (chops, tenderloin, shoulder, spare ribs and more).

So let’s get to it!

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

When it comes specifically to pork, these are 5 of the marinades I use most often:

  • Moo Shu Pork Marinade: a yummy hoisin-based marinade
  • BBQ Pork Marinade: my favorite KC-style homemade bbq sauce is always a winner
  • Pineapple Ginger Pork Marinade: sweet and savory with a kick
  • Maple Dijon Pork Marinade: mustard and pork were made for each other
  • Pork Carnitas Marinade: a freezer-friendly version (no alcohol!) of this zesty Mexi marinade

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

To make each marinade, simply whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.  Then combine the marinade and pork together in a freezer ziplock bag, seal, and refrigerate or freeze according to the directions below until ready to use.  So simple!

That said, here are a few tips to keep in mind with marinating pork…

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

Marinade to Pork Ratio: 

You’re welcome to use however much marinade you would like per pound of pork, but in general, I recommend 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of pork.

Marinade Times:

  • Fridge marinade time: I recommend marinating your pork packs in the refrigerator for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 1 day (24 hours).
  • Freezer marinade time: I recommend marinating your pork packs in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Marinade Safety:

  • Always thaw pork properly: As tempting as it may be to try and “quick-thaw” frozen pork, food safety guidelines recommend that you always thaw pork slowly in the refrigerator.  Ideally, you can plan ahead and pop your frozen pork pack in the fridge and let it rest for 24 hours or so, or until it has completely thawed.  But to speed the process up, you can place the pork pack in a bowl of cold water, then refrigerate until the pork pack has completely thawed.
  • Don’t try to cook partially-frozen pork: Probably goes without saying, but if you jump the gun, the pork will cook unevenly.  So thaw completely.
  • Basting with marinades: There are a variety of opinions in the food safety world about how safe/unsafe it is to baste your pork with its marinade.  Some say it’s ok to use the marinade as a baste in the beginning stages of cooking, but many strongly disagree.  To err on the side of caution, if you would like to use the marinade as a baste while cooking, I recommend using extra marinade that you have reserved ahead of time. (Basically, marinade that hasn’t touched the raw pork.)

Marinade Equipment:

  • Freezer bags: I recommend using the designated freezer ziplock bags (vs. the thinner/cheaper sandwich plastic bags) for these pork packs.  They are stronger and (obvs) freezer friendly, and will help prevent leaks.  And I also love using freezer bags because you can note the expiration date on the front.  Here is an eco-friendly reusable freezer bag option too!
  • Meal prep containers: We also regularly use meal prep containers for quick marinades in our house.  I don’t recommend them for freezing, since there’s no way to eliminate all of the excess air inside.  But for a quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade, they work well.
  • Everyday bowls: Another simple option for quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade would be to use any small mixing or serving bowls that fit your amount of pork.  Just mix, cover with a sheet of foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Cooking Tips:

  • Instant-Read Thermometer: However you choose to cook your pork, I always recommend having an instant-read thermometer on hand to ensure that your pork is cooked through…and not overcooked.  (The FDA recommends cooking your pork to 145°F.)  I love and recommend this $10 thermometer from Amazon.  (<– affiliate link)
  • Baking/Grilling/Sautéing/Slow Cooking: I’ve included general instructions for each of these methods below.  They will each vary (especially with cook time) according to the cut and size of your pork, so again, I recommend using a thermometer to guarantee accurate doneness.

These 5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes -- Moo Shu (Hoisin), BBQ, Pineapple Ginger, Maple Dijon and Carnitas -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for pork, steak, chicken, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, slow cooker, or Instant Pot pulled pork. | Gimme Some Oven #porkrecipe #porkmarinade #porkchops #pork

Truly, between these five marinades, all of the various cuts of pork, plus all of the various ways to cook pork…there are a zillion potential options here for a delicious meal.  So have fun with them, and happy marinating!

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5 Easy Pork Marinade Recipes

These 5 easy pork marinade recipes are simple to make, freezer-friendly, and totally dependable and delicious!  Perfect for grilling, baking, sautéing, slow cooking, meal prep, and more.

Ingredients:

Moo Shu Marinade:

BBQ Marinade:

Pineapple Ginger Marinade:

  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: freshly-cracked black pepper, garlic powder
  • optional: pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Carnitas Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each: chili powder, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, freshly-cracked black pepper, garlic powder

Maple Dijon Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coarse-grain dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • optional: 1-2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for (one) marinade in a small bowl until combined.
  2. Combine marinade with pork in a ziplock freezer bag, and toss until the pork is evenly coated in the marinade.  Carefully press out any extra air that might be in the bag, then seal.  (You will need 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of pork.)
  3. If Using Immediately: Refrigerate the pork pack(s) for anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 1 day.
  4. If Freezing: Immediately transfer the pork pack(s) to the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Then when you’re ready to cook the pork, transfer the pork pack back to the refrigerator for 24 hours, or until it has thawed completely.  Or to speed up the process, you can submerge the sealed pork pack in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until it has thawed completely.
  5. When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade, and cook however you prefer.  (See recommendations below.)

Cooking times will vary depending on the cut of pork that you use.  (So many options!)  I always recommend using an instant-read cooking thermometer to test your pork as it cooks, to be sure that it reaches a safe (and not overcooked) 145°F.  For 8-ounce pork chops (about 3/4-inch thick), here are some general recommendations.

Baked: Heat oven to 375°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large oven-proof cast iron pan** over medium- heat.  Add pork and sear on each side for 3 minutes until golden.  Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.  Remove from the oven, transfer the pork to a clean plate, and loosely cover the plate with aluminum foil.  Let the pork rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Grilled: Heat grill to medium-high.  Grill pork for 4 minutes, then flip until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.  Transfer the pork to a clean plate, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.  Let the pork rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Slow Cooker: Add pork and marinade to the bowl of a slow cooker.  Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, until the pork is cooked through and tender.  Serve warm.  (I recommend a batch size of at least 1 pound of pork in the slow cooker.)

Instant Pot: (Pressure cooking times will vary majorly depending on the cut and amount of pork that you use.  These instructions are for 1.5 pounds of boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin.)  Add pork and marinade to the bowl of Instant Pot.  Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.  Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 10 minutes.  Cook.  Then let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove the lid, and check to be sure that the pork is cooked through and tender.  (If not, repeat this process and cook the pork for 2 more minutes on high pressure, until cooked through.)  Shred the pork if you’d like.  Serve immediately.


*As always, if making these recipes gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free ingredients.

**If you don’t have a cast-iron (or oven-proof) pan, you can sear the pork in any sauté pan on the stovetop.  Then transfer the pork to a baking sheet to broil.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!


Be sure to also check out these other marinades!

These 5 easy steak marinade recipes are simple to make, freezer-friendly, and totally dependable and delicious! Perfect for grilling, roasting, sautéing, slow cooking, meal prep, and more. Marinades include: Cold Brew Coffee, Fajita, Korean, Chimichurri and Balsamic Herb. | Gimme Some Oven #steakmarinade #steakrecipe #beefmarinades #howtocooksteak

👆 5 Easy Steak Marinades

These 5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes -- Teriyaki, Enchilada, Tandoori, Honey Mustard and Pesto -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for chicken, steak, pork, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, sautéed, or slow cooker chicken. | Gimme Some Oven #chickenrecipe #bakedchicken #marinaderecipe #chicken #glutenfree

👆 5 Easy Chicken Marinades

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9 comments on “5 Easy Pork Marinades”

  1. I LOVE this series. I prepped the Dijon Marinade with Chicken before work to have tonight. So excited!!
    Thank you Ali!

  2. Loved this series! So great to have a go-to for different marinades, and different ways to cook them, all in one post. I’m bookmarking all of these for sure! Thank you!

  3. I have a difficult time getting your receipts to open & view? I don’t want the Receipt Tab…..Can You just post where you can click & open?

  4. I am LOVING these pork, chicken, and steak marinade ideas! I’m having a baby in April and to stock up our freezer I’m going to make each of these (steak and chicken too!) for easy meals after baby arrives. I’m excited to just thaw and grill with some veggies on the side!

  5. Hi Ali! Lets see your 5 fish marinades next!

  6. thank you for all of these, happy with my beef marinades, but will look at the ones you’ve put together too, but don’t have any interesting pork marinades, just basic recipes, mostly for pork chops, so love each of these, hoisin looks really really good!

  7. This is such a great idea for a series of posts! So very helpful–I much prefer to make my own sauces/marinades but am usually strapped for ideas. Fab instructions too. Thanks Ali!

  8. Made some yummy pork quesadillas tonight using the carnitas marinade. Totally delicious, my husband and I both loved them. Thanks!

    Rating: 5