REALLY Simple 2-Hour Meat Marinade

posted by Andrea | 05/14/2013

really simple meat marinade

This time of year, I’m always looking for ways to use our grill — it’s just so nice outside and it means Dave can help with the cooking 🙂

I love marinating meat for the grill but I hate that it often requires a full 24 hours of advance preparation. So about a month ago, I found this recipe for a 2-hour marinade. Dave and I were so impressed the first time I made it that we thought we better test it again the next week (with a few of my personal adjustments).

I’ve used this marinade a handful of times already (both for pork and chicken) with fabulous results each time. And I just LOVE that you can whip it up later in the day and still have great-tasting, juicy meat in time for dinner.

So for those of you who don’t think about marinating your meat the night before (ahem… guilty!) this recipe is for you!

Recipe for 2-Hour Meat Marinade

This makes about 1 cup of marinade — or enough for 4-6 cuts of meat

{Print Recipe}


  • 4-6 pork chops or chicken pieces (with or without bone)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. lemon pepper
  • 2 t. minced garlic (or 1 t. garlic powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use much)



In a shallow bowl or pan, mix all ingredients.

Add meat and marinate in refrigerator for about 2 hours (I’ve had good results with as little as 30 minutes)

Cook meat on a preheated grill for around 5 minutes per side (based on boneless 1″ thick cuts of meat).

We usually grill on our outside gas grill, but you could also cook the meat on a George Foreman grill, in a frying pan, or even in the oven.

The last time I made this marinade, I served the pork chops with mashed potatoes, green beans, and grilled corn on the cob — so good!

What are your favorite grilled foods?  

Oh, and if you’re looking for more BBQ favorites, check out these 30 delicious BBQ side dishes.

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!


Filed under: Food

Leave a comment


  1. Vivian


    Even though I haven’t tried I really like this recipe because it has pantry staples in it. Btw. I don’t have lemon pepper… but I’m going to get some next trip to the grocery store. It needs to be in my pantry. It’s going to be a long hot summer and I’m going to minimize my cooking in the house.


    Andrea Reply:

    yes, it’s very simple — and yes, you should get lemon pepper in your pantry!!


  2. Karlyn Nance


    Whisk together one 16-oz. bottle each of:
    1. dales seasoning
    2. Italian dressing (I use fat free zesty, but any type works)
    3. Asian toasted sesame dressing
    After mixing, I pour the marinade back into the bottles for easy use, & re-lable the bottles. For thinner cuts and hamburgers, this can be poured on just prior to grilling . For thicker cuts, marinate longer, even overnight. Use a small amount for thinner cuts (maybe a teaspoon on each side of a hamburger), or the meat may be too salty.
    I’ve used this marinade on steaks, hamburgers, chicken, pork chops, salmon filets, tuna steaks, shrimp, etc. It has gotten a thumbs up from everyone who has tasted it.


    Andrea Reply:

    yum! This sounds really good! I’ve never heard of Dale’s Seasoning, but I might need to check it out! Thanks Karlyn 🙂


  3. Bettina


    my fav…. been using for years…. oil, Worcestershire, honey, ginger, green onion, garlic


    Andrea Reply:

    that sounds yummy too!


  4. Sarah


    Do you have suggestions for a substitute for lemon pepper? I have detested it since I was a child…my dad used to put it on EVERYTHING he grilled – hotdogs, hamburgers, chops, chicken, steak….meat on the grill and lemon pepper open and douse…I still can’t get the hang of eating it yet after so many years…give me another 20. 😉


  5. Jill


    I usually put marinade in a zip lock bag and then place the meat in it when I bring it home from the store and then I freeze it. All I have to do is take it out of the freezer and let it thaw and it is ready for the grill.


  6. Tracie


    First, I LOVE your blog….usually don’t follow daily but check in at least once a week and catch up. I am a mom of 5 kids ranging from 24 – 10….yep, and all that entails. And yes, Nora will sleep eventually, and so shall you!

    I tried this marinade the day you posted it, I had planned to make a different chicken recipe so I had chicken breast already thawed, but as life would have it, I ran out of time, so when I saw the marinade and knew I had all the ingredients, I figured…GRILL night. (plus cuts down on the heat in the kitchen).

    It was DELICIOUS! My whole family loved it, it was so easy and such a great taste, not overpowering like other marinades, and not as oily either so easier to grill with. I am a fan, and will definitely use often.

    Thanks for your blog.


    Andrea Reply:

    WOW thanks Tracie! So glad you liked the marinade (and my entire blog!)


  7. Ann


    A few years ago I was reading a Cooking magazine, and to my surprise, I read that you will get
    better results if you marinate meat for only a few hours versus 24 hours! Marinating for more than a few hours breaks down the fibers of the meat, making it more dense & mushy looking…
    I had noticed this is some of our steaks but I didn’t know what caused it until I read it in the magazine. Now, I always choose “shorter” rather than “longer” 🙂


  8. Lauren @ Rustic Honey


    We’ve been living off of our grill now that the weather is warmer. We will have to try this recipe to change up our everyday seasonings! Thank you for sharing!


  9. Deb


    I must be weird because I don’t mind the 24 hour marinade. I can pull out meat for a couple of meals on Monday and cook the one for Monday and marinate for the next night and know that it is ready to go. We marinate in Italian dressing ,teriyaki sauce, barbecue, fajita, etc. etc. I have also frozen it in the marinade which makes it super easy, defrost and it is ready to go. I make a homemade Emeril seasoning and we use that sometimes, but it isn’t a marinade….

    We grill out more on the weekends and I can marinate everything on Friday and have the meat ready to go for all the dinners. We also love grilled potatoes, veggies and pineapple, then the whole mess is outside. 😉


  10. rebeccasdelightfulhome


    Looks delicious! I have a had pork chops in my freezer from Omaha Steaks and wasn’t sure how to season / cook them. So, thanks for the idea because I will definately be trying this. 🙂


  11. Susan


    I have had chicken in the fridge for 2 days and couldn’t think of what to do with it, I think you just told me what we’re having for dinner! Thanks for the simple, new idea!