How To Make Your Own Marinade

Make Your Own Marinade. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Looking for a cheap way to marinate meats? Then, cruise right past the bottled marinades at the store, and make your own instead.

To make a marinade you will need:

  • An acid to tenderize-vinegar works well, but you can also use lemon juice, orange juice or wine
  • Flavoring-whatever seasonings or spices you happen to have on hand
  • Oil-to hold everything together and add moisture to the meat
  • Salt- to make the meat more juicy and flavorful


    1. Mix together three parts oil for every one part acid used.

    2. Then, add in your choice of flavorings, and salt to taste.

    Marinating Tips and Warnings

    1. Always marinate in a non-reactive container like glass, stainless steel or plastic. Aluminum containers are not suitable for marinating.

    2. Pierce the meat with a fork to allow the marinade to penetrate.

    3. Store foods in the refrigerator while they marinate.

    4. Do not reuse any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat, unless it has been boiled for at least five minutes.

    5. Fish should not be marinated for more than 30 minutes because the acid will start to cook it.

    6. To tenderize meats, allow them to soak in marinade for up to 24 hours prior to cooking.

    Benefits of Making Your Own Marinade

    • cheaper than store-bought
    • preservative-free
    • allows you to control the amount of sodium and sugar
    • can be customized to your own tastes
    • a great way to use up/experiment with those seldom used spices in your collection