Juicy Pork Chop Marinade (5 Ingredients)

When in doubt, make this 5-ingredient pork chop marinade to infuse your pork with sweet, salty, and garlicky goodness!

pork chop on plate

Seriously Yummy Pork Chop Marinade Recipe

Whether you’re looking to make grilled pork chops, Instant Pot pork chops, or baked pork chops, it’s always a good idea to marinate your pork!

This pork chop marinade is sweet from brown sugar, salty from soy sauce, and savory from Worcestershire sauce. It’s all pulled together with a little citrus and garlic to make this one delicious pork chop marinade!

ingredients on countertop

What is a marinade?

A marinade is essentially a flavor bath for your meat/food. When marinating pork, the longer it sits in the marinade, the more the flavor is infused into the meat.

Why marinate your pork chops over dry rub?

While this really comes down to preference, we love marinating pork chops because the end result is just so flavorful, tender, and juicy. Plus, the entire piece of meat gets infused, not just the outer layer like with dry rubs.

PS: if you’d rather use a dry rub, check out our all-purpose pork dry rub. It’s fantastic on pork chops!

marinade in bowl wtih spoon

Ingredients for Pork Chop Marinade

This really is the best pork chop marinade. It’s actually also our favorite grilled pork chop marinade because the ends results are just mouthwatering!

  • Soy sauce: you’ll notice that salt is not included in the ingredient list and that’s because the majority comes from soy sauce! Feel free to swap for tamari.
  • Brown sugar: brown sugar gives this sweet and salty marinade the sweetness. Any kind works.
  • Worcestershire sauce: I love Worcestershire sauce in marinades because it’s tangy and savory.
  • Garlic: the garlic in this really pulls the marinade together.
  • Lemon: a little bit of citrus is truly the cherry on top!

What is the secret ingredient to this pork chop marinade? Worcestershire sauce is definitely the secret ingredient. It adds a bit of tang, savoriness, and so much flavor.

Other flavors to add

Looking to use what you have on hand? Feel free to use a little black pepper, dijon mustard, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, or balsamic vinegar. All would add delicious flavors.

Any kind of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or basil would be a delicious addition too! 

What kind of pork chops should I buy?

There are so many different kinds of pork chops on the market –> thick, thin, bone-in, boneless.

This pork chop marinade works for any cut of pork.

In the photos in this post, we used thick-cut bone-in pork chops that we got straight from the butcher at a local grocery store.

What to Marinate Pork Chops In

When marinating any kind of meat, we typically use 2 different vessels:

  1. Casserole dish: if you use a casserole dish, we recommend flipping your pork chops a few times to make sure everything is nice and coated. You cal also use any kind of deep pan you have on hand.
  2. Gallon-size plastic bag: I prefer to use a plastic bag because I find that more of the meat gets coated.

How long to marinate pork chops?

When it comes to this easy pork chop marinade, the longer the better in reference to marination time!

We recommend marinating your pork chops for 12-24 hours. However, if you’re short on time, anywhere from 2-4 hours will work.

Trust us when we say the longer the better. Your pork chops will become so juicy and flavorful the longer they sit,

pork chops marinating in dish

How to Marinate Pork Chops (Quick Instructions)

  1. Whisk Marinade: whisk all of the ingredients for the pork chop marinade in a medium bowl until combined,
  2. Transfer: place pork chops into a gallon-size plastic bag or large dish and pour the marinade on top. Squish the pork chops around to fully coat.
  3. Seal: remove as much air as possible and seal.
  4. Marinate: marinate pork chops in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Ways to Cook Marinated Pork Chops

I mentioned that this is a fantastic grilled pork chop marinade, but it’s also great for a variety of other cooking methods too.

Grill: Grill pork chops at 400ºF (medium high heat) over direct heat for around 6-8 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Check out our grilled pork chops recipe.

Oven: Roast at 375ºF for around 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your pork chops are. Check out our oven-baked pork chops recipe.

Instant Pot: Pressure cook pork chops on high pressure for around 10 minutes. Check out our Instant Pot pork chops recipe.

Pork Internal Temperature

According to FoodSaftey.gov, pork’s safe minimum internal temperature is at least 145ºF.

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pork chops marinating in bag


What is the best way to tenderize pork chops?

The best way to tenderize a pork chop is either by using a meat tenderize to break up the tendons and/or by using a marinade to infuse moisture into the meat.

How long can you leave pork chops marinated?

You can let your pork chops marinate for up to 24 hours.

How do you make pork soft and tender?

The best way to make a pork chop soft and tender is to marinate it, sear it over high heat, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Can you freeze marinated pork chops?

This pork chop marinade is seriously so perfect for freezing! Instead of marinating your pork for the recommended 12-24 hours, place the plastic bag right into the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Before cooking, let the pork chops thaw completely and then follow your favorite cooking method.

pork chop on plate

Amazing Pork Chop Marinade

A sweet and salty pork chop marinade made with just 5 ingredients. It’s made with soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, and Worcestershire.

Prep: 12 hoursCook: 0 minutesTotal: 12 hours

Fat 9

Carbs 13

Protein 48

Yield 4


  • 2-lb.1-inch thick, bone-in pork chops (we used 4)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced (2 tablespoons)


  1. Add the soy sauce, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Place the pork chops into a large, gallon-size plastic bag and then pour the marinade into the bag. 
  3. Remove the air from the plastic bag and carefully massage the marinade into the pork chops. 
  4. Place the pork chops into the fridge and marinate for 12-24 hours or for at least 2-4 hours.
  5. When you’re ready to cook your pork chops, follow your favorite cooking method such as these grilled pork chops.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4
Calories: 307
Sugar: 3
Fat: 9
Carbohydrates: 13
Fiber: 0
Protein: 48

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: MarinadeMethod: No BakeCuisine: American

Keywords: pork chop marinade, best pork chop marinade

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

Theresa D. Begay

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