A delicious and easy pork marinade recipe, perfect for a pork tenderloin marinade or a pork chop marinade. Wonderful on the BBQ grill or cooked in the oven.
Why you’ll love this 333 Pork Marinade
- This is such an easy pork marinade recipe and it’s easy to remember and easy to double or triple, too, depending on how much pork you are marinating.
- You can marinate the pork anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours!
- This marinade uses just 3 common ingredients (plus some minced garlic).
- The marinade adds flavour to the pork without being “saucy”, and cooks up wonderfully juicy, too.
- Use any pork, from pork tenderloin, pork chops (bone-in or boneless) or thicker boneless pork loin chops or pork steaks.
Soy Sauce – I pretty much only use low-sodium soy sauce myself and it works well in this marinade. I haven’t tested with regular soy sauce. It will obviously work, but I don’t know how it affects the over-all saltiness. I would suggest a light hand with salting the meat if using regular soy sauce, at least the first time you make it, to assess the saltiness.
Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard provides lovely flavour, but regular yellow, prepared mustard should also work here just fine. In fact, any mustard you have and enjoy should work here. That said, I tend to avoid grainy mustard for this marinade, as I like it a smooth marinade. That said, grainy will work, if you want to try it.
Honey – regular, runny honey is all you need here. Be careful with heavily flavoured or flowery honey, that may not be the best pairing with the mustard and soy. Maple syrup is a good substitute for the honey.
Garlic – fresh garlic is best in this marinade and I highly recommend it. I will confess, I’m not a fan of the flavour of garlic powder myself, but if you don’t mind it, go ahead and use it. You’ll want to use about 1/4 tsp. Be sure to use garlic powder and not garlic salt, to avoid an overly salty marinade. All that said, you can easily omit the garlic if you aren’t a fan.
How to make this easy pork marinade
- Simply combine the soy sauce, honey and mustard in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic and stir until smooth.
- Add the marinade to a zip-lock-type bag or you can use a shallow glass pan or bowl (I would avoid metal pans for marinating).
- Add the pork and toss with the marinade to coat well.
- Marinate at room temperature up to 30 minutes or refrigerate and marinate up to 24 hours. I think the sweet spot is about 8 hours, so if you can set the pork to marinade in the morning, refrigerate all day, it will be ready to enjoy at dinner time.
How to cook on the BBQ or in the oven
Oven – Preheat oven to 425F. Brown meat on all sides over medium-high heat on the stove-top, then pop in the oven. Baste often and cook until pork reaches 140-145F.
BBQ – Preheat the BBQ to medium-high heat. Grill on the grates briefly to brown and then move to the upper rack. Close the lid, baste regularly and cook until pork reaches 140-145F.
General guidance for cooking pork
Be sure not to over-cook pork. Cooking standards for pork have changed and suggest that pork only needs to be cooked to 145F (not the 160F of previous years). Assuming you plan to let the pork rest 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven, you can cook the pork to 140F and it will come up to 145F as it rests.
Cooked to 145F, the pork will be wonderfully juicy, with just a touch of pink inside. And yes, a little pink and pork is perfectly fine! An instant read thermometer is ideal for checking the temperature of pork and stopping the cooking before it goes too far and risks being dry. Be sure to take the temperature reading in the centre of the thickest part of the meat.
Food Safety Notes
You can marinate pork outside of the fridge only up to about 30 minutes. Anything longer than that and it needs to be in the refrigerator. You can refrigerate the marinating pork up to 24 hours.
If is perfectly safe to use the marinade that the pork has marinated in to baste/brush the pork with as it cooks, as it will “cook” in the oven along with the pork. Never use the uncooked marinade that has had pork in it on the pork once it is out of the oven, as it will not have a chance to cook. The only safe solution to use any left-over marinade is to heat it to the boiling point in a saucepan or the microwave and allow to boil a couple of minutes, at which point it would be safe to use on the pork after cooking.
Get the Recipe: Easy 333 Pork Marinade
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, low-sodium recommended
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, or regular prepared yellow mustard
- 3 Tablespoons runny honey, or maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
- *This base recipe is sufficient for 1 pork tenderloin, a couple of large pork chops or 3 or 4 centre-cut, boneless pork chops. Double or triple the recipe, as needed (you can use the handy, dandy "2X" or "3X" buttons above).
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade over the pork in a shallow bowl or ziplock-type plastic bag. Toss to coat the pork well and cover with plastic wrap or seal the bag. Marinate anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours. You can marinate at room temperature up to 30 minutes. Any longer than that, it must be refrigerated while marinating. Obviously, the longer you can marinate the pork, the better.
- To cook stovetop/oven method: Preheat oven to 425F. In an oven-proof skillet (cast iron is perfect!), heat a little cooking oil over medium-high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bag or bowl and reserving the remaining marinade for basting. Place the pork into the hot skillet and brown meat on all sides. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Baste/brush the pork regularly and generously with the reserved marinade and cook until pork reaches 140-145F, about 15-25 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the pork. Allow the pork to rest 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- To cook on a BBQ grill: Preheat the BBQ to medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip back into the bag or bowl and reserving the remaining marinade for basting. Grill the pork on the grates closest to the heat briefly, to brown the outside all around, then move to the upper rack. Close the lid, baste/brush regularly and generously and cook until pork reaches 140-145F, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the pork. Allow the pork to rest 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving.