Create the most tender and juicy pork chops with this easy TESTED and PERFECTED Pork Chop Marinade recipe! With 8 simple ingredients and a quick 1 hour marinade, say good bye to dry, boring pork chops forever!

I recommend grilling the pork chops after marinating them, but you can also pan fry or bake them in the oven.

two grilled pork chops on plate topped with fresh chopped herbs

Ever since my Steak Marinade went viral on Pinterest, I knew that I had to share the other marinades I’ve been making for proteins like shrimp and pork chops! The key to a good marinade comes from a balance of flavors and ingredients that not only help flavor the meat, but also help tenderize it.

This pork marinade creates the best pork chops ever, but doesn’t include any fancy ingredients! Actually, quite the opposite, it contains 8 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry right now. Why it works:

  1. Acid from the balsamic vinegar tenderizes the pork.
  2. Salt from the soy sauce flavors the pork.
  3. Sweetness from the honey balances out the acid and salt.
  4. Worcestershire sauce adds a wonderful layer of unami flavor.
  5. Olive oil helps give the pork a nice crust on the outside.
  6. These all combine for a perfect balance of flavors and texture!

I use this marinade on pork chops, but you could use it to marinate a pork tenderloin or pork loin for grilling or roasting in the oven. It makes enough marinade for two pounds of meat, but the recipe can easily be doubled for more!

ingredients for pork chop marinade

Ingredients

Combine these 8 simple ingredients to make THE BEST pork chop marinade! Visit the recipe card at the bottom of this post for all of the specific measurements.

  • Pork chops – I recommend thick pork chops for this recipe. They’re perfect for grilling and will stay nice and juicy in the center! When grocery shopping, look for 2 inch thick rib chops, or pork loin chops. I love using thick bone-in pork chops, but they can be really hard to find, so I normally use boneless pork chops when making this recipe. Both come out flavorful and juicy, so feel free to use either one!
  • Balsamic vinegar – I love the flavor of the balsamic vinegar in this marinade, but if you prefer, you can use apple cider vinegar instead.
  • Low sodium soy sauce – I like to salt my pork chops at the end, so I use a low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the salt content in the marinade. If using traditional soy sauce in the marinade, I recommend tasting the pork chops before adding more salt at the end.
  • Olive oil – other vegetable oils can also be used, like avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil or peanut oil.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dijon mustard – this is the secret ingredient that adds flavor to the marinade and helps the other marinade ingredients stick to the pork chops for maximum flavor absorption!
  • Honey – you can also use maple syrup or agave nectar to add sweetness to the marinade.
  • Italian seasoning – I like to use my homemade seasoning mixes whenever possible. Just click the link to the left. It’s easy to whip up with dried herbs and minced garlic in less than 5 minutes! You can also use store-bought premixed Italian seasoning.
  • Black pepper
collage of images showing how to make marinated grilled pork chops

Step by step instructions

Follow these simple instructions to prepare the marinade and grill the pork chops. If you’d like to roast the pork chops in the oven, or pan fry them on the stove, check out those instructions below.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, honey, Italian seasoning and black pepper.
  2. Place two pounds of pork chops in a large plastic bag and pour the marinade over the pork chops. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
  3. Remove the bag of marinating pork chops from the refrigerator. Let them come up to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking the pork chops. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Use tongs to remove the pork chops from the marinade and place them on the grill.
  4. Grill the pork chops for 5 minutes per side, per inch of thickness. For example, the two inch thick pork chops that you see pictured above were grilled for 10 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 140°F on an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature will rise at least 5 degrees as the pork chops rest. Rest the pork chops for 5-10 minutes before serving. Feel free to top with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt and fresh chopped parsley, if you’d like.

How to cook them in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the marinade and marinate the pork chops for at least 1 hour.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and place in an oven-safe casserole dish.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, for 2 inch thick pork chops. If the pork chops are only 1 inch thick, you’ll only need to cook them for 15-20 minutes. Just as you would on the grill, I recommend using an instant-read thermometer and removing the pork chops when the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
  5. After removing the pork chops from the oven, let them rest in the casserole dish for 5 minutes before serving.

How to pan fry them

  1. Prepare the marinade and marinate the pork chops for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use the heaviest skillet that you have.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. This will help it achieve a wonderful crust on the outside. Too much liquid in the skillet will steam the pork chops instead of pan searing them. When grilling the pork chops, extra liquid will fall through the grill grates, but in a skillet, the liquid has no where to go.
  4. Add the pork chop to the skillet and allow it to cook on one side for 5 minutes without moving the pork chop. Not moving the pork chop during this cooking time will give it a nice sear. Flip the pork chop and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork chop reaches 140°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Remove the pork chops from the skillet and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This gives the pork chop juices time to redistribute throughout the meat, a key to achieving JUICY pork chops every time!
grilled pork chop on plate with fork

Frequently asked questions

  • What can I substitute for soy sauce? If you have a soy allergy, gluten allergy or just don’t like the taste of soy sauce, I recommend using coconut aminos instead. This soy sauce alternative is soy-free, gluten-free and contains much less sodium. For this reason, I do recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to the marinade if you replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos.
  • How much pork can I marinate with this recipe? This recipe can be used to marinate up to 2 pounds of pork chops. You can cut the recipe in half for 1 pound of meat, or double it for 4 pounds of meat.
  • Can you make the marinade ahead of time? Sure thing! Simply mix all of the marinade ingredients together and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just remember to avoid marinating the meat for more than 8 hours, so that it does not become mushy.
  • Can you marinate frozen pork chops? I recommend that you thaw the pork chops in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, before marinating them. The pork chops should not be marinated for more than 8 hours, and this is not enough time for them to thaw completely, that’s why I recommend thawing frozen pork chops before marinating them.
  • Do you rinse the marinade off pork chops before cooking? No, you do not want to rinse the marinade off of the pork chops. If you’re grilling the pork chops, they can go straight from the marinade onto the grill. If you’re cooking the pork chops in a skillet, I do recommend patting them dry before adding them to the skillet. When placing pork chops on the grill, any excess marinade will drip through the grill grates. When cooking the pork chops in a skillet, the marinade has no where to go, so it will stay in the skillet and you won’t get that beautiful sear on the outside of the chops.
  • Can you make pork kabobs with this marinade? Yes! You can cube pork chops or pork tenderloin to make pork kabobs with this marinade. I recommend cubing the meat first before adding it to the marinade, so that more surface area of the pork gets to soak up the delicious marinade. After marinating cubes of pork for at least 1 hour, skewer the pork by itself or with veggies, like bell peppers and onions. Grill the pork kabobs over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, flip and continue grilling for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Can you use this marinade on other cuts of pork? Yes, this is also a great marinade for pork tenderloin or pork loin. Follow the same instructions as if you were marinating pork chops and either grill, roast or pan sear the pork tenderloin or pork loin until it reaches 140°F internally.
grilled pork chops on plate

What to serve with pork chops

Nothing pairs more perfectly with pork chops than potatoes and vegetables. Whether you’re grilling the pork chops at a summer BBQ, or roasting them in the oven for a warm winter meal, try this marinated pork chop recipe with any of these side dishes for a winning meal!

More pork recipes

With over 50 pork recipes on the blog, I know you’ll find tons of delicious recipes to try! These 5 recipes are fan favorites and sure to be a hit in your kitchen!

two grilled pork chops on plate
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Pork Chop Marinade

Create the most tender and juicy pork chops with this easy TESTED and PERFECTED Pork Chop Marinade recipe! With 8 simple ingredients and a quick 1 hour marinade, say good bye to dry pork chops forever!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless pork chops
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, honey, Italian seasoning and black pepper.
  • Place the pork chops in a large zipper bag and pour the marinade over the pork chops.
  • Marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
  • Remove the bag of marinating pork chops from the refrigerator. Let them come up to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking the pork chops.
  • Preheat a grill over medium-high heat.
  • Use tongs to remove the pork chops from the marinade and place them on the grill.
  • Grill the pork chops for 5 minutes per side, per inch of thickness. For example, the two inch thick pork chops that you see pictured in this post were grilled for 10 minutes per side.
  • Remove the pork chops from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 140°F on an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature will rise at least 5 degrees as the pork chops rest.
  • Rest the pork chops for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • I recommend thick pork chops for this recipe. They’re perfect for grilling and will stay nice and juicy in the center! When grocery shopping, look for 2 inch thick rib chops, or pork loin chops. I love using thick bone-in pork chops, but they can be really hard to find, so I normally use boneless pork chops when making this recipe. Both come out flavorful and juicy, so feel free to use either one!
  • This recipe can be used to marinate up to 2 pounds of pork chops. You can cut the recipe in half for 1 pound of meat, or double it for 4 pounds of meat.
  • I do not recommend marinating for more than 8 hours. After then, the acidity of the marinade will start to break down the proteins and can cause the pork chops to become mushy.
  • Refer to the blog post for instructions on how to pan sear or cook the pork chops in the oven, instead of on the grill.
  • Coconut aminos can be substituted for soy sauce to make the marinade soy-free and gluten-free.  Coconut aminos are much lower in sodium than soy sauce, so I do recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to the marinade if you replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 517kcal (26%)Carbohydrates 10g (3%)Protein 50g (100%)Fat 29g (45%)Saturated Fat 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 152mg (51%)Sodium 729mg (30%)Potassium 942mg (27%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 24mgVitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 39mg (4%)Iron 2mg (11%)
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