Let This Marinate: Our Favorite Summer Marinades

Food & Drink

Summer is for loving, laughing and fun. It’s also for enjoying big flavors under blue skies. You can’t go wrong with common grilling staples such as burgers and hot dogs, but variety is the spice of life. And with all the different sauces that can be conjured up, Uncle Bob shouldn’t be the only one getting dunked this summer. Submerging chicken, steak and seafood in tasty marinades can really liven things up. So sit back, relax, and grab the nearest cold beverage as we share some of our favorite marinades that are guaranteed to have your party-goers raving about your mad grilling chops through to next year.

If bold Asian flavors make your mouth water, you’re going to need a king-sized towel to mop up after this. With a tangy undertone and sweet melodies, this mesmerizing marinade hits all the right notes. And just when you think the fight for your taste buds is over, it hits you with another crescendo that would make Bruno Mars lean over in shame. It’s easy to make and will forever ruin your expectations for what grilled meats should taste like.

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or pressed)

What to do with it:
Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour over steak, chicken, pork, fish or veggies and marinade for at least 30 minutes…but we’d leaving it overnight for the best infusion. Remove the meats from the saucy glory and grill to desired doneness. Strain the remainder of the sauce into a saucepan, mix in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of cold water and bring the sauce to a slow simmer. Use as a baste and dipping sauce.

Remember those kids in your neighborhood that would set up a 25 cent lemonade stand on the sidewalk? Well, those kids grew up and came up with this marinade. This perfectly zesty solution tenderizes chicken and adds a peppery kick that’ll make passers by take a second and third whiff.

What you’ll need:
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons of fresh chopped dill
1 teaspoon salt

What to do with it:
Combine the lemon juice, oil, black pepper, water, dill and salt. Stir until mixed and pour over chicken. Let the chicken swim around in this acidic glory for 1-4 hours and throw it on a hot grill for the maximum flavor effect.

There’s nothing like good ol’ down home cooking. This Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce is sure to bring back memories of simpler times and homemade wine. Sweet and bold flavors are going to have you humming bluegrass and barn-raising until dawn. After a flavor trip this deep, we’d recommend a catnap on the porch and slow sipping some sweet tea.

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

What to do with it:
Mix together the mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. After combined, whisk in the butter. Marinade the chicken for a few hours and use the rest of the sauce as a glaze.

If cooking up marinades sounds like too much work on a lazy summer afternoon, these pre-made rubs are sure to hit the spot. We’ve taken the grandiosity of Mount Rushmore and created perfectly concocted spice blends to season anything from sirloin to salmon. Don’t call it lazy, call it patriotic.

Whether basted, dunked or rubbed, we think all meats deserve to be showered in flavor. A little marinating goes a long way, and just because we’ve listed some of our favorite recipes, it doesn’t mean you can’t come up with your own. At the end of the day, bringing everyone together for a memorable meal is all that matters. Here’s to a mouthwatering summer of marinating and charcoal-brazen fun!