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Six Easy Pork Chop Marinades To Maximize Flavor

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Pork chop marinades are easy to make, healthy, and use simple ingredients. Barbecue, basil balsamic, sweet and spicy, honey mustard, chili lime, and lemon garlic marinades will make your pork chops taste great without overpowering the pork.

six different pork chops marinating in separate bags. All stacked on top of eachother on a white plate, sitting on a wood cutting board.

Pork Chop Marinades

If you’re bored with eating plain old pork chops, it’s easy to zest them up with these six healthy pork chop marinades. These are made with fresh, healthy ingredients. Instead of buying the store-bought marinades that are high in refined sugar, salt, and added preservatives, you can make your own for a fraction of the price instead.

As a mom, I’m always looking for budget-friendly ways to make dinners fast at home, but full of flavor. That’s why I love using homemade marinades because I know exactly what ingredients are inside. Plus they’re cheap to make.

It’s easy to grab a pack of pork chops on sale and add them to one of these marinades as soon as you get home. You can even do this before you freeze the pork chops.

When you’re ready to cook them, just thaw overnight in the fridge and make for dinner using whatever cooking method you’d like. I’ll go over how to cook pork chops in detail below.

Looking down on a stack of six marinating pork chops on a white table.

Pork Chop Marinades Tips and Tricks

  • PREPPING MARINADES: These marinade recipes will work for 1-2 pork chops. If you want to do more, just double the recipe. Grab a large freezer bag, add the marinade and the pork chops. Store it in the fridge or place directly into the freezer to use later.
  • MARINATING TIME: I recommend marinating your pork chops overnight to get the most flavor. But if you’re short on time, then you can marinate for one hour in the fridge before use. Also, because the marinade has been in contact with raw pork, it’s not safe to reuse it, so don’t save it for next time.
  • STORAGE TIPS: I use Ziploc freezer bags to freeze my marinating pork chops to avoid leaks. When adding the ingredients to freezer bags, I like to use bag clips that will help the bag stand up and avoid spilling. You can also place the pork in a glass container and seal it with a lid. This can be stored in the fridge before cooking.
  • DEFROSTING TIPS: Take the pork chop bag out of the freezer the night before you plan to cook them. Place it in a bowl of shallow water in the fridge. This will speed up the defrost process. Make sure the bag is sealed completely at the top. This will prevent water from getting inside the bag.
  • COOKING TIPS: These marinated pork chops can be cooked in a variety of ways including frying, baked, grilling, and air fryer. I’ll go over details on how to use each cooking method below.

Is It Safe To Marinate Pork Chops Overnight?

Yes! It is safe to marinate the pork chops in the fridge overnight. You can keep raw pork in the fridge for 2-3 days before it needs to be tossed. Any longer and it should be frozen instead.

More Marinade Recipes To Try

If you like these recipes, then you’ll have to try my six healthy chicken marinade recipes or my six easy salmon marinades. They’re delicious and the perfect way to add flavor to your chicken or fish.

close up of pile of bags with marinating pork chops inside

How To Cook Pork Chops

Serve cooked pork chops with roasted vegetables, quinoa, or rice. You can bake the pork chops, grill on the barbecue, or even air fry them. Here are the instructions for each way to cook the pork chops.

Cooking Pork Chops On A Frying Pan

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, add the pork chops and sear on one side for 3-5 minutes then flip over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until browned. Keep in mind that this time will vary on the size and thickness of pork chop you have.
  2. At this point, depending on how thick the pork chop is, the juices will run clear when you poke a hole in it. Remove from heat and let sit 2-3 minutes before cutting into it or serving.

Baking Pork Chops In The Oven

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pork chops on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Grilling Pork Chops On The Barbecue

  • Heat barbecue to medium-high heat (400°F), place pork chops on the hottest part of the grill, and sear 2-3 minutes for each side. Move off the hottest part of the grill and continue to cook until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Remove from the barbecue and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing into or serving.

Air Frying Pork Chops

  • Lightly coat the inside of the air fryer tray or basket with olive oil or cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes. Add the pork chops and cook for a total of 12 minutes, flipping them half way through.

A NOTE ABOUT AIR FRYERS: If you don’t have an air fryer yet, you can find a variety of popular ones from the Power Air Fryer to the Ninja Foodi Deluxe. I have the Ninja Foodi Deluxe – it’s an all-in-one appliance that will air fry, pressure cook, bake, sear and steam. It’s big enough that I can cook an entire meal in it all at once, which saves me time on busy weeknights. Basically, I’m in love with it and can recommend it enough. If you’re curious about the Ninja Foodi Deluxe you can learn more here.

How Do You Know When Pork Chops Are Cooked?

According to the USDA recommended cooking temperatures, the safest internal temperature for cooking all types of pork is 145°F. This is the interior temperature that the pork will read at before removing from the heat source. You can use a food thermometer, which will be poked into the thickest part of the pork to read the temperature. They also specify that after cooking, the pork should rest for 3 minutes on a plate without cutting into it.

barbecue pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

1. Barbecue Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey – or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
Honey mustard pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

2. Honey Mustard Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
sweet and spicy pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

3. Sweet and Spicy Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce – or tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey – or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • ½ freshly squezed lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
lemon herb pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

4. Lemon Herb Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
basil balsamic pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

5. Basil Balsamic Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper
chili lime pork chop marinade bag on a white plate on wood cutting board with kitchen towel beside it.

6. Chili Lime Pork Chop Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice – about 3 limes
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic pwoder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground pepper

Pork Marinades

Sweet and sour, honey mustard, barbecue and basil balsamic marinades will make your pork chops taste great without overpowering the pork.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Barbecue:

Basil Balsamic:

Sweet and Spicy:

Honey Mustard:

Chili Lime:

Lemon Herb:

Instructions

Pork Chop Marinade Instructions:

  • Add the marinade ingredients to a small bowl and mix together.
  • Add the pork chops to a plastic bag or glass container. Pour the marinade sauce overtop. The container should be small enough so that pork chops can soak up the sauce. Seal and let it sit in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably overnight. Pork chops can also be frozen with the marinade included.
    four pork chops marinating in separate plastic bags

Baking Pork Chops Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pork chops on the baking sheet and for 15-20 minutes, or until pork chops reach 145°F internal temperature.

Pan Frying Pork Chops:

  • Heat the frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle a small amount of cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, add the pork chops and sear on one side for 3-5 minutes then flip over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until browned. Keep in mind that this time will vary on the size and thickness of pork chop you have.
  • At this point, depending on how thick the pork chop is, the juices will run clear when you poke a hole in it. Pork chops are done when they reach 145°F internal temperature. Remove from heat and let sit three for three minutes before cutting into it or serving.

Grilling Pork Chops Instructions:

  • Heat barbecue to medium high heat (400°F), and place the pork chops on the hottest part of the grill. Sear for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Move off the hottest part of the grill, check internal temperature. Cook until it reaches 145°F internally on a part of the grill that isn't as hot. Add to a plate and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing into or serving.

Air Frying Instructions:

  • Lightly coat the inside of the air fryer tray or basket with cooking spray. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes. Add the pork chops and cook for a total of 12 minutes, flipping them half way through.

Notes

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