Simple Summer Marinade for Grilling

Late summer is synonymous with backyard barbecues, and a good grill session starts long before the meat goes on the fire. Here is a quick and simple guide to perfecting the art of the marinade. Use the recipe below as a guideline, but don’t be afraid to substitute and mix the ingredients based on your preferences or what you have currently growing fresh in the garden.

Rules of Marinades

  1. Marinades are made of three parts: oil, acid and aromatics (flavoring).
  2.  The ratio of oil and acid is the same as for vinaigrette: 3 to 1.
  3. The items, amounts and combination of ingredients you use for aromatics are based on personal taste.
  4.  Marinades can either be used straight or cooked to enhance the flavor of the aromatics.
  5.  You can use vinegar, fruit juices, wine or beer for the acids, just to name a few.

Timing is Everything

Some people believe the longer you let meat marinate the better, but we beg to differ. Turns out there is a sweet spot, which is right around 24 hours. Longer than that and the acid could break down the fibers in the meat too much. Chicken, beef and pork all benefit most from one day of soaking.

Basic Balsamic Marinade

Prep Time: 5 Min


  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Worcestershire
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Shallots or Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black bepper
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/8 cup dried thyme


  1. Pick rosemary off stems, and combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until well mixed and paste forms

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