Bourbon Marinade | The Recipe Critic

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This delicious bourbon marinade will add wonderful depth of flavor and tenderize any meat you’re cooking, from steak to chicken! This recipe uses ingredients like brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic and bourbon to infuse each piece of meat with the perfect savory, sweet and tangy flavor.

To give your meat the best taste and texture, a good marinade is essential. Store-bought marinade is convenient, but homemade is so easy to make and will add so much more flavor! A few other recipes to try out: steak marinadepork chop marinade, and chicken marinade!

4 raw chicken breasts marinating in a bag filled with bourbon marinade.

Bourbon Marinade Recipe

Bourbon marinade will elevate your meat and veggies with the most rich, perfectly balanced taste! In just 5 minutes with 5 simple ingredients you can easily whip up this major flavor booster! Even if you don’t love whiskey, you’re going to be blown away by how amazing the combination of bourbon with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and fresh garlic results in the tastiest grilled steaks, chicken or oven roasted pork chops. It’s even great on vegetables and seafood like shrimp and salmon!

You are going to want to use this on everything! Each bite bursts with incredible flavor and texture. Whether you are cooking on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven, this marinade will be your new go-to! Simply whisk together a few ingredients, marinate your meat, cook to perfection and enjoy a winning dinner everyone will love!

Ingredients Needed

One of the best parts about this bourbon marinade recipe is that it only requires a blend of a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen! All individual measurements are found in the recipe card below.

  • Bourbon: Use any brand to add major flavor and break down the enzymes in the meat yielding tender, juicy results every time!
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness and balances the rich, tangy notes of the bourbon, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, plus it caramelizes nicely on the grill. Dark brown sugar will give you more of a caramel flavor but you can use dark or light brown sugar.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Having some acid in your marinade is essential to tenderize the meat. Plus, apple cider vinegar has a bright flavor that mellows any harshness from the bourbon.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a mix of vinegar, garlic, chiles, molasses and more to give your marinade a wonderful umami taste.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is a must for infusing the meat with savory flavor!
All of the marinade ingredients in separate glass bowls.

How to Make Bourbon Marinade

This could not be any easier! Simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl! You’ll never want to buy store-bought marinade again.

  1. Whisk: In a medium bowl, whisk together the whiskey, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.
  2. Marinate: Pour the marinade into a sealable bag, add your choice of meat or veggies to the bag and seal it shut. Then allow it to marinate at least an hour.
  3. Cook: Grill, bake, or cook your marinated meat then enjoy!

Helpful Tips

The sweet and savory bourbon marinade gives meat such a fantastic flavor, and makes it tender and juicy when cooked. Use these tips and tricks to make sure your meat and seafood turns out perfectly!

  • Ways to Use: This marinade is great for chicken, steaks, pork chops, vegetables, and roasts!
  • Massage Into Meat: Before sealing the bag or container, take a moments to massage the marinade into the meat. This will ensure every area gets completely coated, which helps the flavors sink in better.
  • Marinate Overnight: You can leave the meat to marinate overnight, if you do, keep it in the fridge.
  • Container for Marinating: You don’t have to use a plastic bag to marinate, I prefer to use one because it’s easier for cleanup, but you can use a glass, ceramic, or a plastic container.

Top-down view of marinating chicken breasts in a ziploc bag.

Storing Marinade 

  • In the Refrigerator: Homemade marinade will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. However, once the marinade has mixed with raw meat or fish, it will need to be discarded.
  • In the Freezer: Place in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and freeze for 3-6 months.

Grilled chicken, cut into strips, that has been marinated in the Bourbon marinade.

More Marinade Recipes

A great marinade can make all the difference to your meal! It flavors, tenderizes and moistens meat for so much deliciousness! Try these other tried and true fan favorite marinades!

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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the whiskey, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and garlic.

  • Pour the marinade into a sealable bag, add your choice of meat or veggies to the bag and seal it shut. Allow it to marinate at least an hour.

  • Grill, bake, or cook your marinated meat and enjoy!

Calories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.01gSaturated Fat: 0.001gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.002gSodium: 96mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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