Simply Homemade: Mom’s Magical Marinade!

Yep. I said it. Magical marinade. Why is it magical, you ask? Because it’s so versatile of course! No crazy ingredients, quick to whip up, and works on steak/pork chops/chicken. That trifecta, in my book at least, makes this recipe magical! Now that Mother Nature is FINALLY releasing us from the throes of winter into a much more mild-mannered spring season, I thought it was the perfect time to share a marinade recipe. Also, with it being Mother’s Day and me being extra thankful today (as opposed to being incredibly thankful every day) for my mom, I figured what better way to show appreciation for her? Mom, this blog post is for you and all the thankless meals you made for us before we learned to be as thankful for you as we are today! Thank you. For really real, thank you!!!

Is there anything more exciting than the transition from one season’s meal plans into a new one? Just when you’re sick to death of your winter rotation of crockpot roasts, casseroles, and never ending soups, along comes a new season complete with new cooking options (outdoor grilling, yay!) and new seasonal fruits & veggies (double yay!). They don’t say that variety is the spice of life without good reason! Not sure how my mom kept such a variety of food in our rotation of meals when we were kids but I am SUPER thankful for that!

Growing up, I never realized the extent of work that went into each of our meals. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this little tidbit but I grew up on a farm in a quintessential small town. My dad grew multiple crops and raised livestock in teamwork with my mom who grew a garden and made seriously almost every single meal homemade. As an adult, I honestly have no idea how they managed to do this while not killing one of us kids…or each other! Now that I’ve reached the adulthood phase where I have to meal plan for myself and my own tiny family, I remember all the times my mom would beg us to just say what we want for supper! I find myself demanding answers to that same question from my husband and daughter and commiserate (about 25 years too late) with my mom. Did I mention how thankful I am for her?

To this day, I’ll never understand how both my parents stayed sane without having numerous fast food/restaurant options within a couple miles’ radius to run through and grab food for the family. It’s no wonder my mom is the amazing cook that she is or that my dad has always been so open to trying new meals. I’m so incredibly thankful to have been brought up eating home cooked meals, taught to cook, and been made aware of where our food came from and the fact that not everyone had those luxuries. All that being said, my mom got creative with recipes and used a few of the same ones in totally different ways so we never got sick of eating at home. This marinade is one of those recipes! She’d use it one week to marinate and grill chicken for salads then use it the next week for marinated grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes. I was clueless for years that it was the same recipe with only the protein being different; I just knew I loved that chicken and those pork chops too 😉 Now that I’m officially “adulting” and attempting to recreate that same homemade meal experience, I find myself secretly rejoicing when my daughter says she thinks some steaks cooked on the grill with that special sauce sounds great for dinner! For those of you who don’t know my daughter, that is a HUGE win! Getting her to eat meat, in any form, has been a struggle since the day she started consuming solid foods. To have her ask for steak literally makes me want to cry..tears of joy!

Alright friends, get your grill ready and let’s get marinating! Also, quick side note to thank your moms or the mom figures in your life for all they did for you. Whether we realize it or not, our parents shape us into the people (and especially the parents) we are today!

Mom's Magical Marinade

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: Insanely Simple
  • Print

This is one of the most delicious and versatile marinades I have come across! If you're planning to grill chicken, steak, or pork chops you are going to want to take an extra 10 minutes to whip up this marinade for them beforehand!


-1/3 cup soy sauce (I always use low sodium)

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

—2 tablespoons brown sugar

-3 tablespoons white vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

-1/2 teaspoon granulated ginger

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-1 tablespoon minced onion (can use a tablespoon of onion packet seasoning instead)

-Protein of choice (up to 8 pork chops or chicken breasts or 4 good sized steaks)


  1. Add and mix all ingredients together (I recommend doing this straight into a gallon ziplock baggie to cut down on dishes!).
  2. Add protein into marinade and try to arrange so protein lays flat.
  3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (flip protein over/rotate halfway through marinating time if it’s convenient but that’s not a deal breaker).
  4. Remove from fridge while preheating grill then grill to desired doneness and ENJOY!

Equal parts soy sauce & vegetable oil with some perfectly picked seasonings to enhance…awwww yeah!
Lay it flat, chill it, flip it, & soak it up!!!!!!!

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