Best Barbecue Marinade Recipes

Marinating meat and fish for the barbecue makes the food taste even more delicious than it normally would.  Many marinades can be mixed up quickly using easy to find off-the-shelf ingredients and though some recipes call for overnight marinating, many can be added 20 minutes before barbecuing or even as you cook.

Marinades boost flavour and stop the meat from drying out. This is because, as the meat cooks, it absorbs the marinade liquid, which keeps it moist and tender. 

To get the most from your marinade, put the meat in re-sealable freezer bags with the marinade liquid and place in the fridge. Allow at least an hour for the marinade to really give the food an extra infusion of flavour. For softer, more tender foods such as chicken or seafood, much less time is needed, usually less than 50 minutes.

There are so many tempting recipes that it’s often hard to narrow down the selection, but having sifted through a great many, here are some marvelous marinades… all you have to do is mix the ingredients together, add to the meat and barbecue

Top Tip: Use a charcoal barbecue for a truly delictable taste!

-For Beef

Beef is a barbecue staple but choose your cuts carefully. Thin strips of beef work best with marinades. Meat that is thicker at one end than at the other will not cook evenly and can be difficult to cook well on barbecues.

Beef works wonderfully with marinades and can be combined with lots of different types of flavour and cuisine, from traditional American recipes to Asian style barbecue dishes.

Try these marinades, leaving in the fridge overnight if possible or for at least an hour:

Teriyaki Beef Marinade

This is a fantastic Japanese marinade that really works with beef kebabs. Simply put small pieces of beef on a skewer, add slices of green pepper or other vegetables that you like to put with beef, and marinade.

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoons light olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 clove garlic crushed


Lemon and Oregano Marinade

Try this with thin cuts of steak, leaving to marinade for around 1 ½  - 2 hours. It’s absolutely delicious and produces a fresh, zingy flavour, which is fantastic on a warm summer’s day.

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves


-For Lamb

Honey Soy Glaze

This marinade works well with lamb loin chops.  It’s quick to do and just requires you to coat the meat so you don’t have to spend a long time leaving it to marinate beforehand.  Once you have mixed the marinade, just add it to the lamb chops, taking care to turn them around so they are coated all over. Don’t put the lamb into the marinade as this will mean that you can only use it for raw meat and you will want to use the excess to coat the meat as it’s cooking. Put the chops on the barbecue and turn after about four minutes, adding a little more glaze to the chops as they cook.

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed


-For Chicken

Yoghurt Marinade

This heavenly marinade is perfect with chicken. Just mix all the ingredients together, cover each piece of chicken with plenty of the marinade, put the pieces in a re-sealable bag and leave overnight in the fridge – or for at least 3 hours if preparing the marinade on the day.

  • 150ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley and mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed


-For Fish

Marinating fish takes far less time than marinating meat. In fact, marinades should not be left on fish for more than half an hour, as the fish will start to go mushy. Also, never baste your fish with leftover marinade that’s had raw fish put into it - it could cause food poisoning.

Fish works really well with all sorts of marinades including lemon juice and dill, or for more exotic flavours, fresh mango and soy, or soy, lime, vinegar and oil. The teriyaki marinade described earlier in this article is also delicious with fish.

Lemon and Soy Marinade

This is a taste-tingling marinade, which is ideal with salmon fillets. Just mix all the ingredients together, coat the salmon with the marinade and put the fillets on the barbecue. Keep basting the salmon with the marinade as it’s cooking.

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh or dried basil 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper