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On the quest to find a no-fuss go-to marinade for chicken or steak? Look no further! I’m about to reveal my tried and true marinade that I’ve been using for two decades.  In just one step, you’ll have a batch of marinade that you can use for just about anything, making it the perfect recipe to come back to again and again. 

chicken pulled on a wooden cutting board.

Best All-Purpose Marinade Recipe

Marinade is a vital step to infusing juicy, powerful flavor into meat, but the process of finding one can be a bit daunting. There are probably thousands of marinades out there; sweet tropical pineapple, spicy Jamaican jerk, sweet and sour teriyaki, and herbal rosemary and lemon are just a handful of variations that can be found in recipes all across the web. 

I like jerk chicken and teriyaki steak as much as the next person, but it likely isn’t the kind of flavor you’re incorporating into your family dinners night after night. My all-purpose marinade is the kind of recipe you can come back to again and again, dinner after dinner, knowing that it’s the best steak and chicken marinade for everyday meals. 

Ingredients Needed for Marinade

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce – I prefer low sodium soy sauce
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Yellow mustard – You can also use Dijon or spicy mustard
  • Garlic – peeled and minced, or smashed
  • Olive oil
  • Teriyaki sauce – bottled marinade – the thin version of teriyaki sauce

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

How to Make Marinade for Chicken and Steak

  1. Combine ingredients: Making marinade is way easier than you think. So easy, it’s really just one step; in a measuring cup, whisk all ingredients together. Voila! 
  2. Marinate meat: To use your marinade, pour it over a pound of steak or chicken and allow it to marinate for at least four hours in the fridge. Be sure to bring your meat to room temperature just before cooking. 

Expert Tips

  • Although this marinade makes any cut of steak delicious, I prepare to use it for flank steak or skirt steak. 
  • I suggest letting your meat marinade for at least four hours, but the longer it marinates, the better. That being said, you shouldn’t let it sit for any longer than a day, as the fibers of the meat may start to get broken down by the marinade at that point. 
  • Once you’ve marinated the meat, throw out the marinade – although it may be tempting to reuse it, it can make you sick. 
steak sliced onto a wooden cutting board.


How long should you marinate chicken?

Chicken should be marinated between 4 to 24 hours. 

What temperature do you cook chicken to?

Always cook chicken breasts to an interior temperature of 165°F and cook thighs to a temperature between 175°F and 190°F. When the thickest part is cut open, the chicken should lack any pink color in the center. 

How long should steak marinate? 

Steak should ideally be marinaded for between 8 to 24 hours.

chicken pulled on a wooden cutting board.

Best Chicken and Steak Marinade Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Make the best chicken and steak marinade with this simple recipe – this is an all purpose marinade we love!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Marinade Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce low-sodium, if you have it
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon French’s Classic Yellow Mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced or smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt only if using low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
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  • Whisk together all ingredients in a measuring cup.
  • To use: pour marinade over 1 pound steak (such as skirt steak, London broil, or flank steak) or 1 pound chicken (breasts or thighs). Let sit in the marinade for at least 4 hours. Allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Discard any leftover marinade.
  • To grill: preheat grill to medium high heat. Sear the meat on each side, cooking until desired doneness (165°F for chicken breasts, 175-190°F for thighs). For skirt steak, cook 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare to medium.

Recipe Notes

  • Always cook chicken until completely cooked through and no longer pink (165°F for boneless breasts and 175-190°F for thighs).
  • For steak, you’ll want 125-130° for rare, 130-140° for medium rare, 140-150°F for medium, 150-160° for medium well and over 160° for well done).
  • This marinade is great on any cut of steak, we just usually use flank steak or skirt steak.
  • The longer your meat marinades the better it will taste.
  • Discard any leftover marinade. It will make you sick if you eat it.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on March 17, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. I wanted the recipe for the balsamic chicken marinade. There are ingredients but no mesurements that I can find. Am I missing the measurements somehow

  2. I always love marinade and sauce recipes and mustard based even better since it adds a lot of flavor without any sugar, I get enough of that already in other ingredients, so thank you for these

  3. These all look amazing – I have definitely been missing out on using mustard, I just kind of skip over it! Can’t wait to try these — and thanks for the tip on how to roast the garlic, that’s something that’s always kind of intimidated me!

  4. These all look incredible! I recently did a similar post and I love all your creative ideas. Especially the raspberry one! I want that now!