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3 Easy Grilling Marinades to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Including a special one-ingredient wonder
Easy Grilling Marinades for Steak and Chicken
Photos: Tasting Table

Just in time for Labor Day, these three versatile marinades will carry you through the end of grilling season—right on into cooler weather, where they can pull their own weight as a pre-roast soak. Commit these to memory, and get ready for the best grilled steak (and chicken) you've ever had.

① Easy Overnight Chicken Marinade

This aromatic olive oil-lemon marinade gets the job done without being too overbearing, leaving plenty of room for bold sides and spicy cocktails at the table. Simply throw chicken pieces in a resealable bag along with Worcestershire sauce, whole-grain mustard, aromatics like smashed garlic, thyme sprigs and lemon wheels; and let it do the work for you.

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② Red Wine and Garlic Steak Marinade

Red wine is the perfect secret ingredient for making a marinade: The acidity helps tenderize the meat, and the depth imparts complex flavors on the meat. By infusing the wine with garlic, herbs and spices, we’ve created the ultimate marinade for any meal. This marinade adds a punch of flavor and a hint of spice and sweetness, perfect for enhancing meat even before you cook it. Simply place the meat in a sealable plastic bag with the marinade and let it sit overnight. The next day, dry the steaks well and grill them to order.

③ Mayonnaise Marinade

Think of this one-ingredient wonder like a wet brine. Add your favorite dry rub to the mayo or simply season with salt and pepper: The mayo will suspend the spices, so they don’t fall off. It helps create a thick crust, sealing in flavor and giving optimal char. Plus, chances are you already have it sitting in your refrigerator.

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