Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef
This Savory Low-Carb Marinade for Grilled Chicken, Pork, or Beef will add amazing flavor to whatever meat you’re cooking on the grill.
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of grilling season, right? So for Friday Favorites this week I’m reminding you about this Savory Low-Carb Marinade that’s equally good on chicken, pork, or beef, and it’s the perfect solution to keeping the meat moist and adding flavor no matter what you’re cooking on the grill. This is a marinade I’ve used often and always had great results no matter what type of protein I’ve used it on. And the recipe makes enough marinade for several types of meat and this will keep in the fridge for a week or two, so I recommend making the whole amount and trying it on different types of meat.
What is marinating?
Marination or marinating is a process where food is soaked for a period of time in a liquid that usually includes oil and an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, wine, or fruit juice. Marinades can also include fresh or dried herbs, spices, and often have onion or garlic. Use plastic storage bags or glass or plastic food storage containers to hold the food while it marinates; don’t ever marinate in containers that are metal. If you’re not familiar with this technique, here are some great tips for marinating from What’s Cooking America and Jessica Gavin.
How long should you marinate foods for the grill?
For this savory low-carb marinade recipe I recommend marinating chicken at least 6-8 hours, and pork or beef for 8-10 hours if possible. Marinating times slightly longer than this won’t hurt.
Does marinating meat need to be refrigerated?
Always refrigerate the chicken, pork, beef, or other types of meat that you’re marinating to be cooked later on the grill. That prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- full fat mayo
- Worcestershire sauce or Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link)
- 1 T lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
- Vege-Sal (affiliate link) or salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Poultry Seasoning (affiliate link)
- garlic puree or Garlic Powder (affiliate link)
- sweet paprika, preferably Sweet Hungarian Paprika (affiliate link)
- Onion Powder (affiliate link)
- Dried Thyme (affiliate link) (optional, but recommended)
Why do I like this marinade so much?
I think this marinade has a perfect combination of savory ingredients for adding flavor to chicken, pork or beef. One ingredient that adds flavor is Worcestershire sauce, and I use one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce when I’m making this for chicken, but when you try it on pork of beef, I’d double the Worcestershire sauce to two tablespoons.. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if you need this to be gluten-free. The small amount of mayo really keeps the meat moist, and the lemon juice, dried spices and herbs, and garlic all add flavor.
How to make the marinade and use it for food cooked on the grill:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Combine marinade ingredient in a glass measuring cup and whisk together. (Or you can shake it in a jar if you prefer.) Don’t worry if there are some beads of mayo that don’t mix in.
- I always prepare my chicken using the Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts. See that post if you’re not experienced cooking chicken breasts.
- For pork or beef I would also trim the fat and make little scores in the meat or cut it into cubes if you’re using the marinade for kabobs.
- Let the meat or poultry marinate in the fridge 6-8 hours (or longer is fine.)
- Then drain the chicken, pork, or beef in a colander placed in the sink when you’re ready to cook. (Marinades should never be re-used because they contain bacteria.)
- Let chicken, pork, or beef come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to medium temperature.
- When you’re ready to put chicken on the grill, brush it on both sides with olive oil (or use another neutral-flavored higher smoke-point oil if you have one.)
- To get criss-cross grill marks, lay meat or chicken diagonally across grill grates and cook until you see grill marks (about 3-4 minutes for chicken).
- Rotate the meat so it is diagonal on the grill grates going the opposite way and cook 3-4 minutes.
- Turn over and cook until it reaches desired level of doneness, about 2-4 minutes more for chicken. For all types of meat or poultry, I using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to tell when it’s done. Here’s a good chart with safe temperatures for grilled food.
- Serve hot and wait for compliments!
Make it a Meal:
More Tasty Ideas for Low-Carb Grilling:
Ten Low-Carb Grilling Recipes Your Family Will Love ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
101 Best Keto Grilling Recipes ~ I Breathe I’m Hungry
Low-Carb Kabobs of Skewers for the Grill ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Low-Carb Chicken Thigh Recipes ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Amazing Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 T full fat mayo
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce (see notes)
- 1 T lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed (see notes)
- 1 tsp. Veg-Sal or salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 T Poultry Seasoning
- 1 T garlic puree or garlic powder
- 1 T sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian paprika
- 1/2 T onion powder
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (optional, but recommended)
- Put all ingredients in a bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk together, or you can combine ingredients by shaking in a jar. (Don’t worry if there are some beads of mayo that don’t combine; they will dissolve when you’re marinating the meat.)
- If I’m using this on chicken I follow my Tips for Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts. No matter which types of meat I’m using, I like to make shallow score marks on the surface of the meat to make a little more surface area, which helps it cook more evenly.
- Put the chicken, pork, or beef in a Ziploc bag or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour over just enough marinade to cover the meat, then let it marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours or longer.
- To cook, preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. (You can hold your hand there for only about 3 seconds at that heat.) Lay the pieces of chicken or meat diagonally across the grill grates and cook until you start to see grill marks (3-4 minutes for chicken and maybe slightly longer for meat).
- Then rotate the chicken or meat until it’s diagonally going the opposite way on the grill grates and cook until you see good grill marks going the other way.
- Turn over and cook until it’s firm, but not hard to the touch for chicken (just a few minutes more unless the chicken is really thick.) For beef or pork I would use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to cook to your preferred level of doneness. Here's a good chart with safe temperatures for grilled food.
- If you’re cooking just a few piece of meat, just store the extra marinade in the fridge and use it later on some other type of meat
- Extra marinade will keep in the fridge for at least a week (or maybe longer, but I’ve never managed to keep it around for more than a week.)
I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe. I used 1 T Worcestershire sauce for chicken but when I used it on pork or beef I increased it to 2 T. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.
Nutritional information is for the marinade only.
This recipe is one Kalyn has made for so long, she can't remember where she got it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chicken, pork, or beef marinated in this would be perfect for any phase of The original South Beach Diet or other low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for This Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2005, and Kalyn had been using it for years at that point. It was last updated in 2021.