Free Spicy BBQ Marinade Recipe

Try my free spicy BBQ marinade recipe if you remember to plan 24 hours in advance. Yes this one’s a long one but it is worth the wait and works really well with chicken, pork or lamb.

Many acidic marinades only take 30 minutes or so to work and it's also fair to say that if meat is left too long in the marinade then it will actually make the meat tougher.

The exception to this rule is calcium based marinades (with yoghurt) which can be left overnight. To learn more on this point then read my article about the science of marinades.

Spicy BBQ Marinade

Having said that this marinade works well on most meats, it also has versatility too, equally you can do it as steaks or kebabs. The marinade tenderizes the meat as well as imparting flavor so you can make up kebabs safe in the knowledge that you’ll get a great result and the meat won’t dry out.

It’s got the traditional Indian spices in there including chili powder and of course you can add a little more than I have if you fancy something a little hotter.

Yield:- 1 cup or 240ml

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes
Marinade Time:- overnight
Cooking Time:- n/a

Total Time:- 1 day


Bottled lemon juice contains sulphites, no worries however if you choose to use freshly squeeze lemon juice.


  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 5 cm or 2 inches root ginger finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 150ml or ¼ pint yoghurt
  • Juice of one lemon


Take a frying pan and gently fry the seeds, cloves and bay leaves until the bay leaves crisp up. Take a lungful of the aromas – fantastic! Cool the contents of the pan, tip it into a pestle and mortar and grind away to create a powder.

Take your marinating bowl and throw in all the ingredients together with the yoghurt and give it a stir.

If you’re making kebabs, dice up your meat before putting it into the marinade because this will give a greater surface area for the spicy BBQ marinade to work on.

Add your chosen meat, refrigerate and marinate for 24 hours giving it a stir every few hours if you remember (I usually forget!)

Take the meat out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you want to cook so that it can come up to room temperature.

Just before cooking, remove the meat from the marinade and scrape off any excess marinade. If there's too much yoghurt on your meat when it cooks you won't get the heat into the meat to add flavor, you will however get a mush on the exterior.

Grill over high heat.

If doing kebabs I like to serve in a pitta bread with salad and a little extra yoghurt. Great finger food and a delicious lunchtime snack.

See Also:-

More Great BBQ Marinade Recipes

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