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Mason Jar Marinades – Minimal Cleanup & No Plastic

| March 21, 2014 | 22 Comments More

Say goodbye to excess cleanup and wasting plastic baggies…


This post is a method/hack post more than an actual recipe. This is how I often prep quick dinners for myself and wanted to share it with the rest of you. This method eliminates the need to clean a food processor or a blender, and also eliminates the need to use a ziplock bag that would otherwise just end up in a landfill. Washing an immersion blender under a faucet and soaking a mason jar is about as easy as it gets. If you don’t have an immersion blender or large wide-mouth mason jars yet, consider this the gateway post that will change your kitchen. 

What you need:

How you do it (this is so easy):


1) Roughly chop larger items such as onions to fit into the jar, and juice citrus directly into your jar if called for…



2. Really, just put all of the ingredients you would normally blend or food process right into the jar…



3. Stick your immersion blender down into your jar and pulse until your marinade is liquified to an even consistency…



5. Add your meat to the jar. Typically about a pound to a pound and a half will fit. Cover your jar tightly, shake to coat the meat, and stick in the fridge until ready!



It really is that easy. I cook this way at least twice a week, and feel good about skipping the plastic.

In case you were wondering, this in the throw-together marinade I used in the picture to marinate a pound and a half of chicken tenderloins for grilling:

  • Juice of one small lime
  • Juice of half of a medium orange
  • Handful of cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

I hope you enjoy this premise. Would you like to see more mason jar marinades as recipe posts here?


You should cook these too:

Tags: , ,

Category: Beef, Chicken, Meat, Pork

Comments (22)

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  1. AJ says:

    how long do you think this would hold in the fridge? is it something that could be done in batches for the week or half the week?

    • Jason says:

      I only do these for meat I intend to cook within 24 hours. They are so simple that you can whip them up whenever!

    • Phil says:

      Meat tends to break down from the acid. You wouldn’t want to hold meat in a marinade for more than 24 hrs, often even shorter times, and WAAAAY less time if you are doing seafood because the acid actually chemically cooks the meat. (think ceviche)

  2. Sharyn says:

    Do you know what? Those jars cost you $10 in America. In UK they are £58 including delivery on Amazon. How can they charge GBP40 plus £18 delivery against USD10? Brits are totally ripped off pricewise.

    Won’t stop me trying your recipe idea though Jason. I’ll improvise.

    • Jason says:

      I’m sorry Sharyn, prices on mason jars are high in Australia too. My suggestion would be to look around locally (even at thrift shops) for similar jars that will get the job done. Hope you find something that works out for you.

    • Karen says:

      Try reusing jam jars?

    • Cathy D says:

      I bought some really cute jars at Tesco on one of my visits. Maybe you can watch for the jars to come to your local shops around canning season. But really, re-using a pasta sauce jar or another type of larger sized jar would be perfect! You don’t need to use the ‘mason’ jar brand. Asda would probably have some too, you could try there as well. Anyway, re-using jars from other food products is a perfectly good thing! 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    This sounds so yummy!! Your title reads, “Easy Mason Jar Marinades” is it just one marinade recipe? Am I just not seeing the others.

    • Jason says:

      Just the first recipe for now, I wanted to share the method of the post more than anything. I was hoping to show people my kitchen shortcuts, and I will be soon to post more recipes of this sort too!

  4. Daniel says:

    First off, this is a magnificent marinade idea. Kuddos to your simple approach! I wonder if allowing the marinade to absorb and blend its flavors for a night before using would make a difference.
    If Mason Jars are not within your reach, may I suggest using old quart size jars from anything you have bought in the past. The need for a BPA lid or otherwise can be worked around by using a squarish piece of baking parchment or small square of re-purposed sandwich baggie (these makeshift seals can be washed time and time again, whether in whole or snipped to useable squares).

  5. Tracey says:

    Lovely and simple AND guilt-free! Fantastic! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Maryalice Leister says:

    Excellent idea. Be careful when using citrus with chicken. It is my personal favorite, but if you make it too strong or leave it in the marinade too long, the citrus begins to “cook” or alter the meat, breaking it down. So, I use it all the time but never marinate more than a hour or two. Will watch for more marinades – mine always include garlic too (grin).

    • Jason says:

      Yeah, I should add note that citrus marinades I usually only let sit for an hour or two tops. Thanks for brining it up for others to read as well..

    • redSoares says:

      good call on the citrus chicken mixing. citrus is a delight to create a good shrimp or seafood no heat cook/cure, but yes as a chicken or other meat length marinate it does easily overpower and change the meat texture in my experience.

  7. Marty says:

    Dishwashers are more efficient than washing by hand from a water perspective. I think Ikea has mason jars in Australia, planning on buying some to use for marinating, great idea!

  8. Sherri says:

    I use ziplock bags to marinate. So nice because you can squeeze them and move the marinade around. When you are done, throw it away. No clean up.

    • Phil says:

      You’re kind of missing the point. It is so you don’t have to throw away a zip top bag. It’s about creating less waste.

  9. redSoares says:

    Ingenious. since going Paleo/Primal I cannot but appreciate the fascinating ideas found. Having up to gallon size Mason jars from home Kombucha brewing, I see a plethora oncoming of meal prep potential. Many thanks!!

  10. John Mack says:

    Such a great idea!

  11. Cat says:

    I love the idea of using the jar for blending (the jar that comes with your immersion blender would work too)!

    For bigger items (like things with bones) that won’t fit in a jar, just dump it all into a glass casserole dish with a lid. Plastic bags are so not necessary!!

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