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Bar-B-Q Marinade

My father inspired this marinade that’s fresh, sweet, savory, smoky and easy to make! Although, it goes with everything grillable (like ribs! YUMMY!!!), we used it most often on “Dad’s Famous Chicken” – chicken and vegetables marinated and then grilled in foil packets until fall-off-the-bone tender.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 50 mins

Yield: about 16 ounces



  • 5 tablespoon soybean oil (aka vegetable oil)
  • 4 cups of tomatoes, VERY ripe, rough cut
  • 1 medium white onion, small diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, rough cut
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 oranges, juice and zest
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat grill or oven to medium-high heat (400°F – 450°F). 

In a large cast iron skillet, warm oil until sizzling hot then add tomatoes, onion, garlic, and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook on medium-high heat with lid closed until tomatoes are blistered, garlic is fork-tender and the backyard smells good enough to eat, about 15 minutes!

Open grill and work from grill or move skillet to stovetop.  First, remove large pieces of rosemary.  Next, add tomato paste to skillet, stirring continually until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Then, add orange juice and zest to deglaze the pan, lifting the caramelized tomato bits from the bottom.  Add remaining ingredients to the pan, stirring to thoroughly incorporate.  Allow to cook until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Remove from heat, puree with a stick blender or carefully pour into a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as desire.

Pour over meat and vegetables for a marinade before BBQ-ing or grilling, or serve as a sauce to your favorite grilled dishes.