How to Marinate a Pot Roast

Pot roasts are tougher cuts of meat, but can be made tender and tasty by marinating them before cooking. The pot roast should be marinated on both sides for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better. There are hundreds of recipes for marinating a pot roast, so choose a combination of ingredients that appeals to you and follow the easy steps below to marinate your roast.


Servings: 6 to 8
Prep time: 5 minutes

  • 4 to 5 lb. pot roast (1.8 to 2.2 kg)
  • Marinade of your choice (use 2 cups of marinade per pound of meat). Here's one example recipe that will marinate a 4 lb. pot roast:[1]
    • 1 cup dry white wine or beef broth
    • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 4 whole cloves


  1. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 1
    Rinse the meat with cold water.
  2. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 2
    Place the pot roast on a cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 3
    Put the roast in a large, deep dish or a large, resealable plastic bag.
  4. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 4
    Pour your marinade ingredients over the roast into the bag and then seal the bag.
  5. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 5
    Refrigerate the marinated meat for 6 hours, turn it over and marinate it for another 6 hours. If you are marinating the roast in a dish, be sure to cover the dish with a lid or a piece of plastic wrap.
  6. Image titled Marinate a Pot Roast Step 6
    Let the roast come to room temperature before cooking it.


  • Make a double batch of marinade and freeze half of it for future use.
  • Reduce the marinating time by 2 hours if your marinade recipe contains salt, alcohol or acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar; these ingredients will chemically cook the meat if left on too long.


  • Do not marinate the meat at room temperature because harmful bacteria can form.

Things You’ll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towels
  • Deep dish
  • Large resealable plastic bag (optional)

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