McCormick Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea Marinade


As members of the Grillerhood, we get to sample and evaluate some of the newest products from the venerable McCormick Spice Company.

Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea Marinade

This naturally flavored marinade mix features a unique smoky blend of sweetened tea, spices and lemon. Each 1.25 ounce envelope makes 1/2 cup of marinade – enough for 2 pounds of chicken, pork or steak.

Nice blend and texture

Nice blend and texture

We prepared the Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea Marinade per the instructions on the envelope using 1/4 cup of canola oil, 2 tbsp. water and 2 tbsp. cider vinegar.


  • Mix marinade mix, oil, water and vinegar in small bowl. Reserve 2 tbsp. marinade for basting*. Place meat in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well.
  • Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor**. (Marinate seafood no longer than 30 minutes). Remove from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
  • Grill or broil until cooked through, basting with reserved marinade halfway through cooking. Discard any remaining marinade.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

We let the chicken breasts marinate for just a little over 5 hours.
Then we simply grilled the chicken breasts, basting halfway through with the marinade, and served with some home-made mustard potato salad and tomato cucumber salad.


Final thoughts: There’s an old adage about not cooking with any wine that you wouldn’t drink… well, that doesn’t hold true with rubs and marinades. Because as we tasted this marinade straight up, we were not impressed. Fast-forward to the finished grilled chicken… and wow! It was delicious. And we’re saving the left-overs for grilled chicken salads for lunch this week.

The outside char was remarkable, the chicken was moist and flavorful, and the end result was just stellar.

We thought that the next time we use McCormick’s Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea Marinade, would be on chicken tenders – to increase the surface area, get more char on the edges of the chicken, and for an even better left-over batch of chicken for salads.

* We reserved 4 tbsp for basting, and even then, it was just shy of enough. Our suggestion would be to reserve 5 or 6 tbsp. of the marinade for this recipe.
** 15 minutes for any marinade is not enough, and I don’t care what meat or recipe you are using. A few hours minimum is necessary. We went with 5+ hours here, as that just worked for us time-wise.

Serving suggestion – Smokin’ Peach Marinade
Prepare marinade as directed, using 1/4 cup of peach preserves in place of the oil. Serve chicken or pork with peach halves.

Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

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