How to Marinate a Roast in Milk

by Dan Ketchum

Wine, Jamaican jerk dressing, vinegar, soy sauce -- all of these ingredients are synonymous with marinating roasts, as their acidic makeup helps tenderize the meat. On the opposite end of the spectrum lies milk, perhaps the least likely liquid you'd nominate to marinate your roast. However, milk -- which has a lower acid content than the aforementioned marinades -- helps you curb the risk of drying out your meat with excess acid, leaving you with an extremely tender and flavorful roast.

Place your roast in a sealable plastic or glass container and add whole milk. Add about 1/3 cup of milk per 1 pound of roast. For this marinade, the meat doesn't have to be drowned in milk.

Add the herbs and seasonings of your choice. Salt, garlic and pepper are classic choices, and cumin provides a smooth, slightly nutty flavor that goes particularly well with a milk marinade, especially when marinating beef or lamb roasts. Cayenne and paprika lend a spicy edge to pork roast marinades, and you can squeeze in a bit a of lemon to add a little zest to your milk marinade.

Place the sealed container in the refrigerator. Marinate a whole roast for at least four hours. For the best results, allow the meat to marinate overnight. If possible, turn the meat at least once on each side as it marinates to ensure an even soak. Discard the marinade and wipe away any excess milk before cooking your roast.

Items you will need

  • Roast
  • Sealable plastic or glass container
  • Whole milk
  • Seasonings


  • For an Indian-style roast, substitute yogurt for milk, or use coconut milk for a lighter flavor that complements tropical, Indian and Asian roasts. For a richer, more savory flavor, go with a buttermilk marinade.
  • To add a sweet layer to a savory marinade, mix a bit of honey into your milk marinade. This creamy combo complements lamb and pork roasts in particular.

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.

Photo Credits

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