What's the theory on using water vs oil for chicken marinades? I ask because of this recipe:


After multiplying the recipe by a lot, it makes a good marinade, but almost all of the other marinades I've seen online involve oil. Why does this one use water?

(In case the link goes bad, the recipe is:

  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp Water)

1 Answer 1


Some chemicals and flavours dissolve or bind to water differently from oil. For example, chili binds with oil much better than with water and the honey in your recipe will dissolve into the water which it would not do in oil.

  • 2
    The mustard acts as an emulsifier, allowing water based and oil based components to mix. Feb 20, 2012 at 7:41

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