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Best Steak Marinade Recipe

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Best Steak Marinade Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly marinated steak to elevate your grilling game. A good marinade not only enhances the flavor of the meat but also tenderizes it and adds a delicious moisture. If you’re looking to impress your friends and family with the best steak they’ve ever had, this marinade recipe is your secret weapon.

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Why Marinade Your Steak?

Marinating your steak is crucial for several reasons:

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  • Enhancing Flavor: A marinade infuses the meat with bold, savory flavors.
  • Tenderizing the Meat: Acidic components in the marinade help break down tough fibers.
  • Adding Moisture: The oil in the marinade ensures that the steak remains juicy and succulent.

Key Ingredients for the Best Steak Marinade

A well-balanced steak marinade typically includes the following ingredients:

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  • Olive Oil: Acts as the base and adds richness.
  • Soy Sauce: Provides a salty, umami depth.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds complexity with its unique blend of flavors.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic for an aromatic punch.
  • Lemon Juice: Brightens up the marinade and helps tenderize the meat.
  • Herbs and Spices: Such as black pepper, rosemary, and thyme for added flavor.

Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

The best cuts for marinating are those that benefit from added flavor and tenderizing, such as:

  • Flank Steak: Lean and flavorful.
  • Skirt Steak: Great for a quick marinade.
  • Sirloin: Affordable and tender.

When selecting your steak, look for good marbling and a fresh, vibrant color.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Steak Marinade

Mixing the Marinade

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 3 minced garlic cloves, and the juice of 1 lemon. Add in 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of thyme.

Preparing the Steak

  1. Trim Excess Fat: Remove any large pieces of fat to prevent flare-ups during cooking.
  2. Poke or Score the Meat: Use a fork to poke holes or lightly score the surface to help the marinade penetrate.

Marinating Time Recommendations

  1. Marinate: Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring it is well-coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably 4-6 hours. Do not exceed 24 hours.

Preparing Your Steak for Marination

Proper preparation ensures the marinade does its job effectively:

  • Trim Excess Fat: Keeps the steak lean and prevents flare-ups.
  • Poking or Scoring the Meat: Allows the marinade to penetrate more deeply.
  • Ensuring Even Coverage: Make sure the steak is fully submerged or well-coated.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Marinated Steak


  1. Preheat Grill: High heat for direct grilling.
  2. Grill Steak: Cook for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare.


  1. Heat Pan: Medium-high heat.
  2. Cook Steak: Sear for 3-4 minutes per side.


  1. Preheat Broiler: High setting.
  2. Broil Steak: 4-5 minutes per side on the top rack.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Marinating Steak

  • Over-marinating: Can make the meat mushy.
  • Using Too Much Acid: Can overpower the flavor.
  • Not Marinating Long Enough: Won’t allow flavors to fully develop.

Tips for Perfecting Your Steak Marinade

  • Balancing Flavors: Adjust salt, acid, and herbs to your preference.
  • Adjusting Marinade for Different Cuts of Meat: Some cuts may require more tenderizing.
  • Enhancing the Marinade with Additional Ingredients: Try adding honey for sweetness or chili flakes for heat.

Serving Suggestions

Complement your marinated steak with sides like:

  • Grilled Vegetables: Adds a smoky, charred flavor.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and comforting.
  • Fresh Salad: Light and refreshing.

Variations of Steak Marinade

Spicy Marinade

  • Add chili flakes or hot sauce for heat.

Sweet and Tangy Marinade

  • Incorporate honey or brown sugar for sweetness.

Herb-Infused Marinade

  • Use fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or cilantro.

Making Steak Marinade Ahead of Time

Storage Tips for the Marinade

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Prepping and Storing the Marinated Steak

  • Marinate and then freeze the steak in a sealed bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

Pairing Marinated Steak with Drinks

Best Wine Pairings

  • Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • White Wine: Chardonnay for a lighter option.

Beer Recommendations

  • Ale: A robust ale pairs well.
  • Lager: A crisp lager cuts through the richness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I marinate the steak?

  • Ideally, 4-6 hours for optimal flavor and tenderness.

Can I reuse marinade?

  • No, it can be contaminated with raw meat juices.

What can I do with leftover marinade?

  • Use it as a sauce base, but boil it first to kill any bacteria.


Creating the best steak marinade is all about balance and quality ingredients. With this recipe, you can transform an ordinary steak into an extraordinary meal that will impress everyone at your table. So fire up the grill, and let’s get marinating!


Can I freeze marinated steak?

  • Yes, marinate and then freeze for up to 3 months.

How can I make the marinade less salty?

  • Reduce the soy sauce or use low-sodium soy sauce.

What are some good substitutes for soy sauce?

  • Tamari or coconut aminos are great alternatives.

Can I marinate steak overnight?

  • Yes, but avoid exceeding 24 hours to prevent mushiness.

How do I know when my steak is done?

  • Use a meat thermometer: 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, 150°F for well-done.
    Yield: 2 -3 POUNDS STEAK

    Best Steak Marinade Recipe

    Best Steak Marinade Recipe

    There's nothing quite like a perfectly marinated steak to elevate your grilling game. A good marinade not only enhances the flavor of the meat but also tenderizes it and adds a delicious moisture. If you're looking to impress your friends and family with the best steak they've ever had, this marinade recipe is your secret weapon.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes


    • STEAK:
    • 2-3 pounds steak, pounded to an even thickness (see Notes)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 TB EACH onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar
    • 1 tsp EACH smoked paprika, regular paprika, ground mustard, pepper
    • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme, salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


    • Make Marinade: Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a freezer-size bag. Add the steak, press out excess air, and seal. Massage the marinade into the steak with your hands through the outside of the bag.

    • Marinate Steaks: Marinate thinner steaks like flank steak in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. Marinate thicker steaks like sirloin in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Let the steaks rest on the counter for 60 minutes before grilling.

    • Prep the Grill: Preheat the outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan) to medium-high heat, (450 degrees F when the lid is closed). Clean the grill, then generously grease with vegetable oil.

    • Grill Steaks: Remove the steaks from the marinade and let the excess drip off. Grill the steaks to the desired doneness, about 4-6 minutes per side (with the lid closed), until an instant-read thermometer reads 130-135 degrees F for medium-rare or around 145 degrees F for medium. Grilling time will vary depending on the cut and thickness of your steak.

    • Rest and Slice: Remove the steak to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice the steak into thin strips against the grain (perpendicular to the long strands). Serve with freshly cracked salt to taste (it makes the flavors pop!). It's also delicious topped with Herb Butter (in the Notes).


    • Steak: This marinade transforms any economical cut of steak like flank, skirt, flap, top round, sirloin, and chuck eye steak into unbelievably tender.  It is also great for “higher-end” steaks that are lower grade (Select Grade and not Prime). Lower grades are leaner and have less marbling than higher grades of beef.
    • See the post for tons more tips and tricks! 

    The steak is so flavorful it doesn’t need a sauce!   Instead, we like to serve it with a pad of plain butter or Garlic Herb Butter:

    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced herbs (pick 2-3 of your favs: parsley, tarragon, thyme oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.)
    • 1/8 tsp EACH salt, pepper

    Mash the ingredients together in a medium bowl until blended. Place the mixture onto plastic wrap and shape it into a log as you roll up the plastic wrap. Twist the ends of the wrap to secure and put the butter in the refrigerator until it is firm (for about 1 hour) or until you are ready to use it.

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