This Flavorful Steak Marinade is perfect for grilling or smoking any type of steak. It enhances the natural richness of the beef while infusing it with a classic steak flavor. If you’re looking for a well-rounded marinade that tenderizes and adds amazing taste to your steak, this recipe is a true winner. Keep reading for the printable recipe card, because this one’s a keeper!
The Best Steak Marinade
When we say this is the best steak marinade ever, we’re not joking. It’s designed to complement various cuts of steak, from flank steak to skirt steak to rib eye. Unlike overpowering marinades, this one enhances the beef’s natural flavor while tenderizing it, making the cooking process a breeze.
This marinade incorporates five key elements to ensure your meat cooks up tender, juicy, and incredibly delicious.
- Fat: Prevents the acid from breaking down the protein in the meat.
- Acid: Tenderizes the meat.
- Sugar: Balances out the flavors.
- Salt: Adds savory notes.
- Herbs and Spices: Infuses unique flavor profiles.
Packed with umami richness, this marinade combines red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme, minced garlic, and other seasonings to create a well-balanced taste. Honey adds a touch of sweetness, while olive oil provides essential fat for flavor.
Should You Marinate Steak?
While marinating steak isn’t necessary, it can be incredibly helpful in adding flavor and tenderness, especially for cheaper cuts of meat. If you want to elevate your steak with flavors that dry rubs can’t achieve, a marinade is the way to go. Liquid seasonings like soy sauce, citrus juices, and vinegars work wonders in a wet marinade for enhancing the flavor of rich steak.
This marinade pairs well with various cuts of beef. We recommend trying it on flank steak, skirt steak, top round steaks (London broil), sirloin steaks, and even chuck eye steak, which is often referred to as the “poor man’s ribeye.” Avoid using more expensive cuts like ribeyes, New York strip steaks, and tenderloins with this marinade to maximize its potential.
Quick Steak Marinade Ingredients
This quick steak marinade requires only 9 ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. It’s an easy dinner option that tenderizes the meat, adds fat and salt, and introduces incredible flavor with fresh herbs, garlic, and seasonings.
Here’s what you’ll need for your steak marinade (refer to the printable recipe card below for detailed amounts):
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
How to Marinate Steak
Marinating steak is a fantastic way to prepare it before grilling. To ensure even coating, it’s best to use a plastic zip-top bag, allowing you to press out the air and distribute the marinade on all sides of the steak. Alternatively, you can use a non-reactive glass container or bowl, making sure to toss and turn the steaks periodically for proper coverage.
To marinate your steak:
- Place the steak and all the marinade ingredients in a zip-top bag or non-reactive glass container.
- Massage or toss the meat in the marinade to ensure even coating.
- Place the marinating steak in the refrigerator for at least 4-8 hours.
Note: This marinade covers approximately 1 pound of steak. Adjust the recipe accordingly if marinating larger amounts of meat.
How Long Should I Marinate Steak?
We recommend marinating steak for a minimum of 4 hours to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat thoroughly. You can marinate it for up to 8 hours. Avoid marinating steaks for longer than 8 hours, as highly acidic marinades can change the meat’s texture and make it dry and mealy.
As a general rule, thinner cuts of steak require less marinating time. Thinner steaks can absorb flavors quickly, but we suggest marinating them for at least 1 hour, preferably 3-4 hours, to achieve optimal taste. For thicker steaks, marinating for 4-8 hours is common practice. Remember, the longer the steak sits in the marinade, the more intense the flavor becomes.
Now that you have the marinade prepared, it’s time to grill your steak to perfection. Remove the steaks from the marinade and cook them to your desired level of doneness.
Enjoy the flavorful results of this steak marinade and savor the deliciousness that it brings to your grilled or smoked steak!