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How to make the ultimate steak marinade

How to make the ultimate steak marinade

You just can’t beat tucking into a perfectly cooked steak, seared to perfection and coated in a gnarly, sticky homemade marinade on the outside, and blushing pink in the middle.

It’s so simple to make the most incredible steak marinade yourself at home. The trick is to pack all of your ingredients into a sandwich bag along with the steak, then give it a good old rub in the bag to really massage all those delicious flavours into the meat. Leave it to soak and you’re golden – it couldn’t be easier!


  1. The day before, or at least a few hours before cooking, put a 600 to 700 piece of fillet steak into a sealable sandwich bag. (We’ve used fillet steak here, but feel free to use whichever cut you like – just remember to ratio down the marinade for smaller steaks.
  2. Pour 8 to 10 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce into the bag, then add 2 heaped teaspoons of French mustard
  3. Pick and finely chop 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, then add to the bag, along with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  4. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, then spend a few minutes really massaging all the flavours into the meat. Leave in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  5. About 1½ hours before you’re ready to cook, remove the steak from the fridge and place in a cool corner of the kitchen to slowly come up to room temperature.
  6. Once the meat has reached room temperature, take it out of the bag, quickly pat it with kitchen paper, then all that’s left to do is to cook it to your liking.

If the weather’s good, cook up on the barbecue and serve with a Caprese salad with grilled peppers or a beautiful verdura mista – delicious!

Once you’ve mastered the marinade, master the cooking:


Dairy cows and beef cows are farmed differently. Usually, beef cows are raised for meat until they’re one or two years old. Meanwhile, dairy cows will be farmed for much longer while they continue to provide enough milk. However, once a dairy cow stops milking the meat is rarely eaten.

Best Steak Marinade

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I promise this is the Best Steak Marinade you’ll try! The balance of salt, tang, herb, and a touch of sweetness is the perfect way to treat your favorite steaks. When you’re serving up a special meal, it deserves to be a guaranteed flavor bomb.

I usually just stick to some salt and pepper on my steaks, but every once in a while I crave more in each bite. This steak marinade will do just that for you! The flavors complement that red meat beautifully to create such a harmony. If you’re going to expand that grocery budget to include steaks, you have to do it right.

I am such a big fan of this marinade, I’ll keep the excess to brush liberally over the steaks as they grill. You can even make an extra batch, without touching raw meat, of course, to serve on the side as a dipping sauce. Am I obsessed with this recipe or what? I’ll happily include it in each step of the process!

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Low-sodium soy sauce – I like to salt my steaks at the end, so I use a low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the salt content in the marinade. If using traditional soy sauce in the marinade, I recommend tasting the steaks before adding more salt at the end.
  • Olive oil – other vegetable oils can also be used, like avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil or peanut oil.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Honey – you can also use maple syrup or agave nectar to add sweetness to the marinade.
  • Dried Italian seasoning – I like to use my homemade seasoning mixes whenever possible. Just click the link to the left. It’s easy to whip up in less than 5 minutes!
  • Dried mustard – if you don’t have dried mustard on hand, 1 tablespoon of dijon or spicy brown mustard can be used in it’s place.
  1. Combine balsamic vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, honey, Italian seasoning and mustard in a gallon size zipper bag or large bowl.
  2. Add the steaks and marinade for 20 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
    • Note: I do not recommend marinating for more than 8 hours, or the acidity of the marinade will start to break down the proteins in the meat and can cause the steak to become mushy.

That’s it, two simple steps and your steak is soaking in the best marinade ever!

Recipe Summary

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Montreal-style steak seasoning
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ pounds beef rib-eye steaks

Place cumin seeds into a small skillet over medium heat stir constantly until seeds turn dark brown and smell toasted, about 1 minute. Immediately pour seeds into a bowl to stop the cooking. Mix cumin seeds with orange juice, vegetable oil, steak seasoning, lime juice, and oregano in a bowl.

Place steaks into a large resealable plastic bag, pour orange juice marinade over the meat, and squeeze out air. Seal bag and turn it over several times to coat meat with marinade. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or longer for extra flavor.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Remove steaks from marinade, shaking off any excess. Discard used marinade. Grill steaks on the preheated grill until seared on the outsides and still slightly pink in the centers, 6 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted sideways into the center of the thickest steak should read 145 degrees F (65 degrees C). Let steaks rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

What are the basic ingredients for a good 3-ingredient steak marinade?

A good marinade has three components: salt, acid, and fat. Salt starts things off by seasoning the meat, giving it flavor in conjunction with other seasoning ingredients. Fine Cooking explains that salt can also enter meat cells, denaturing the protein cells and helping the meat retain more moisture as it cooks. Some marinades contain pure salt while others (like ours) use salty liquids like soy sauce.

Another crucial marinade component is acid, which is seen in our recipe in the form of balsamic vinegar. The acidic ingredients help slightly tenderize the meat by breaking down tough muscle fibers and connective tissues on the meat's surface. They also add a lightness that can balance out the meat's heavy flavor. Finally, fat coats the meat to help the marinade stick to its surface. It also helps transfer any fat-soluble flavors into the meat, and it protects it from drying out as it cooks.

Many marinades also contain additional seasoning, including aromatic ingredients like garlic or onion, as well as spices and herbs. These additions can add extra flavor to the meat, but they're not strictly required for our 3-ingredient steak marinade.

What’s The Recipe?

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. If you are ready to get grilling, read on for the best steak marinade for grilling – period. Here’s what you will need:


  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)

Simple Instructions:

All you need to do is combine the ingredients together in a bowl or a freezer back. Add roughly 2lbs of steak and marinade for at least two hours for best results. You will remove your steaks, and discard any leftovers. Then the fun part…grilling! Make sure you toss some butter on top of your steak while you are grilling – the same way you would do if you were pan frying your meat. This only tenderizes your steak more, adds a boost of flavor, and helps promote great caramelization.

This entire steak marinade recipe can last in your fridge in a mason jar for two weeks. In addition, you can also freeze the marinade for a few months before use!

Step 2: Step-by-Step Recipe

Choosing the correct steak marinade can make or break your dish, so we have done the work for you. Make sure the meat you have selected is prime or choice, you want nothing but the best for your special occasion. Next, it is time to make the marinade. Start by combining the following ingredients, they will come together for a delightful flavor for your steak. Mix them all together in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon blackening seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil

Now that your ingredients are all mixed together, it is time to marinade the meat. While this may sound intimidating, it is actually quite simple. Before you get started, if you are concerned with tenderness, you can always add a bit of lemon juice in order for the acid to help tenderize the meat, although with a grilled filet mignon, that is typically not a problem. When the marinade is ready, place the steaks in the same bowl, or even a Ziplock bag, with the filet mignon marinade and allow them to soak – or marinate – for two hours. It is recommended longer for steaks of less tenderness, but for a filet mignon, less is more. Make sure to leave the marinade out on the kitchen counter at room temperature. The steak needs to be neither hot nor cold when it is ready to be grilled. This is the longest part of the process, but fortunately, it also is the easiest.

Save this recipe in your Cave Tools BBQ app or download other recipes from the community recipes exchange!

How To Make Steak Marinade With Balsamic

This quick steak marinade takes less than 5 minutes to make and all it takes is 5 easy ingredients!

First, you’ll want to whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Then, pour the marinade into a plastic bag, add the steaks, and move them around a bit so that all of the steaks are covered in some of the marinade.

Refrigerate the meat for 3 to 8 hours!

TIP: The optimal marinating time is between 3 and 8 hours, but not longer. The meat can get mushy if it sits too long in the marinade.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to cook them to let them come to room temperature a bit. This will help them cook evenly.

TIP: Store the bag in a glass bowl or container and if you’re around, flip and rotate the bags of steak every so often. This isn’t required, but will help ensure that the top sirloin steak marinade is coating all of the meat well.

After marinating the steaks, cook them using your favorite method – typically either on the grill or in the oven. Here is how to cook steak in the oven.

Steak Marinade Ingredients

To serve steak fajitas tonight you need the following ingredients for this marinade.

Have the following ingredients ready when you start:

  • Olive oil
  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice lime juice will work just as well
  • Garlic
  • Coriander powder

If you do not have fajita seasoning use:

How to Marinate Steak

So as with most marinades, you throw some ingredients together, add meat and let it sit in the fridge. This recipe is no exception.

  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together. I used a 9吉 baking dish because it had a tight fitting lid, but any large ziploc bag would be fine. Just be sure to set the bag on a plate or in a bowl to make sure it doesn’t leak into your fridge.
  2. Add in your meat and stir to coat. I cut my ribeye into cubes to create more surface area. More surface area means more flavor! No need to cut up a flank or skirt steak.
  3. Refrigerate 24 hours. Of course you don’t need to wait the full 24 hours, but the longer you let it sit the more delicious the meat becomes. 8-12 hours is acceptable too.
  4. Skewer your meat and prepare for the grill. I like letting my meat sit out for an hour or so. This will help it stay tender.
  5. Grill or cook your meat. Use a meat thermometer to take the internal temperature for accuracy. (I love this instant read one. It’s insanely accurate.)
  6. Once the meat is finished cooking, rest 10-15 minutes covered in foil, then serve and enjoy.


Place dried ancho and guajillo chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the jar of a blender and add chipotle peppers, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, cumin seed, coriander seed, and brown sugar. Blend until a smooth sauce has formed, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Transfer half of the salsa to a large bowl and the other half to a sealed container. Set aside the sealed container in the refrigerator.

Add an extra 2 teaspoons of salt to the salsa in the bowl. It should taste slightly saltier than is comfortable to taste. Add 1 piece of steak to bowl and turn to coat. Transfer to a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with the top folded over to prevent excess sauce and meat juices from contaminating the seal. Repeat with remaining steak, adding it all to the same bag. Pour any excess marinade over the steak. Squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the extra salsa from the fridge to allow it to warm up a little. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover if using a charcoal grill, leave exposed. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately, passing extra salsa, lime wedges, avocado, onions, cilantro, and tortillas on the side.