Best steak marinade recipe! Five simple ingredients are all you need to make this easy marinade. Includes directions that teach you how to marinade a steak for tender, juicy beef.
This easy steak marinade is a quick way to add so much flavor to your steak! The marinade itself if simple – just 5 pantry-staple ingredients (Want more marinade recipes? Check out 7 chicken marinades here).
Also, it takes just five minutes to stir the marinade up, and you can easily change the recipe up to suit your tastes.
Why you should marinate steak
- Tenderize: Marinades are a great way to quickly tenderize meat.
- Flavor: They add flavor to the steak.
- Caramelization: The sugar in the marinade helps to promote caramelization as the steak cooks.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce adds saltiness and a great umami flavor to the marinade. I use lite or reduced-sodium soy sauce to keep the saltiness from overpowering the marinade.
- Brown sugar: Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar will work in this recipe. I don’t pack it, but you could if you wanted sweeter marinade.
- Olive oil: Another type of neutral oil could be used in place of the olive oil.
- Montreal steak seasoning: Feel free to substitute your favorite brand of steak seasoning.
- Garlic: Garlic helps to add flavor to the steak.
How to marinate steak
It’s really simple to marinate a steak with this marinade!
Step 1: Mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Tip >> If you’re using a large sealable container, you can mix the marinade in the container.
Step 2: Add the marinade and the steak to a large resealable container.
Step 3: Place the container in the refrigerator and chill until ready to cook.
Tip>> I seal the container and flip it over for a minute or so to let the marinade coat the steak before placing it in the fridge.
- Pierce it. If you’re marinating a thick steak, piercing the steak can help the marinade to really get into the meat. I don’t recommend piercing thinner steak as that can cause it to lose juices as it cooks.
- Marinades need plenty of flavor. If you love garlic, feel free to add another clove or two to amp up the flavor.
- Give the bag a squeeze. If I’m using a baggie, I give it a couple squeezes to coat the meat in marinade before I put the baggie in the fridge. If you’re using a resealable container, give it a couple of flips (with the lid on tightly) to help coat the meat.
- Chill it. I recommend marinating the steak for between 2 and 24 hours. In order to avoid bacteria growth, chill the meat while marinating.
- Don’t re-use it. If you want to brush marinade onto the steak while cooking, make up a new batch. In order to avoid possible bacterial contamination, don’t re-use the marinade that the steak was in.
I recommend marinating the steak for between 2 and 24 hours with this recipe. Since this recipe doesn’t contain an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, you could leave the steak in the marinade for up to 48 hours. However, I don’t recommend marinating the steak for any longer than that.
It depends. It’s difficult to over-marinate a steak with this recipe because it doesn’t contain an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. However, if you use a different recipe that contains lemon juice or vinegar, you can end up with mushy steak if you leave the steak in the marinade for too long.
More easy beef recipes!
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Best Steak Marinade
- 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar not packed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak seasoning
- 1 clove garlic minced
- In a medium bowl, mix ingredients together until well-combined.
- Add marinade and steak to resealable container.
- Place container in the fridge, and chill until ready to cook.
- The marinade makes enough for about 2 ½ – 3 pounds of steak.
- I recommend marinating the steak for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- If you’re marinating a thick steak, piercing the steak will help the marinade to flavor the steak.
- I give the baggie a couple squishes or flip the (sealed) resealable container to help coat the meat in marinade before chilling.
- Nutrition values are estimates and do not take into account discarded marinade.
Originally published 4/30/18.
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