Great Marinade Recipes For Beef

Good marinade recipes let you turn even the most inexpensive cut of steak into a memorable meal.

marinated steak

Why use a steak marinade?

There are several good reasons:

  • to improve the flavor of the meat

    A good marinade will enhance that wonderful beef flavor while adding an interesting flavor of its own.

  • to tenderize the steak

    Using a marinade will make even tougher, less expensive cuts of beef tender. They'll be easy to cut and to chew.

  • to reduce any health risks

    You've probably heard that eating a lot of barbecued food has been associated with certain cancers. Cooking meat at high temperatures creates harmful chemicals that affect our health. Marinating meat may reduce this risk.

Why make your own homemade marinade?

There are lots of commercial bottled marinades available, but mixing your own makes a lot of sense. Here's why.

  • It's cheaper.

  • You use fresh and natural ingredients. Read the label on a typical bottle of marinade and you'll find a list of additives and preservatives that you might prefer to avoid!

  • You can personalize the recipe for your family. You can make your marinade just as spicy or sweet as you choose. If there are allergies in your family, as there are in mine, you can ensure that none of the problem ingredients are in your marinade.

  • You can make exactly as much as you need for today's meal. When I used to buy prepared sauces, I regularly threw out half-empty bottles that I found at the back of the fridge. Making my own marinade ensures that I am not wasting food - or money.

How to Create Your Own Marinade

The best steak marinade recipe is the one that you create yourself! Try my marinade recipes to get yourself started, but once you realize how easy they are you'll probably want to start experimenting and creating your own. It's simple!

A great marinade has the following elements:

  • an acid (vinegar, citrus juice, yogurt, wine)

  • a vegetable oil (olive, sunflower, canola, sesame ...)

  • salt (salt, tamari, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, miso)

  • flavoring (onion, garlic, ginger - or spices like oregano, tarragon, basil, curry, pepper …)

Have fun combining these elements to create your own signature steak marinade!

Here are some easy steak marinade recipes to get you started. I have tried them all, and they are delicious!

Each makes enough for about 2 pounds/1 kg of meat.

The directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  • Put the steak into either a baking dish or a plastic freezer bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the steak.
  • Marinate for at least 2 hours - the longer the better!

Basic Steak Marinade

1/4 cup/60 mL red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp/15 mL vegetable oil

1 Tbsp/15 mL tamari

1/4 cup/60 mL minced onion

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Balsamic Marinade Recipe

2 Tbsp/30 mL balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp/30 mL olive oil

2 Tbsp/30 mL soy sauce

2 Tbsp/30 mL Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Honey-Sesame Marinade

2 tsp/10 mL red wine

2 Tbsp/30 mL vegetable oil

1 tsp/5 mL sesame oil

2 Tbsp/30 mL soy sauce

1 tsp/5 mL liquid honey

dash of pepper


  • Don't use a metal bowl for mixing the marinade. Use glass or plastic.

  • If you are marinating the steak in a baking dish, turn it occasionally so that both sides soak evenly.

  • Be sure to discard the liquid when you are done marinating. Since it has been in contact with raw meat, it cannot be used as a sauce.

    Return from marinade recipes to summer recipes.

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