This is a simple but magical beef steak marinade that adds juiciness and flavour into steaks, transforming good value steaks from just ok to “wow!”. It injects extra flavour without overpowering the natural flavour of beef, and makes the meat tender.
Use this beef marinade when you aren’t splurging on prime-grade steaks. It works great on any cut of beef suitable for grilling!
Beef Steak Marinade
Steaks are like wine – the more you spend, the better they are. Juicier, more flavour, more tender, no random bits of sinew throughout.
And as much as we’d all like to be able to splurge on premium quality beef every time we have a hankering for steak, the reality is that most ordinary folk cannot.
But you can turn every day beef steaks into something that tastes as good as a premium cut (in my humble opinion) by using a great beef steak marinade!
This steak marinade makes steaks juicier and enhances the flavour rather than overpowering the natural flavour of beef!
It’s actually easy to make marinades that infuse flavour into steaks. But it’s harder to make marinades that enhance without adding too much flavour into the steak. You want the steak to taste mainly of (gasp, shock horror!) BEEF. Not overwhelmed by marinade flavour!
What goes in Beef Steak Marinade
Here’s what you need for the Steak Marinade. Use this marinade for any economical steak – do not use for expensive steaks, that would be a waste!!
Here’s why this combination of ingredients makes your steak plump, juicy and adds flavour:
- Balsamic vinegar – the tenderising ingredient, because it’s acidic (which breaks down meat fibres);
- Soy sauce – the salty liquid to act as the brine so the steak retains moisture. It does not make this steak taste Asiany, we only use a bit!
- Dijon Mustard – a touch of flavour and to thicken the marinade slightly so it coats the steak better (thus marinates it more effectively, rather than having to worry about turning the steak regularly);
- Flavour – all the other ingredients! Worcestershire is pretty intense in flavour so you only need a bit to add savoury flavour into things.
How to marinate steak
I always marinate my steak in ziplock bags which I acknowledge is not environmentally friendly, but it is the most effective way to marinade steak because it keeps the steak evenly coated with a relatively small amount of marinade.
If you want to use a container instead, use a glass or other non reactive container and I would recommend doubling the marinade.
How long to marinate steak
12 to 24 hours is best. You can also freeze it immediately – then it will marinate as it thaws!
Pan fry or grill it, and marvel at how JUICY and FLAVOURFUL your steak is!!
The steak marinade injects enough flavour into the steak such that you don’t need to serve this with a sauce. But I couldn’t resist adding a smidge of garlic butter on top!
As for sides, it’s pictured with buttered baby potatoes and a classic Rocket/Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan. Here are some more suggestions for great sides!
Sides for Steak Dinner
So….who’s in the mood for a STEAK DINNER now? 🙂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Beef Steak Marinade
Recipe video above. This is a marinade to transform good value steaks by making them juicier, more tender and adding a hint of flavour while not overpowering the flavour of the beef. With this marinade, you won’t need a sauce for the beef, though I can never resist some garlic butter!
- 2 steaks (, economical (Note 1))
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic ((1 large garlic clove))
- 1/2 tsp onion powder ((or sub with garlic powder))
- 1 tbsp soy sauce ((Note 2))
- 1 tbsp oil ((I use olive oil, but any oil is fine))
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper
- Mix together mustard, garlic and onion powder. Then mix in remaining ingredients.
- Place beef in a ziplock bag with Marinade and marinade overnight (12 – 24 hours).
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Shake off excess marinade.
Heat skillet (or BBQ) on high heat until is really hot – you should see wisps of smoke. Add oil – it will heat almost instantly.
Add steaks and cook the first side for 2 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes (for medium rare 52C/125F, chart below for other doneness temps)). (Note 3)
- Remove from skillet onto a WARM plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside for 5 minutes.
Serve! I couldn’t resist garlic butter – see recipe in notes.
1. Choosing steak: Use this for any good value cut of steak, not prime cuts. Typically, most steak cuts purchased in supermarkets are what I would consider good value steaks. Basically, the more you pay, the better the steak!
And remember, it’s not just the steak cut that determine quality. There are different grades for the same cut of steak. Rib Eye at my butcher costs almost twice as much as it does at the supermarket. I would never marinade the one from the butcher!
Make sure you use a GRILLING steak. Any cut of steak suitable for grilling is great for this.
2. Soy sauce – use an all purpose, normal soy sauce. I use Kikkoman. Do not use light soy sauce (too salty), tamari or dark soy sauce (too much flavour)
3.Internal temperature of cooked steak. The most popular (and my personal preference) is medium rare. Cook times differ drastically depending on how thick your cut is.
4. Garlic butter: 100g / 1 stick unsalted softened butter, 1 small garlic clove very finely minced (using crusher is best), 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley. Mix together, place on baking paper to form a log. Roll up then twist ends tightly repeatedly until it forms a neat log. Refrigerate until firm, cut to serve.
5. Nutrition per serving for a 400g/14oz bone in steak (T-bone, ~300g/10oz exc bone), excluding butter.
Originally published June 2016. Updated February 2020 with new photos and brand new video! No change to recipe.
My favourite back-pocket marinades
These are the ones I use over and over again, made with pantry staples with lots of sub options!
- Just a great Chicken Marinade
- Italian Dressing Chicken Marinade
- Asian Chicken Marinade
- A Great Pork Chop Marinade
- Rosemary Garlic Marinated Lamb Chops
And more steak recipes
- Garlic Thyme Butter Basted Steak – a simple, amazing Cheffy technique for cooking steak
- Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- Steak with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce – excellent with steak!
- Mushroom Gravy – this is a seared chicken recipe, just switch the chicken with steak. And another gravy option – Onion Gravy
Life of Dozer
Suffice to say he didn’t stray too far the whole time I was photographing and filming this steak….😂