Steak Marinade

7 reviews

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This Steak Marinade is the perfect marinade for any steak you’re planning on grilling or smoking. It infuses the meat with a classic steak flavor that beautifully compliments the richness of the beef. If you’re looking for a nice, well-rounded marinade for your steak, then this is a true winner.

Beef roast on black serving platter. Text reads "Steak Marinade".

Best Steak Marinade

I’m not kidding when I say this is the best steak marinade. This marinade compliments everything from flank steak to skirt steak, and even rib eye steak. Whatever steak you plan on grilling, this marinade will be there to add some amazing flavor. Many steak marinades are overpowering and cover up the beefy flavor of the steak, but this one enhances the flavor of the beef while tenderizing and making cooking the steak a breeze.

Like all good marinades, it contains 5 key elements that ensure your meat cooks up tender, juicy, and tasting completely incredible:

  • Fat. Fat prevents the acid from breaking down the protein in the meat.
  • Acid. Adding acid helps to tenderize the meat.
  • Sugar. Sugar balances out the flavors in the marinade.
  • Salt. Including salt adds a savory element to your marinade.
  • Herbs and spices. This addition brings in a unique flavor profile to the marinade.

This marinade is packed with umami richness. The red wine vinegar is light and fresh, the Worcestershire sauce was practically made to compliment beef, and the fresh thyme and minced garlic are always delicious when paired with rich beef. Honey brings a sweet element to the marinade to help balance out the flavor, while the olive oil provides much-needed fat for flavor.

Should You Marinate Steak?

While you don’t have to marinate your steak, a marinade is extremely helpful for adding flavor and tenderness to some cheaper cuts of steak. If you are looking for a way to add flavors that you wouldn’t be able to get in a dry rub, then you should marinate steak. Liquid seasonings like soy sauce, citrus juices, and vinegars are great flavors to add to rich steak that you can only utilize in a wet marinade.

This marinade was made to compliment many cuts of beef. I recommend firing up your favorite grill and trying this marinade on flank, flap, or skirt steak. It’s also great with top round steaks (London broil), sirloin steaks, and my new favorite, the chuck eye steak. Chuck eye steaks are often referred to as the “poor man’s ribeye,” and they’re coming into more grocery stores lately. I recommend avoiding more expensive cuts like ribeyes, New York, and tenderloins when using this marinade.

Ingredients in white bowls and in piles on black countertop.

Quick Steak Marinade Ingredients

This quick steak marinade only contains 9 ingredients, many of which you’re likely to have in your pantry. Talk about an easy dinner option. The ingredients in this marinade help to tenderize the meat, add additional fat and salt, and, of course, introduce amazing flavor into the steak from the fresh herbs, garlic, and seasonings.

Here’s what you’ll need to gather, and then you’re ready to make this steak marinade:

  • 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
Beef roast in zip top bag.

How to Marinate Steak

Marinating steak is a simple process that yields delicious results. Follow these steps and you’ll turn out perfectly marinated steaks:

  1. Make marinade. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, thyme leaves, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes until well combined.
  2. Mix and massage. Place the steaks in a zip-top bag or non-reactive glass container, and then pour the marinade over the steaks. Then, massage or toss to ensure the meat is evenly coated on all sides.
  3. Marinate steaks. Place the marinating steaks in the refrigerator and allow them to marinate for at least 4-8 hours. This marinade will cover approximately 1 pound of steak, so if you have larger amounts of steak, double or triple the recipe.
  4. Grill. After marinating, remove the steaks from the marinade and discard the remaining liquid. Grill the steaks over high heat to your desired doneness, allowing them to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Quick note: This marinade will cover approximately 1 pound of steak, so if you have larger amounts of steak that you are marinating, you will need to double or triple the recipe.

Steak on grill grates.

How Long Should I Marinate Steak?

I recommend marinating steak for a minimum of 4 hours to allow all the flavor to coat and penetrate the meat well. You can marinate this steak for up to 8 hours. I generally avoid marinating steaks longer than 8 hours. If your marinade has a lot of acidic elements, that can change the texture of the steak by breaking down protein structures within the meat, and marinating more than 8 hours can make the meat turn powdery, mealy, and dry. 

A quick rule of thumb is if you have thinner cuts of steak, opt for marinating them for a shorter amount of time. Thinner steaks can marinade rather quickly, but I typically plan a minimum of AT LEAST 1 hour (but 3-4 hours will produce a better flavor). For thicker steaks, 4-8 hours is common practice. The longer your steak sits in the marinade, the stronger the flavor becomes.

Grilled steak on black serving platter.

Steak Marinade Recipes

If you love steaks that have been lovingly marinated in delicious herbs and spices before placed on the grill, you’re sure to love these other marinade recipes from Hey Grill Hey:

Easy Steak Marinade Recipe

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Steak Marinade

By: Susie Bulloch (
5 from 7 votes
This is the best Steak Marinade for tender, flavorful grilled steaks. It's easily made with simple ingredients, and perfect for any steak.
Prep Time5 minutes
Marinate Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes



  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves minced garlic


  • Make the marinade. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a zip top bag or a non-reactive glass bowl.
    ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup honey, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 5 sprigs fresh thyme, 5 cloves minced garlic
  • Mix and massage. Place the steak in the marinade, and massage or toss the steak to ensure it is evenly coated on all sides.
  • Marinate the steaks. Place the bag or container of marinating steak in the refrigerator and allow the steak to marinate for 4-8 hours. Smaller steaks can marinate for 4 hours, thicker cuts can marinate for 6-8 hours.
  • Grill. Remove steaks from marinade and grill to desired doneness.


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

15 Reviews

  1. Judy says:

    Made for tip steak and marinated for 2 hrs delicious!

  2. Scott Christianson says:

    You always have great ideas and they are easy to add to and adapt for those who can’t have all the salt or those with diabetes.

  3. Matthew Haraway says:

    Could I use apple cider vinegar instead of red wine?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      You could totally do that. Just keep in mind apple cider vinegar has a stronger flavor.

  4. Florence says:

    Very good, easy and very tasty. Thank you for creating sharing.

  5. Wendy says:

    Made this the other evening. I didn’t have honey but I had maple syrup on hand. Only used 1/3 cup , as maple syrup is sweeter. My husband said the steaks were out of this world… thanks for sharing…

    1. Wendy says:

      Sorry I meant 3 Tbsp of maple syrup …

  6. Andrew says:

    Thank you!!! This was amazing

  7. Cindy says:

    Used this on venison steaks. I didn’t have fresh thyme so used dried thyme leaves. I put them in the marinade before I left for work and fried them up when I got home. They were so good! No leftovers! I will definitely use again.

  8. Taras Yasinski says:

    Looks so tasty!

  9. doug basmajian says:

    Why do you say to avoid ribeye’s and new yorks? They are some of the best steaks

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Marinades are typically reserved for less-than-optimal cuts of meat. Ribeyes and New York strips generally don’t fall into that category.

      1. Paul says:

        Would it hurt doing ribeye

        1. Hey Grill Hey says:

          This will work great with ribeyes!

  10. Hhhh says:

    Sweet looks yummy