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posted August 12, 2019

Steak Marinade

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, this is a true winner. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe card. This one’s a keeper!

Grilled marinated steak on a cutting board.

Best Steak Marinade

I’m not kidding when I say this is the best steak marinade. Ever. This marinade was made to compliment everything from flank steak to skirt steak to 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. This one won’t do that. It’ll enhance 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 to the marinade helps to tenderize the meat.
  • Sugar. Sugar helps to balance out the flavors in the marinade.
  • Salt. You need salt in your marinade to add a savory element.
  • Herbs and Spices. The addition of herbs and spices 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, and 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. You should marinate steak if you are looking for a way to add flavors that you wouldn’t be able to get in a dry rub. 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 steak, skirt steak, 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 avoid more expensive cuts like ribeyes, New York, and tenderloins when using this marinade.

Steak marinating in plastic bag with visible pieces of garlic and thyme.

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 introduces amazing flavor into the steak from the fresh herbs, garlic, and seasonings.

Here’s what you’ll need for your steak marinade (more details on this marinate are available in the printable recipe card below):

  • 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

Marinated steak cooking on a grill.

How to Marinate Steak

Marinating steak is a great way to prepare your steak before grilling. Once you have all your ingredients assembled, it is important to marinate your steak in an appropriate vessel. I prefer a plastic zip top bag because it allows me to press out all the air, and I can ensure that the marinade is on all sides of the steak. You can use a glass or a non-reactive bowl to marinate the steak; you will just need to toss and turn the steaks a few times while marinating to ensure they are well-coated.

To marinate your steak, place your steak and all ingredients in zip-top bag or non-reactive glass container. Massage or toss the meat in the marinade to ensure it is evenly coated on all sides. Place the marinating steak in the refrigerator and allow the steak to marinate for at least 4-8 hours.

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.

Grilled and marinated steak on a wooden cutting board

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 meal 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.

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.

Marinate and Grilled Flank Steak
Grilled Marinated London Broil Recipe
Marinated London Broil with Cilantro Gremolata

Easy Steak Marinade Recipe

Steak Marinade

Susie Bulloch (
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.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Marinate Time : 4 hours
Total Time : 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings : 4
Calories : 316kcal



  • 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.
  • 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
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