Whip up this quick and simple steak marinade to turn even the toughest cuts of beef into tender, flavorful steak recipes. This all-purpose easy marinade works great on lean, tough cuts, so you can have a juicy steak dinner, every time. 

Tender steak with medium rare center sliced for serving.

We’re not sure about you, but we grew up on steaks marinated in everything from bottled Italian dressing to the infamous A1 sauce, which worked to take cheap cuts that could feed the family into something palatable. 

A good marinade can take even the toughest cut of beef or any type of steak and help tenderize it and pack it full of rich flavor. And that’s what this all-purpose marinade is for; taking cheap cuts of beef and giving them the pop that makes them steakhouse quality steaks. That bargain ranch steak can give even a hand-trimmed filet mignon a run for the money when helped. 

Unlike our flank steak marinade, this is an all-purpose marinade with simple ingredients and subtle herbal flavors. It’s meant to be used simply to tenderize and add richness without greatly influencing the flavor profile. 

What’s so great about Marinated Steak?

The process of marinating meat has two jobs, to tenderize and to infuse richer flavor. The acidity of the marinade helps tenderize the steak while the salt, herbs, and other ingredients soak in and give it richness. This is why we use chicken marinade or a pork chop marinade as well, it works to tenderize all cuts of meat.

Marinades can help to lessen other flavors, like our buttermilk marinated venison steak. The buttermilk helps the deer meat taste less ‘gamey.’ This also works for other cuts of venison, lamb, or goat. 

In our pickle-brined chicken wings, a quick bath in vinegary pickle juice helps the wings to stay incredibly tender when cooked. 

If you are working with tougher cuts of beef, use this easy steak marinade recipe before cooking and finish it with one of our compound butter ideas while it rests for the best results. 

Ingredients for this easy marinade.

Simple Steak Marinade ingredients 

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon juice 
  • Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper – we use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper when cooking.
  • Fresh Rosemary or your favorite dried herbs

How to make Steak Marinade

  1. Smash the garlic. 
  2. Then, simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
The marinade ingredients in bowl.

How to use this Tenderizing Steak Marinade

  1. Pour the marinade over the steaks or into a resealable plastic bag and massage over the steak to coat. 
  2. Let the steak marinate for at least 30 minutes. 
  3. Most standard 3 oz portions of steak can do with a quick marinade, but some need a little longer. 4 to 6 hours is our maximum time for marinating steaks. After that, we find the texture of the beef can become soft and mushy, which is undesirable. 
Two steaks in a resealable bag coated in the marinade.

When ready to cook, remove the marinated steak from the liquid and discard the leftovers. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and cook as desired. 

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tip 

  • Marinate the steak in a resealable Ziploc bag or glass container. Avoid metal pans or trays, as the acid in the marinade can react with the metal causing additional undesired flavors. 
  • Always marinate meat and steaks in the refrigerator.
  • If using a marinade with sugars in it, remember that it can help with a nice sear but also can burn when the sugars caramelize on the heat of the grill pan or cast iron skillet. 

How to store Steak Tenderizer Marinade

Make this in batches and store what you wont use in a resealable glass jar or airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge. Give it a good shake or stir to mix things up before adding your steak to marinate.

Marinated Steak FAQs

What types of steak should I marinate?

Tough cuts that are lean with coarse grain and muscle fibers are perfect for this homemade steak marinade. They often come from the shoulder or rear primal, the working areas of the animal. 
Flank steak
Top round 
Merlot Steak 
Ranch Steak 
Chuck steaks 
Flat iron  

What cuts of steak don’t need to be marinated? 

Cuts that are already rich in flavor do not need to be marinated. These often come from the midsection, the rib area of the animal. 
Ribeye
Strip steaks 
Porterhouse or T-bone 
Top Sirloin steaks 
Filet Mignon should also not be marinated. It is lean, but a marinade can quickly cause it to become mushy because it is already such a tender cut. 

How much marinade should I use? 

Marinade recipes are easily scaled. Figure about a ½ cup of marinade per pound of meat to rub evenly all over the meat. Scale the recipe up for your steak recipe from there as needed for more steaks or bigger cuts, like London broil. 

Can I reuse marinade? 

No. It is best to discard any marinade after it has soaked with raw meat it and make a fresh batch the next time you need one. 

Grilled chuck steaks on a platter.

Pan-Seared Steak Recipes 

Steak Marinade Simple variations

This is the best steak marinade recipe for adapting with whatever pantry staples you have on hand for a succulent tender steak. Swap the rosemary for Italian seasoning or other fresh herbs. Use garlic powder instead of fresh, and jazz it up with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Don’t overthink it! If you’ve tried this recipe and even added your own spin, be sure to rate the recipe and drop a comment below. 

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Steak Marinade (Simple) Recipe

5 from 27 votes
Prep: 35 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Steak marinating in a plastic bag on a table.
Elevate your steak experience with our versatile all-purpose basic steak marinade, designed to tenderize and infuse mouthwatering flavors into budget cuts. This simple yet impactful recipe will turn your ordinary steak into a restaurant-quality meal right at home.

Ingredients  

  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary

Instructions 

  • On a clean cutting board, smash the garlic by pressing down on it with the palm of your hand.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl
  • Pour the marinade over the steaks or into a resealable plastic bag and massage over the steak to coat.
  • Let the steak marinate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 6 hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove the tender steak from the marinade and discard the leftovers.
  • Pat the steak dry with paper towels and cook as desired.

Notes

Most standard 3 oz portions of steak can do with a quick marinade, but some need a little longer. 4 to 6 hours is our maximum time for marinating steaks. After that, we find the texture of the beef can become soft and mushy, which is undesirable.
Marinate the steak in a resealable Ziploc bag or glass container. Avoid metal pans or trays, as the acid in the marinade can react with the metal causing additional undesired flavors.
Always marinate meat and steaks in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 27 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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