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5 Beef Steak Marinades

We’ve previously covered how to cook the perfect steak at home, as well as some of the most popular steak sauces and steak sides. Now that BBQ season is underway we have decided to go through some of our favourite marinades to use for grilling a beef steak, be it a sirloin, ribeye, flat iron, bavette, or even a more adventurous Côte de Boeuf or T-Bone steak. Our steaks are fantastic grilled simply with salt and black pepper, but if you want to kick up the flavours a notch or are looking for something a bit different read on to have a look at our recipes for BBQ steak marinades.

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If you want to find out more about marinades and how they work, have a look at our Guide to Marinades and How to Marinate.

When you marinade a steak you want to make sure that the flavours have plenty of time to seep in and add a depth and tenderness to your steak. The optimal amount of time is a few hours to overnight. Leaving your steak to marinade overnight is also the perfect way of saving time preparing your steaks on the day, which if you are entertaining guests can save on both time and stress. Many of our BBQ recipe ideas here can also be made to marinade overnight or completely made in advance so have a look for more BBQ recipe ideas.

You can use these steak marinades for any type of steak, and as marinating steak adds both flavour and tenderness they work particularly well on all cuts. The more tender your cut of steak however, the less time you will need to marinade it for.

You can use most types of oil for these marinades, as long as they do not have too strong a flavour and also do not have too low a smoke point. This is because too strong a flavour may negatively balance the flavours of your marinade, and a smoke point refers to when the oil starts to smoke at a certain temperature and is no longer ideal for cooking with. We recommend using olive oil for this reason, although do not use virgin or extra virgin olive oil as these do not perform particularly well when grilling meat at the high temperatures needed for a perfect steak.

For these recipes all you need to do is tip all of your ingredients together into a bowl, mix thoroughly until fully combined, then place both the marinade and your steaks into a sandwich bag and tie tightly. You may wish to stab your steaks lightly with a fork to allow for the marinade to penetrate deeper, but leaving overnight to marinade will also work. Massage the marinade into the steaks, then place in the fridge for a few hours up to overnight. Each of these marinades is enough to flavour two steaks.


Easy 3 ingredient steak marinade

It doesn’t get much simpler than this marinade. Despite only having three ingredients, this marinade packs a lot of flavour into steaks while also being incredibly easy. The three ingredients balance each other out well, providing a depth of flavour with a lot of complexity that is both sweet and salty. You won’t need to add salt to this as the soy sauce will provide plenty.


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce


Simple steak marinade

This marinade is based on the one above but with a few added touches for a little bit more flavour. With just a few more added ingredients you can really elevate a simple steak marinade into something that is quite spectacular.


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • Generous sprinkling of black pepper
  • Generous sprinkling of rosemary


Beer Steak Marinade

Beer is a very popular marinade for beef steaks. Not only does it add a lot of flavour, beer also breaks down the tissue of the meat to make it more tender and the sugars from the honey also help a nice crust to form when grilling. You can use any type of beer you like, but darker beer is preferred as it gives a much deeper flavour. Guinness, ale, or stout are your best options and this marinade gives you a lot of scope to experiment.


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


Mexican Steak Marinade (Carne Asada)

Also known as Carne Asada, this marinade is perfect for a Mexican style steak dinner using our Picanha or Fajita steak, and also works well on our bavette steak and hanger steak. This dish is herby, zesty, and just a little bit spicy. All you need to do is marinade your steak, grill to your preference, then slice up and serve by itself or with salad, in tacos, or with grilled vegetables.


  • 3 tbsp fresh finely chopped coriander
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 orange, juiced, throw out the rind
  • 1 lime, juiced, throw out the rind
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, finely chopped (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of white or red wine vinegar


Red Wine Steak Marinade

Red wine is a perfect accompaniment to steak, both as a basis for an excellent sauce, gravy or jus, but also as a pairing. With this marinade you can infuse those fantastic flavours into your steak and also allow the steak to become even more tender before you cook it. This simple marinade has a lot of flavour that goes perfectly with any and all beef steaks.


  • 8 tbsp red wine, any red wine will work and and will flavour your meat slightly differently depending on whether your wine has a smokier or fruitier base
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp back pepper
  • 1 tbsp rosemary