The Best Steak Marinade Recipe

This is a fabulously easy steak marinade! Fix it and forget it until the next day, then fire up the grill to BBQ!

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There is nothing like an awesome steak marinade recipe to start out your barbecue season. Fix this steak marinade and forget it until you are ready to BBQ, marinating your steak before cooking is the easiest way to get a full-flavoured steak. It is especially delicious when you BBQ the steak up, adding in that charcoal BBQ taste that we all know and love. I’m updating this recipe from 2009, it’s still as delicious as it was all that time ago and it’s a keeper! 

T-Bone Steak marinated and BBQ'd with sliced mini potatoes

How to Make Steak Marinade

To be honest, I am still searching, nay, questing, for a pepper crusted steak/roast recipe that rivals the one I had years ago,  we had the most fantastic peppered/salted buffalo steak ever. I am in full on search mode for it! However, during my travels I whipped up this steak marinade and decided to give it a try since I have a lot of steak in my freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 steaks of your choice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 /2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar, to taste

How to Make a Steak Marinade Video

Steak Marinating 101

What do you marinate steak in to make it tender and why?

Marinating your steak is good for many reasons and a steak marinade doesn’t have to be a complex thing. You usually will want an oil and then mix it with other sauces ( like soy or Worcestershire sauce) to flavour it. There are many good reasons to marinate your steak:

  1. It helps flavour your steaks without you having to slather it in sugar laden BBQ sauce.
  2. It’s lighter and healthier than most of the BBQ sauces out there.
  3. It uses olive oil which is good for you.
  4. Marinating steaks helps the meat fibers break down slightly which results in a more tender steak. Watch out for marinating too long however that can make your steaks go tough!
sliced Marinated then Barbecued T-Bone steak with sliced mini potatoes
T-Bone Steak marinated and BBQ’d

How long should I marinate the steak for?

You should marinate it for 2-3 hours, but I like to marinate it overnight simply because it’s easier for me to prep the night before for supper the next day.

Is Beer a Good Marinade for Steak?

Yes, it is! It adds a really nice flavour to the steak. You can add in some beer to taste with this marinade! Use a lighter beer, not a dark ale for the best taste results.

How do I marinate steak?

You need an oil, soy, usually Worcestershire sauce for that beefy flavour and herbs and spices. You do NOT need salt, although salting the steak with some flaked sea salt at the end of BBQ-ing is a trick I love to bring out the flavour. You mix the marinade ingredients together then place the steak in a plastic Ziploc ( the bag has to seal), a plastic lidded container or even just a flat pan like my Pyrex one below. If you don’t have a lid you can wrap the top with Saran Wrap. You then can leave it all day, but I like to flip the steaks every half an hour for two hours to marinate all the sides.

T-Bone steaks in the steak marinade in white pan
T-Bone steaks in the steak marinade in white pan

Can a Steak be Over Marinated?

YES! If you use an acidic based marinade, you can make your steaks TOUGHER! A good rule of thumb is to leave out major acids when you are marinating a good quality steak overnight (a lot of recipes use lemon juice) because the acids can make it tough instead of breaking down the meat fibres like it’s supposed to. If you are marinating for 2-4 hours, you can use lemon juice or another acid in your marinade. I don’t use lemon juice or acids because I prefer to buy good quality steaks, like the T-Bone Steaks in the photos.

Close up of sliced Marinated then Barbecued T-Bone steak
Close up of sliced Marinated then Barbecued T-Bone steak

 Karlynn’s Tips & Tricks for Making a Great Steak Marinade

  1. Don’t overdo the acids and if you have good quality steak to start, you aren’t going to need the acids at all. Remember that if you are marinating overnight or all day, skip the acids as they can toughen up your steak and you could possibly ruin a good rib eye or T-Bone!
  2. Adjust the seasonings to your liking before you pour it onto the steaks. I sometimes add more garlic if my dad’s coming for dinner!
  3. Add in some beer or some red wine, it really makes a great marinade! Just add it in to taste.
  4. You don’t really need more spices than what is in this marinade, let’s face it, the soy, Worcestershire and garlic are the main components that completely take over the taste. This is fast, simple and you will have the spices in your cupboard. I find that rosemary can hold it’s own, however and it is a great herb with steak, trust me!
  5. You DO need just that tiny bit of sugar to balance out the marinade. You should always have a balance of sweet, salt and savoury for the best tasting steak marinade otherwise it tastes flat.

Do you need some other steak recipes? Try some of my favourites!

  1. Steak Oscar
  2. Crockpot Flatiron Steak
  3. Sour Cream Steak Enchiladas

This is such a good steak marinade recipe and it  has been my go-to recipe over the years, it’s so easy and very adaptable to your liking!

Happy grilling everyone!


The Best Steak Marinade Recipe

This is a fabulously easy steak marinade! Fix it and forget it until the next day, then fire up the grill to BBQ!
5 from 21 votes
sliced Marinated then Barbecued T-Bone steak with sliced mini potatoes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Main Course
14 servings
Karlynn Johnston


  • 4 steaks of your choice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 /2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar, to taste


  • Place steaks in a large lidded plastic container or a large sealing Ziploc bag. 
  • Whisk together the marinade ingredients. 
  • Pour the steak marinade over the steaks.
  • Let marinate in the fridge for 2-8 hours.
  • To cook, heat up the grill or barbeque.  Remove the steaks from the marinade. Cook steaks until preferred doneness.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Add in 1-2 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar if you are wanting to break down the meat fibers in cheaper cuts of steak, but remember to not marinate them for too long or it will just toughen the meat.
This is an easily adapted steak marinade recipe, you can adjust the taste to your liking! The nutritional info is the marinade ONLY!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 79kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 511mg, Potassium: 56mg, Vitamin A: 5IU, Vitamin C: 0.8mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Toni says

    I used this on Petite Sirloin Steaks and broiled them. I marinated them just under 2 hours. They turned out fabulous and were so tender. The family loved them!
    I printed the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this.5 stars

  2. Teresa sonnenberg says

    Just tried the recipe tonight and grilled the steak,Very good recipe the whole family enjoyed.

  3. Deborah Schomer says

    I don’t care for rosemary, could you recommend a substitute for it? Thank you.

  4. Julie O'Hagan says

    I am wondering what cut of steak you used. Would this work well with flank steak?5 stars

5 from 21 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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