Add Acid But Not Too Much
Acid helps tenderize tough connective tissueswhich my favorite steaks have plenty ofbut too much acid will actually cook and toughen the meat, turning it weird and chalky. To prevent this from happening, use equal parts or less acid to oil.
You can always add more acid later, but you can’t take it away. So though you can add up to as much acid as oil, I like to start with less, just to be safe. For two pounds of steak I usually start by whisking together 1/4 cup of acid and 1/2 cup of oil. What kind of acid you use depends on how you want it to tasteyou could use a fresh fruit juice such as lemon juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice, or you could use any kind of vinegar such as balsamic, apple cider, or rice vinegar. Your acid could also come in the form of wine, beer, buttermilk, yogurt, or even puréed onions and garlic. I love a classic combo of olive oil and balsamic on a juicy hanger steak.
Salt For Even More Tenderness & Extra Flavor
Salt further aids in tenderizing the meat, while also adding an important flavor aspect. Interestingly, the salt also plays an important role by drawing existing moisture out of the steak. This might seem like the opposite of what a marinade is supposed to do, but it actually helps to make the meat more flavorful. When the moisture thats already present is removed, the meat responds by soaking up more of the liquid from the marinade. This is one reason to make sure that the meat is completely submerged while marinating. We always recommend using a high quality salt like sea salt, kosher salt or Himalayan pink salt. You can also use a salty liquid like soy sauce or tamari.
How To Tell When A Steak Is Done
It comes down to personal preference to know when a steak is done. But remember there is a recommend safe temperature from the USDA of 145 degrees to kill off any harmful bacteria.
To tell when its done to your liking always use an instant read thermometer and insert the thermometer through the side of the steak horizontally and go to the center of thickest portion. Keep in mind color isnt always the best way to judge doneness as some steaks are just naturally lighter than others to begin with, and you dont want to cut into a steak during cooking or youll lose some of the juices.
Here is a list of steak doneness by temperature to refer too:
Rare: 125 130
Medium rare: 130 135 degrees
Medium: 135 145 degrees
Medium well: 145 150 degrees
Well: 150 160 degrees
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Why Is My Steak Tough And Chewy
The muscle fibers in meat have to be broken down and the proteins turned into gelatin in order to make meat tender. This happens very quickly over high heat with tender cuts of steak like filet mignon, but tougher cuts of meat require slow cooking, usually in some sort of liquid to keep them from drying out.
How Long Does Steak Need To Marinate
You should always marinate steak for a minimum of 2 hours, but overnight is best. You can also store your steak and marinades long-term in the freezer, if desired. Lay the soaking meat down flat in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Remove your steak from the freezer the night before you plan to cook it and allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Once its thawed, cook it according to the instructions below.
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Essential Steak Marinade Ingredients
You can whip up a fast, flavorful homemade marinade using pantry staples. The best marinades balance fat, acid, salt, sugar and aromatics to infuse the meat with intense flavor.
Here are the key ingredients in our perfectly balanced steak marinade recipe:
- Olive oil: Since most marinade steaks tend to be lean, a fat, like olive oil, helps keep the steak moist and juicy.
- Lime juice: Citrus functions as an acid that tenderizes the steak and infuses it with a great flavor.
- White wine vinegar: This secondary acid further helps break down the meats connective tissue to make it tender.
- Salt: Salt is critical to a good marinade. It helps tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor, and also helps the steak absorb the marinade.
- Honey: Something sweet balances the flavors of a marinade and helps the meat caramelize for a tasty char on the outside.
How To Store And Reheat Leftovers
Store cooled steak in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. I recommend keeping it on the bottom shelf in case any juices leak out of the container during storage. Be sure its not too full in this case, its better to use two separate containers so the steak has room to breathe.
To reheat leftover steak, place it in the middle rack of a 250°F oven. Cook it for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 110°F. Then, sear your meat in a pan filled with hot oil for about a minute on each side. The internal temperature of your steak should reach 125°F before you consume it.
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How Do You Know Your Steak Is Done
Everyone loves their steak done to different degrees and using a thermometer is the way to go to make sure you cook it just right. Remember too, when your steak is taken off the heat it will continue to cook for a minute or two, raising the temperature about 2-4 degrees more. I often remove my meat right before it reaches that perfect temp.
Best Ways To Cook Marinated Steak
- Grilling is my favorite way to cook steak
- Using a skillet is my backup method, if I cant get outside to grill I will take out a skillet and keep an eye on it
- My biggest tip if you need to use a skillet or griddle is to make sure you seal in the moisture by lightly cooking each side and edge first and then allowing heat to cook through the meat thickness. You could take your steak out of the marinade and do this step first then take it to the grill as well.
- Recommended temperatures for steak: Rare 125° F, Medium Rare 135° F, Medium 145° F , Medium Well 150° F, Well Done 160°F. I prefer my steak to be Medium to Medium Well as it will continue to cook for a few minutes while it rests and I feel it will start to get tough the closer to Well Done it gets.
- Which cuts of steak do you want? There is a bit of personal preference in this one, but you want a thick cut with a good balance of marbling and a good section of the cow for tenderness these are the cuts I would recommend: T-Bone, Porterhouse, Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, Top Sirloin, New York Strip, Skirt Steak, and Flank Steak.
- Another tip I will add here, once you have chosen your cut of steak, dont cut it again until it is done cooking and resting. The butcher knows exactly how to cut it for optimum quality, if you are going to split it up do so after cooking.
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Ways To Use Your Steak
There are tons of yummy ways to serve your steak after its been cooked below are some ideas that go wonderfully with pretty much all of the marinades.
- Make Burrito Bowls: Served over a bed of fluffy cauliflower rice, these Steak Burrito Bowls are filled with fresh bell peppers, creamy avocado, zesty lime juice and more.
- Add it to Salad: Steak salads always make a satisfying dinner. But this Asian Sesame Steak Fajita Salad is on another level! Plus, its super quick and easy to throw together with leftover steak.
- Make Lettuce Wraps: You have to try wrapping your steak up in a lettuce leaf with some hearty, wholesome veggies. This low-carb recipe for Steak Lettuce Wraps will give you some inspiration!
How To Make Steak Marinade
This easy steak marinade literally comes together in seconds! Heres a summary of how to make it:
- Make the marinade. Pour all of the ingredients into a gallon sized plastic bag. Mix to combine.
- Add the steaks and turn to coat. Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Cook & enjoy. Discard the marinade, blot the steaks with a paper towel, and cook as desired. We recommend using a cast iron skillet for the best sear.
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Our Fav Marinade Only 4 Ingredients
One of the best and nostalgic things about the summer are BBQ dinners!! Whos with me?! Have you ever gone out for a walk or drive and catch a whiff of the heavenly smell of someone grillingdelicious, right?
Usually the smell is meat someone grilling delicious steak, chicken or ribs on the grill. Today we are sharing our all-time favorite marinade that is simple and makes your steak taste so delicious.
The hubby and I LOVE to grill steak for special occasions and this marinade is always our go-to. And best part? It only required 4 ingredients. We got it from a neighbor years ago, and Im not sure that well ever find another Steak Marinade Recipe that beats it!
What Youll Need For This Recipe
This easy marinade is a cinch to pull together and you probably have most, if not all, of these ingredients in your pantry.
Lets take a quick look at what youll need here and, as always, you can find the full, printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- extra virgin olive oil this is the base of our marinade.
- balsamic vinegar one of my favorite marinade ingredients, balsamic vinegar adds incredible depth to this marinade and goes so well with steak. Gives your steak a restaurant quality.
- soy sauce I opt for low sodium otherwise I find the steak is too salty.
- Worcestershire sauce adds savory, complex flavor.
- pineapple juice this will help tenderize even the leanest cuts of steak.
- brown sugar subtle sweetness and molasses flavor that isnt overwhelming. Honey is a good alternative.
- Dijon mustard rounds out the flavors and pulls the marinade together.
- ground black pepper for seasoning.
- garlic powder fresh garlic will burn easily on a grill so I like to use garlic powder instead. Not enough to overpower the flavor of the steak, just enough to enhance it.
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The Best Easy Balsamic Steak Marinade Recipe
Make the BEST easy balsamic steak marinade recipe in minutes! Balsamic vinegar steak marinade is easy and flavorful. Try this 5-INGREDIENT sirloin steak marinade with oven steaks!
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Meet your new favorite balsamic vinegar steak marinade! This 5-ingredient sirloin steak marinade is bound to become a favorite because its SO easy and uses common pantry ingredients that you probably already have. Its truly the BEST easy balsamic steak marinade recipe out there.
This amazing, easy steak marinade works well for just about any cut of meat, but I especially love it on sirloin steaks. My post for how to cook sirloin steak in the oven will show you my easy cooking process no grill required.
As much as I love grilling and spending time outdoors, I must say that my favorite way to cook steaks is a quick sear on a really hot pan, and then finishing it in the oven until it reaches the level of doneness you want.
How To Freeze Marinated Steak
If you cant get to cooking your marinated steak within 24 hours, you can safely freeze the meat in the marinade to be used later. Thats why I love using the freezer-safe re-usable bags when marinating steak, for you can just toss them right into the freezer for later. When its time to cook the steak, just thaw the meat and cook.
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How Long Can You Marinate Steak
Steak can be marinated for up to a day, though the sweet spot is about 6 to 8 hours. Anything more than a day and you run the risk of the marinade breaking down the meat. The 6 to 8-hour spot is great for putting it all together in the morning and coming home to steak ready to marinate at night. Dont have several hours? No worries. You can almost marinate a steak to perfection in just an hour.
What Steak Cut Is Best For Marinating
What cuts of beef to use a marinade on is a matter of personal preference and the recipe youre making.
Generally, marinades should be used on tougher cuts of beef from hard-working muscle groups, like flank, hanger and skirt steak.
If youre cooking a high-quality, flavorful cut of beef like a ribeye steak, we recommend not marinating it so that the beefs natural flavor can shine. However, if you want to use a marinade on a ribeye or filet, you can. Its entirely up to you.
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How To Store And Reheat:
Store any leftover steak in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also wrap each steak individually so that it will keep in as much juices as possible.
To reheat, I recommend reheating the steak in the air fryer, stove top or oven. Make sure to add in a little butter or oil when reheating to prevent the steak from drying out.
Many people will reheat leftover steak in the microwave so that it is reheated quickly. However, I find that this dries out the steak and I dont recommend it.
How Long To Marinate Steak
Your steak marinade can blanket your cut of of meat for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight. The only rule here is to make sure you dont introduce bacteria to your precious cut of meat by keeping it in an airtight bag/container in the refrigerator while it marinates.
I recommend marinating for 1 hour for best flavor!
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Tips For Grilling Steak
While this marinade is full of vibrant and savory flavors, you also have to remember grilling your steak properly is equally important. The reason being is if you overcook your steak it will end up dry and chewy.
- Preheat Grill | Always preheat your grill, this will help get the grates hot and when you put the steak on the grill it will offer that sear sound which means success.
- Steak Tip | I always sit my steaks out for at least 15-20 minutes before I plan to place them on the grill. I watched this tip on the Food Network channel years ago, and have done it ever since. This always sets you up for the success of a juicy steak that is cooked nicely.
- Dont Cut Steak | When checking the done-ness of your steak dont slice into the steak to see how red or done it is. Use a meat thermometer and check it that way. If you cut the steak it will leak the juice and dry out.
- Rest the Steak | Once your steak is done, lay it on a plate and put aluminum foil over the top. Let it sit for five minutes to allow it to soak in all those juices for a juicy and flavorful steak.
Lets Marinate Some Steak
The aroma this mix gives off before you add the meat is insane. You know its going to be incredible just from by the smell of it. Mix in a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, and a pinch of red pepper. Add steaks to a resealable zip lock bag or large bowl and pour the marinade on top. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
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How To Marinate Steak Without A Recipe
For the grill, I always choose a thin, quick-cooking steakI’m talking skirt, hanger, or flank steak tri-tip, short ribs, faux hanger , or entraña steak. These are all cut from large, strong, active muscles, which makes them more flavorful and great for serving a crowd. But those strong muscles are also naturally tougher. Which is why these steaks require a marinade.
Making a steak marinade is a lot like making a salad dressingyou can customize it depending on your mood, your menu, or whatever happens to be in your pantry. But unlike salad dressing, you want the flavors in your marinade to be extra strongstrong enough to infuse the meat with flavor that will linger long after the marinade is discarded.
Every steak marinade needs four elementsoil, acid, flavoring, and salt. Once you understand the basic ratio and timeline of how to marinate steak, you’ll never need to look at another recipe again.
Let’s dig in: here’s how to marinate steak without a recipe:
Why This Recipe Works
Fast, delicious, easy I could go on forever as to why this recipe works.
Fast From fridge to grill to mouth in less than 30 minutes! Cant top that!
Easy Prepared with simple pantry seasonings, you can grill these steaks to your liking in a flash and even whip up the butter while the steak is cooking on one side, its that easy!
Customizable If you dont have sirloin, you can substitute another kind of steak and you can change up the butter in a number of ways as well .
Adaptable Dig right into your steak as-is, or slice it and put in on a salad, serve over rice or noodles, add strips of the steak to a hoagie bun and top with peppers and onions, dice up for quesadillas or tacosthis sirloin steak recipe goes great with so many other dinner ideas!
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