The Top 10 Ingredients to use in Beef Steak Marinades

  • To make the perfect beef steak, you must properly marinate it.
  • Seasoning your beef steak with herbs, spices, salt and pepper gives the meat an extra flavor.
  • Oil and honey help preserve the meat’s moisture, while citrus and Worcestershire sauce can tenderize it. 
  • Not only does a good marinade add sweetness and tenderness, but it can also help reduce bacterial growth.

The combination of fat and umami is what makes cooked meat so enticing and hard to resist for humans. Umami is a Japanese word that literally means “the essence of deliciousness” and is the taste we refer to as “savory.”

The meat itself plays an important role, but to cook your beef steak to perfection, you have to marinate it properly. The marinade’s purpose is to tenderize and flavor the steak, which are both things it can’t go without.

So, what makes a good marinade?

It’s the combination of ten essential beef steak ingredients such as citrus, soy sauce, honey, herbs, spices, beer, wine, salt, pepper, cooking oil, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic.

That said, in this article you’ll find tips and tricks on beef steak ingredients and procedure, so you can finally cook the perfect steak and spice up your menu.

Let’s dive in!



Garlic is great for seasoning, and every cooked meat requires it. Not only does it give your beef steak a burst of aroma, but it also evokes savory aspects. You can use minced garlic in your marinade, rub a garlic clove over the grilled meat, or use garlic powder to disperse the flavor throughout the dish.

Soy Sauce

The soy sauce is a great source of that umami flavor. It’s suitable for a wide variety of beef steak recipes because it’ll provide your dish with salt and a hint of sweetness. Not only that, but soy sauce gives your meat a taste of savory deliciousness and caramelized color. Soy sauce is a great marinade on its own but can also be mixed with other ingredients.


Sure, you can use a mallet or pounder, but did you know that citrus juice in your marinade can also tenderize your meat?

Citrus juice is a key ingredient to your beef steak recipe because it contains acid that can tenderize even the toughest proteins in a steak. It can also break down collagen and make your beef steak easier to digest and chew. You can either place lemon halves on your meat or squeeze them and make your own citrus juice.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce is not typically used as a part of the steak ingredients, but as it turns out, it makes an excellent marinade! The sugar it contains adds a hint of sweetness, while the vinegar tenderizes the meat. Besides using it as an ingredient in your marinade, you can brush Worcestershire sauce onto the meat.


Beef steak goes wonderfully with mustard, imbuing the meat with tanginess. Mustard also contains vinegar, which is great for tenderizing proteins. Most often, mustard is used in the marinade, or you just soak the meat in it beforehand.



Pairing mustard and honey is a golden combination. The hygroscopic nature of honey helps your meat maintain its moisture but also adds sweetness to the meal. Moreover, the good amount of sugar in the honey creates crustiness on the beef’s outside. You can put honey in the marinade itself or add a few tablespoons while grilling.

Herbs and Spices

No dish is complete without it being properly spiced! The combination of different herbs and spices adds a unique flavor to beef steak. Some essential spices and herbs to add to your beef steak marinade are fresh basil leaves, oregano, black and white pepper, cumin, oregano, and sea salt. However, it’s all a matter of taste!

Beer and Wine

If you want to learn how to cook beef steak – never forget to add beer and wine. Pairing beef with alcohol will make your meat easier to digest, infusing it with a robust flavor. Red wine and dark beers tend to go better with beef.


Oil is another one of the marinade steak ingredients that’s good for preserving the meat’s moisture. Not only that, but oil also provides a flavor of acidic content. For best results, try using oils with a high smoke point, such as canola, grapeseed, and avocado oil.

Salt & Pepper

salt and pepper

The beefsteak recipe can’t go without salt and pepper, so you should always coat both sides of the steak, preferably with sea salt and black pepper. That way, the salt will significantly enhance the flavor, while the pepper will add the necessary heat and spice. Some wet and dry rub recipes are barbecue rib rub, sweet and smokey barbeque rub, and spicy poultry rub.

Specific Examples of Beef Steak Marinades

Almost nobody sticks to one recipe when making a marinade. Some of the most popular recipes containing the above-listed beef steak ingredients include fajita, Italian, and red wine steak marinade.

News, Statistics, and Studies

Properly marinating your beef steak plays a huge role. Beef steak calories amount to approximately 215 per serving, and only a half-cup or marinade for every pound of meat will help keep the calories down.

Not only that, but one study shows that marinating helps improve the functional properties and safety of poultry meat. Moreover, marinating improves sensory and quality properties such as flavor, tenderness, and cooking yield and helps reduce bacterial growth.


All in all, marinating your beef steak and other types of meat can only benefit you. There’s nothing better than knowing something is healthy and delicious. The above-listed ingredients are the key to making a good marinade in order to enjoy savory and tender meat.

The steak is rich in flavor, but enhancing it means you’re up for a savory sensation. Try combining ingredients to your liking, so you can finally find the perfect balance you’ll definitely enjoy!

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