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Dec 11, 2006 11:15 PM

Best from-scratch Steak Marinade?

I really, really want a good go-to steak/beef marinade. I have tasted a handful that were to-die for, but don't have my own concoction. I like the idea of tossing steak into a ziploc bag with a juicy, yummy marinade only to have it transform hours later to restaurant worthy fare. A little help?

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  1. I just use a bit of balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes or so, might add garlic pepper thyme onions depending on the meal (I use this for most all meats).

    2 Replies
    1. re: steinpilz

      Thanks---do you use any olive oil? Do you use quite a bit of balsamic? I love balsamic... garlic... yum.

      1. re: talkoftomatoes

        I don't use olive oil now, might have earlier, maybe I thought the oil wasn't necessary for such a short time? I don't use a lot of balsamic vinegar, just basically to coat the meat and carry the herbs, and I don't go too long because the acid will start to harm the meat (even though balsamic is a weak acid). I also blot up the excess before cooking. It adds flavour and also makes things brown more easily.

    2. I do soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, red papper flakes, rice vinegar, a splash of roasted sesame oil, and a little bit of veg.oil- people always rave about my steak tips

      1. Wash and dry your steak thoroughly before seasoning. Splash a tablespoon or two of Balsamic Vinegar (the de nigri brand is quite good for marinades and salad dressing...and cheap) on your steak and then rub granulated garlic, granulated onion, fresh ground black pepper, and kosher salt 1/2 hour before cooking.

        I don't like using EVOO on beef as it is overpowering. I will occasionally finish the steak with a 1/2 pat of butter. This adds a ton of flavor.

        1. I usually use a combo of red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, dried onion and garlic in generic corn/canola oil for marinades.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Kelli2006

            I had to chuckle at the idea of steak at a spa, such care goes into wash, dry, blot, rub, coated and rave reviews after the treatment. Thanks for the marinade ideas, I didn't think about the oil overpowering but good to know. My next big question is what cut of beef and do you brown it first or bake it or a little of both? Any general rules about how long to cook and at what temp? I have much to learn...

            Steinpilz: I love it browned!
            Amoncada: good tip on the EVOO---and butter!
            Galka and Kelli2006: how long do you marinade it?

            Does anyone use wine?

            1. re: talkoftomatoes

              You should keep it simple with beef. Too much garlic can ruin a steak as well. A quality cut of beef has a ton of flavor by itself. Wine can be tricky with beef. I think that red wine works best while white can be too sweet and overpowering. There are a few tasty stews (what's the French one called) with red wine?

              Brown or bake?
              I usually grill my steak on my BIG GREEN EGG or pan sear on a hot cast iron skillet under the broiler. I heat my grill to 400-500 degrees and sometimes higher to get a really good charred surface.

              1. re: amoncada

                Yes---I assumed grilling is best (though the chill in the air does make one hesitate...). I had just read a number of recipes that seared the steak and then put it... must've been under the broiler to finish it off.

                Favorite cut?

                1. re: talkoftomatoes

                  You too can grill in the winter. Think about it, you only need a few minute's out there to check on or to flip your meat...oh, unless you flip your meat constantly.

                  As far as the ideal length of time to marinate your meat? I know a lot of people out there will marinate overnight or even for 2 days but, I find that the meat starts to breakdown or in some cases dry out with dry rub marinates. I marinate meat for no more than 6-8 hours unless we're talking turkey which I marinate overnight due to it's large mass. Dry rubs will penetrate in no time at all. One to three hours is plenty.

                  1. re: talkoftomatoes

                    What in the world does a "chill in the air" have anything to do with grilling outside??? I lived in MN and that never stopped me! I had this awesome snow crater around my grill.


                    1. re: scuzzo

                      I agree - I have grilled with it so cold the top of the was cold - but inside on roaring fire were a set of beef ribs that cam out great -

                      1. re: weinstein5

                        what is your approach to making beef ribs on hight heat?

                        1. re: tommy

                          I do beef ribs both ways low and slow on a smoker and over high heat - over high is a bit trickier - it is key to remove the membrane on the back of the rib - than apply your favorite rub - before putting on the firs I put a couple of handfuls of soaked wood chips which cools the fire down - then place the ribs on the fire - flip the ribs about 20-30 minutes into cooking - and about 20 minutes start saucing the ribs - flipping one more time and sauce again -

                2. re: talkoftomatoes

                  I try to put it in at least night before, usually grill next day, but broiling works too

              2. INstead of a marinade how a bout a good rub - I use a mixture of dark brown sugar garlic powder onion powder Kosher salt and black pepper - can not give exact measurements do it by feel now - it is based off of the steak rub from the cook book Patio Daddy-O

                And I second grilling - even in winter (and I live in Chicago) - it brings a taste of summer and better days