Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 19, 2009 06:25 PM

Liquid butter marinade

I've heard that top end steak houses (such as Ruth's Chris where I heard this rumor) marinate their steaks overnight in liquid butter and that makes them taste really good. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this? I've been trying to imagine a way that butter would stay in a liquid form while still keeping the meat cold over night so it doesn't spoil. Does anyone have a suggestion?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wrong or right, I've always heard most places finish off steaks with a pat of butter. I've never heard of a marinade. Interesting but the logistics boggle my mind (steaks at room temp overnight? Or solid butter while refrigerated?).

    1. Depositing a steak in butter, liquid or otherwise, as a "marinade" is preposterous. As a coating, perhaps, but you could do that just prior to grilling and achieve the same goal.

      1. I'm no chemist, but it seems to me.... the fat molecules would be too large to permeate the steak. And just how much more flavor would be gained by a steak sitting in fat overnight than would be added with a pat or two of herb butter before or even after cooking? But! Seems to me the surest way for you to answer your question is to give it a try. If the butter really must be "liquid," well, that's going to be difficult at best, but it would probably not become quite as solid in the refrigerator over night if you mixed half drawn butter and half really good olive oil. If you do give it a try, let us know how it works out.

        1. They don't marinate at all (neither do most 'prime' steakhouses) but add butter on the steak after it comes off of the grill. If you use USDA Prime, the higher marbling (fat) is what makes it taste so good. Also, the high heat. At home, it is almost impossible to replicate the 1500 degree broilers that the steakhouses use except w/ cast iron skillet on gas stove or a really high btu gas grill.

          1. Thanks everyone. I think the whole liquid butter thing is bunk. I know they mount a pat of butter on the steak when it's done and so do I. It's another opportunity to add flavor if you make a good compound butter. I've just been so puzzled by the comment I had to throw it out there for opinions.