These 5 easy steak marinade recipes are freezer-friendly, simple to prepare, and totally dependable and delicious! These are the perfect steak marinades for grilling, sautéing, slow cooking, Instant Pot, meal prep, and more.
Alright, all of you steak lovers…this one’s for you. 😉
Actually, as was the case with the 5 easy chicken marinade recipes that I shared on Monday, each of these steak marinades today would arguably work just as well on chicken, pork or tofu. But I’m particularly partial to these five when it comes to preparing a nice juicy filet. Because I’ll be the first one to admit that — while we eat plant-based meals most of the time at home nowadays — I’m a midwestern girl at heart, and will forever love splurging on a good, perfectly-cooked, thick, juicy steak every now and then.
Probably about half of the time, I tend to go the classic route with cooking steak — simply seasoning mine with a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and lots of freshly-cracked black pepper and maybe a pat of butter. But when I’m craving some different flavors, these quick steak marinade recipes have been favorites for awhile. They’re each incredibly versatile, and work on everything from traditional steaks to shredded beef to stir-fries. So whether you’re skewering up some kabobs, or having fajita night, or wanting a big pot of shredded beef in the Instant Pot, or just looking for a new marinade to kick steak night up a delicious notch…check them out, because I think there’s a little something here for everyone.
5 Simple Steak Marinade Recipes:
And the five best steak marinade recipes include…
Cold Brew Steak Marinade: Save your leftover coffee this week — it makes a fantastic marinade!
Fajita Steak Marinade: No more bland fajita seasoning; there’s so much great flavor in this steak fajita marinade.
Korean Steak Marinade: This classic fruity marinade is the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
Chimichurri Steak Marinade: Tons of herbs are packed into this zesty classic Argentenian sauce.
Balsamic & Herb Marinade: Balsamic and Italian herbs are some of my favorite pairings for steak.
How To Make A Steak Marinade:
To make each marinade, simply whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Then combine the marinade and steak together in a freezer ziplock bag, seal, and refrigerate or freeze according to the directions below until ready to use. So simple!
Steak Marinade Tips:
Marinade to Steak Ratio:
You’re welcome to use however much marinade you would like per pound of steak, but in general, I recommend around 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of steak. Feel free to use your preferred cut of steak.
Fridge marinade time: I recommend marinating your steak packs in the refrigerator for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 1 day (24 hours).
Freezer marinade time: I recommend marinating your steak packs in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Always thaw steak properly: As tempting as it may be to try and “quick-thaw” frozen steak, food safety guidelines recommend that you always thaw steak slowly in the refrigerator. Ideally, you can plan ahead and pop your frozen steak pack in the fridge and let it rest for 24 hours or so, or until it has completely thawed. But to speed the process up, you can place the steak pack in a bowl of cold water, then refrigerate until the steak pack has completely thawed.
Don’t try to cook partially-frozen steak: Probably goes without saying, but if you jump the gun, the steak will cook unevenly. So thaw completely.
Basting with marinades: There are a variety of opinions in the food safety world about how safe/unsafe it is to baste your steak with its marinade. Some say it’s ok to use the marinade as a baste in the beginning stages of cooking, but many strongly disagree. To err on the side of caution, if you would like to use the marinade as a baste while cooking, I recommend using extra marinade that you have reserved ahead of time. (Basically, marinade that hasn’t touched the raw steak.)
Use high-heat oils: If you’re planning to cook your steak over high heat, be sure to use high-heat-safe oils. I generally use traditional olive oil, which has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. But grapeseed and safflower oils work well too.
Freezer bags: I recommend using the designated freezer ziplock bags (vs. the thinner/cheaper sandwich plastic bags) for these steak packs. They are stronger and (obvs) freezer friendly, and will help prevent leaks. And I also love using freezer bags because you can note the expiration date on the front. Here is an eco-friendly reusable freezer bag option too!
Meal prep containers: We also regularly use meal prep containers for quick marinades in our house. I don’t recommend them for freezing, since there’s no way to eliminate all of the excess air inside. But for a quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade, they work well.
Everyday bowls: Another simple option for quick (1 to 24 hour) marinade would be to use any small mixing or serving bowls that fit your amount of steak. Just mix, cover with a sheet of foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
Instant-Read Thermometer: However you choose to cook your steak, I always recommend having an instant-read thermometer on hand to ensure that your steak is cooked through…and not overcooked. (The FDA recommends cooking your beef to a minimum of 145°F.) I love and recommend this $10 thermometer from Amazon. (<– affiliate link)
Broiling/Grilling/Slow Cooking: I’ve included general instructions for each of these methods below. They will each vary (especially with cook time) according to the cut and size of your steak, so again, I recommend using a thermometer to guarantee accurate doneness.
I’ve included instructions below for how to broil or grill traditional steaks. But note that these marinades also work really well for cooking shredded beef in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, or sautéing bite-sized pieces of steak in stir-fries as well. So many options!
So have fun with them, and enjoy every bite of your delicious steak. 🙌
1 teaspooneach: garlic powder and freshly-cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Whisk together the ingredients for (one) marinade in a small bowl until combined.
Combine marinade with steak in a ziplock freezer bag, and toss until the steak is evenly coated in the marinade. Carefully press out any extra air that might be in the bag, then seal. (You will need 1/3 cup marinade per 1 pound of steak.)
If Using Immediately: Refrigerate the steak pack(s) for anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 1 day.
If Freezing: Immediately transfer the steak pack(s) to the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months. Then when you’re ready to cook the steak, transfer the steak pack back to the refrigerator for 24 hours, or until it has thawed completely. Or to speed up the process, you can submerge the sealed steak pack in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until it has thawed completely.
When ready to cook, remove the steak from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade, and let the steak rest on a plate for 20 minutes at room temperature. (This will help it cook more evenly.) Cook however you prefer. (See recommendations below.)
Be sure to also check out these other marinade recipes!