Perfect Marinated Grilled Steak

There’s nothing worse than buying the perfect steak and having it come out dry, overcooked, tasteless, or tough. It’s heartbreaking.

This recipe fixes that and is a total no brainer. It works on pretty much any steak. The key is to remember that the tougher the steak, the longer you have to let the acids in this marinade break it down. So, my rough guide:

  • Tender: 1 – 4 hours
    • Examples: Hanger, Porterhouse
  • Medium: 4 – 8 hours
    • Examples: New York Strip, Top Sirloin, and T-Bone
  • Tough: 8 – 24 hours
    • Examples: Round, skirt, flank, or bottom sirloin

These are minimum times, since this is a marinade (and not a salt-based brine), you can leave the meat in for up to 72 hours.

My former in-laws even used to used to marinate their beef tenderloin (a.k.a., filet mignon) in this marinade, but I can’t condone that. It IS delicious, but a filet is so incredibly tender and juicy already that it needs to marinade. My favorite is to sous vide it to medium and then quickly sear it, low smoke the whole tenderloin for 3 hours, or season the whole tenderloin and grill on medium-low for 12 minutes a side. A meat that tender doesn’t need or want a marinade. And don’t get me started if you even THINK about putting a ribeye in this or any marinade.

Anyway, let’s get to it! Ever wanted your steak to look like this?

Seared Medium Steak – see that beautiful caramelization around the edges. Mmmm.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10-20 minutes
  • Marination Time: 1-72 hours

For me, marinating steaks in quart or gallon Ziploc bags works great, but if you want to get super fancy, using a vacuum sealer and vacuum bags works much better. Sealing whole larger sprigs of rosemary or oregano also makes a beautiful presentation when opening for guests. And, of course, you need a grill. I prefer a gas grill for this recipe so that I can carefully manage a medium temperature.

Ingredients

When making the perfect steak, don’t skimp on the main ingredient: the steak itself! Spring for a great looking cut and don’t worry about telling the butcher exactly which one you want. I’m a huge fan of grass fed beef and like the meet I use to be butchered, from the cow, within two days of buying it. That means it needs to be local. If there’s no butchering date, I won’t buy it. If you happen to be from Phoenix, the ABSOLUTE BEST place in town to get fresh beef is The Meat Shop. Aside from their meat being F($*ing perfect, it’s also really well priced. They do a grass-fed, grain-finished beef tenderloin for 5.99 a lb fully cleaned if you buy the whole thing. Given that this is normally $25-$30 a lb on sale, this means you can buy the entire tenderloin for less than the normal price of a pound. Also, I’m not affiliated with them in any way other than that I shop there. They’re just that good.

First, make sure to choose the perfect steak. If you’re in Phoenix, check out my post on where to find them!
  • 1 lb cleaned steak
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup soy sauce
    • Sub Note: In a pinch, you can also use teriyaki
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional: 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • Optional: Fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs

Recipe

This recipe is tuned for a true medium, but modifications are suggested for a more/less done steak.

  1. Mix the Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, fresh ground black pepper, and optional garlic and herbs in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture into a quart or gallon sized Ziploc bag, based on the size of your steak.
  3. Add the steak and seal, pressing out the air so that the marinade and steak are all that remain and that the marinade is completely covering the steak.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for as long as you care to marinade.
  5. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, spray the grill with PAM or similar or rub the grate with olive oil. Light the grill and set it to a medium / medium-high heat. Let the grill warm up for 5 minutes.
  6. Pull the steak from the marinade and place it on the hot grill. Close the lid. Cook for a few minutes on each side (guide below), flipping midway through. Below is a rough guide to timing for a medium steak…
    1/2″ thick steak – 5 minutes per side
    1″ thick steak – 7 minutes per side
    1 1/2″ thick steak – 8-10 minutes per side
    If you want more or less done, moderate the temperature by a few minutes on either side. Keep the marinade nearby, as you’ll need it for the next step.
  7. Turn the grill temperature to high heat or sear (if you have a sear setting).
  8. Pull the steak off the grill and dip it fully into the marinade again.
  9. Place the steak on the hottest portion of the grill for 1 minute. Remove the steak, dip fully into the marinade, and flip onto the other side. Cook for another minute. The high heat will cause the sugar in the marinade to quickly caramelize, giving a slight crunch to the exterior.
  10. Turn off the grill and remove steak, placing it on a large plate or cutting board.
  11. Let rest for 5 minutes. DO NOT CUT IMMEDIATELY. Let your steak stay juicy by resting and re-absorbing all the wonderful flavors.
  12. Either plate and serve directly or slice the steak against the grain and serve immediately.

This recipe goes incredibly well in tacos, with coconut rice, with blanched broccoli, or [more traditionally] with roasted potatoes or Pommes Anna. Enjoy!

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