How To Cook Marinated Steak: The Ultimate Guide

cooked marinated steak

Here’s how to cook marinated steak. It’s precisely the same cooking process as with any other steak. First, you need to pat the steak dry before searing. It’ll allow the steak to form a nice golden brown crust on the exterior. While steak is marinating, it soaks in liquid. The steak will boil if the liquid is not removed from the surface. Once the steak is dry, cook it on a scorching hot pan to form a crust. After a few minutes, turn the heat down and continue cooking to your liking.

As a chef, I believe the less is more, meaning I do not like to overseason my dishes. Beefsteak is excellent and flavorsome as it is. I only suggest steak marinade for tougher cuts of steak like flank or skirt steak. A tough marinated steak like skirt steak will become more tender and juicy when marinated.

In this article, I’ll teach you how to cook marinated steak on a grill in the oven and on a stovetop. You’ll also learn how to check steak’s internal temperature and how to buy a good cut of meat for marinating.

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How To Cook Marinated Steak

cooking marinated steak

Use only kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper when using expensive cuts of steak like rib-eye steak, sirloin steak, t-bone, or filet mignon. These cuts of meat have enough marbling; therefore, they taste good and are tender.

Tougher cuts of meat like rump steak, skirt, or flank steak are perfect for marinating. The marinade will make the meat tender.

I chose to highlight 3 different cooking methods. By far, the best cooking method for marinated steak is grilling. Grilled steak has a smokey flavor, and when combined with marinade, it truly is delicious.

Here’s the equipment you need for grilling steak:

Here’s the equipment you need for pan-frying steak:

Here’s the ingredient list you’ll need for the steak recipe (serves 2 people):

  • Skirt steak;
  • 4 cloves of garlic;
  • 5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar;
  • Olive oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil);
  • Kiwi (it will help to tenderize the meat while adding a unique flavor to it. kiwi is used in Korean BBQ)

Here’s how to make the best steak marinade (at least in my opinion). Mince garlic and roughly chop kiwi. Mix all the marinade ingredients in the bowl. Put steaks in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over the meat. Leave the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours in a fridge. It’s best if you marinate steak overnight.

How To Cook Marinated Steak On a Grill

  1. Marinate the steak. Mince garlic and roughly chop kiwi. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Put steaks in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over the meat. Leave the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours in a fridge. It’s best if you marinate steak overnight;
  2. Bring steak to room temperature. Take the meat out of the fridge and leave it to rest at room temperature. It’ll help the steak to cook evenly;
  3. Prepare the grill. I’m using a charcoal grill for grilling steak. Clean the grill grates and rub them with cooking oil. It’ll prevent the meat from sticking to the grates. Prepare grill for two zone cooking. One side of the grill should be very hot (approximately 450° Fahrenheit) while another half of the grill should be medium hot (enough to cook the steak);
  4. Remove connective tissue. I’m using a skirt steak that has connective tissue. This tissue is hard to chew; therefore, it’s best if you remove it;
  5. Pat steak dry. Using a paper towel, remove moisture from the exterior of the meat. When steak’s surface is dry, it’ll form a nice crust when seared on a grill;
  6. Grill steak. Place the steak over high heat on a grill and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Move it onto the medium heat and continue cooking;
  7. Check steak’s internal temperature. I like my steak medium-rare; therefore, it takes around 6-8 minutes to cook to my desired doneness. About halfway through cooking, stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and check the reading. Cooking times depend on the thickness of the meat as well as the temperature of the grill and temperature outside;
  8. Rest. Leave the steak to rest for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the steak’s thickness. Resting is essential since it allows meat juices to redistribute through the meat’s interior. When meat is cooking juices are pushed towards the middle leaving outer edges dry. If slicing into the steak right after it’s been cooked – juices will end up on your plate;
  9. Slice. If using a tough cut of meat like I am – slice the steak into thin slices, at an angle, across the grain. It’ll make the meat more tender.

Note: if using a gas grill, start grilling steak on high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Then turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking to the desired doneness.

How To Cook Marinated Steak On a Stovetop

  1. Marinate the steak. Mince garlic and roughly chop kiwi. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Put steaks in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over the meat. Leave the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours in a fridge. It’s best if you marinate steak overnight;
  2. Bring steak to room temperature. Take the meat out of the fridge and leave it to rest at room temperature. It’ll help the steak to cook evenly;
  3. Remove connective tissue. I’m using a skirt steak that has connective tissue. This tissue is hard to chew; therefore, it’s best if you remove it;
  4. Pat steak dry. Using a paper towel, remove moisture from the exterior of the meat. When steak’s surface is dry, it’ll form a nice crust when seared on a pan;
  5. Preheat the pan. Put a cast-iron skillet or any other heavy pan over high heat until it starts to smoke;
  6. Pan-fry the steak. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and coat the cooking surface. Put a steak into the scorching hot pan and sear the meat for one and a half minutes on each side before turning the heat down to medium. Continue cooking to your liking;
  7. Check steak’s internal temperature. Halfway through cooking the steak, stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and check the reading. I’m cooking my skirt steak medium-rare; therefore, it’ll take 5-6 minutes. Keep in mind that cooking times depend on the thickness of the meat and temperature of the pan;
  8. Add butter (optional). Add a knob of butter to the pan about halfway through cooking the steak. Remember it’s optional; however, it adds more flavor to the meat;
  9. Rest. Leave the steak to rest for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the steak’s thickness. Resting is essential since it allows meat juices to redistribute through the meat’s interior. When meat is cooking juices are pushed towards the middle leaving outer edges dry. If slicing into the steak right after it’s been cooked – juices will end up on your plate;
  10. Slice. If using a tough cut of meat like I am – slice the steak into thin slices, at an angle, across the grain. It’ll make the meat more tender.

How To Cook Marinated Steak In The Oven

  1. Marinate the steak. Mince garlic and roughly chop kiwi. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Put steaks in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over the meat. Leave the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours in a fridge. It’s best if you marinate steak overnight;
  2. Bring steak to room temperature. Take the meat out of the fridge and leave it to rest at room temperature. It’ll help the steak to cook evenly;
  3. Remove connective tissue. I’m using a skirt steak that has connective tissue. This tissue is hard to chew; therefore, it’s best if you remove it;
  4. Pat steak dry. Using a paper towel, remove moisture from the exterior of the meat. When steak’s surface is dry, it’ll form a nice crust when seared on a pan;
  5. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes before cooking.
  6. Preheat the pan. Put a cast-iron skillet or any other heavy pan over high heat until it starts to smoke;
  7. Pan-fry the steak. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and coat the cooking surface. Put a steak into the scorching hot pan and sear the meat for one and a half minutes on each side before transferring to the oven. If your pan is oven-proof – transfer steak to the oven with the pan. If not – transfer steak onto a wire rack onto a baking sheet and put the baking sheet on a wire rack in the oven;
  8. Check steak’s internal temperature. About 6 minutes into cooking the steak, check the internal temperature of the meat. Stick a probe into the thickest part of the meat and check the reading. Since I cook my skirt steak medium-rare, I’ll take about 6 minutes to cook in the oven;
  9. Rest. Leave the steak to rest for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the steak’s thickness. Resting is essential since it allows meat juices to redistribute through the meat’s interior. When meat is cooking juices are pushed towards the middle leaving outer edges dry. If slicing into the steak right after it’s been cooked – juices will end up on your plate;
  10. Slice. If using a tough cut of meat like I am – slice the steak into thin slices, at an angle, across the grain. It’ll make the meat more tender.

Note: cooking times may differ depending on steaks thickness and oven. Old ovens fluctuate in temperature, meaning it can take either a longer or a shorter amount of time to cook.

Steak Doneness Temperature Chart

steak doneness temperature chart
  • Rare steak: 125° F;
  • Medium rare steak: 135° F;
  • Medium steak: 145° F;
  • Medium-well steak: 150° F;
  • Well done, steak: 160° F.

The easiest way to check steak’s doneness is with a meat thermometer. Stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to check the doneness.

Alternatively, you can use a finger test method to check the steak’s internal temperature. Using an index finger, press onto the thickest part of the meat. If it feels soft, it means meat is rare. Medium rare steak is slightly resistant, while medium steak is resistant with a bit of o soft feel in the middle. Medium-well and well-done steaks have no resistance meaning they are tough.

Steak Buying Guide

steak buying guide

Here’s how to buy a good steak for marinating:

  • Color: grass-fed steak is dark red with a more complex flavor profile. Marbling on grass-fed beef is yellowish. If the meat has brown spots, it’s likely been sitting for a while. It might be for half a day or a few days. Grain-fed is light red with white marbling. If it has some brown spots on the exterior, it’s because it was sitting for a while exposed to air;
  • Smell. If steak has an ammonia odor – it’s not good. It should be odorless with a slight hint of meat smell;
  • Touch. Steak should be firm to the touch. If it’s sticky, it’s best not to buy meat like that. However, it’s unlikely you’ll get to touch meat at a butchers shop;
  • Marbling. Gras-fed steak has yellowish marbling, while grain-fed has white marbling. A good-quality juicy steak has tiny flecks of marbling running throughout the surface of the meat.

There are two camps for steak lovers—ones that prefer grass-fed and others that like grain-fed steaks.

Grass-fed steak has a dark red color and less marbling than grain-fed beef. However, it has a more complex flavor profile. When meat is raised in its natural environment, it develops a complex set of flavors that so many steak lovers admire. It’s also more expensive, but at the same time, it packs more nutrients.

On the other hand, Grain-fed is juicy and has a buttery taste. It has more marbling, and as we all know, more marbling equals more flavor and tenderness. However, some may find that marbling is overpowering, making steak buttery. One upside of grain-fed steak is that it’s readily available and less expensive than grass-fed.

The bottom line is that grass-fed steak is considered better meat. Not only does it have a rich flavor profile, but it packs more nutrients. However, grain-fed is still a good choice if you’re on a budget.

When buying meat for marinating, choosing a cheaper and tougher cut is best. Keep in mind thick steaks take longer to marinade. If you’re short on time pick thin steak for marinating.

steak cuts for marinating

Here’s a list of the best steak cuts for marinating:

How To Store Leftover Steaks

It’s best to store leftover marinated steaks in an airtight container for up to 4 days in a fridge. You can also freeze it for up to six months.

Reheat the leftover meat in the oven or a pan. The cooked steak will heat up quickly; therefore, make sure you reheat it for only a few minutes.

FAQ

What is the best way to cook a marinated steak?

The best way to cook a marinated steak is either on a grill or a pan. Grilled steak has a smokey flavor, while pan-fried steak has a nice crisp exterior.

Do you rinse marinade off steak before cooking?

You should pat the steak dry with a paper towel. It’ll help to get a better crust. If you leave too much marinade on the steak, it’ll boil. You want to seal as much flavor as possible.

How long does it take to marinate steak?

It’s best to marinate steaks anywhere from 4-48 hours before cooking. The longer you’ll leave the steak to marinade, the more flavorful it’ll get.

How do you make steak tender?

You can make steak more tender by adding lactic acids to the marinade. Or you can use the brine for making meat more tender. There’s dry brining and wet brining. Bothe brine processes include salt, which acts as a tenderizer.

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