How Do I Choose the Best Beer Steak Marinade?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2020
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There are many ways the backyard grill master can incorporate beer into a marinade for beef. An excellent steak that doesn’t require tenderizing will not need to remain in the marinade as long as a tougher piece of beef. The best beer steak marinade for meat that is on the chewier side will incorporate other acidic ingredients as well as those that infuse taste. Buttery steaks that contain plenty of veins of fat can shine with a much simpler marinade, even as simple as just the beer alone.

The tenderest types of steaks, such as tenderloin, rib eye, or fillet mignon, really don’t need much in terms of marinade. In fact, many cooks insist that soaking such fine meat in too many flavors ruins their perfect, flavorful simplicity. For well-marbled meat, whether to use a pale ale, a richly flavored stout beer, or fruity beer marinade will depend upon the cook’s desires. Adding minced garlic, a splash of soy sauce, or some finely chopped fresh herbs is usually all it takes to create a grilled steak worthy of applause.


There’s no question that a tender steak is everyone’s favorite, but these cuts are also considerably more expensive. For cooks feeding a tribe, a little cookery creativity can result in flavorful beef whose tougher tendencies have been tamed with the right kind of marinade. As an added bonus, beer steak marinade for chewier meat usually contains a number of flavor elements, so the meat is not only easier to cut and chew, but the taste is more complex than it would have been if left alone.

Marinating top sirloin, flatiron, or flank steak for 8 to 12 hours before grilling guarantees tasty results. A mildly sweet marinade combines stout or other dark beer with just a little honey or brown sugar. A good amount of minced garlic holds the sweetness at bay, and a splash or two of balsamic vinegar not only contributes to the tenderizing process, but it adds a subtle complexity to the flavors.

Fans of tomato-based barbeque will favor a beer steak marinade that incorporates ketchup or tomato paste into pale ale. For folks who like a bit of heat, stone ground mustard contributes as well. Balsamic or fig vinegar and a little smoke-flavored sauce emphasizes the woody, barbeque flavor.

Another barbeque-flavored beer steak marinade starts with a dark or fruity beer and adds a fair amount of freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice. Instead of tomato ketchup or paste, this version prefers prepared red barbeque sauce as well as a couple of shakes of the steak sauce bottle. Minced garlic and finely chopped thyme or other herbs finish this marinade to perfection.



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