How Do I Choose the Best T-Bone Marinade? (with pictures)

N. Swensson
N. Swensson
Red wine vinegar, which can be used to make a T-bone marinade.
Red wine vinegar, which can be used to make a T-bone marinade.

A marinade is a good way to flavor many different types of meat, including t-bone steaks. Some chefs prefer not to marinate steak, saying that expensive cuts of meat are flavorful enough on their own, with possibly a light seasoning of salt and pepper. For those who prefer it, however, a t-bone marinade can be made from a variety of ingredients, or commercially prepared marinades can be purchased at most grocery stores. Most homemade preparations contain oil and some combination of herbs and spices. Other steak marinades may be made with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce as the base.

Garlic is a classic component of a t-bone marinade.
Garlic is a classic component of a t-bone marinade.

For the beginning cook, a t-bone marinade could be made using classic ingredients that complement the flavor of beef. The base ingredients could be olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar, with either fresh garlic or garlic powder and salt and pepper. Some cooks prefer to use garlic powder in a marinade because it dissipates better through the liquid and also will not burn like fresh garlic can when grilled. Unlike some tougher cuts of beef, t-bone steaks are already tender and do not need to be marinated for a long time; usually an hour is sufficient. After marinating, the steak can be grilled, broiled, or cooked in any other way that the chef prefers.

Ginger root is used to make an Asian-themed t-bone marinade.
Ginger root is used to make an Asian-themed t-bone marinade.

Another flavorful t-bone marinade can be made using Worcestershire sauce, a flavorful blend that is frequently used to season meats. The sauce could be used alone or combined with onions and mushrooms, which can be cooked and served alongside the steak. Other herbs, such as rosemary or parsley, also pair well with this type of t-bone marinade. Onion powder, paprika, or garlic could be added as well if the chef desires. If a piece of meat will be marinated for more than a few minutes, it should be done in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of bacteria. Then, as much as 30 minutes before cooking, the t-bone can be taken out of the refrigerator, because cooking very cold meat can prevent it from developing a good flavor and carmelization on the outside.

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can be used in T-bone marinades.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can be used in T-bone marinades.

A third t-bone marinade could be made using Asian-inspired ingredients. To make this type of marinade, the cook combines soy sauce, finely chopped or grated ginger root, and garlic. After cooking, the steak may be seasoned with pepper, but salt should be used sparingly because soy sauce is already salty. This preparation could be served with a peanut dipping sauce and stir-fried vegetables for a complete meal.

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    • Red wine vinegar, which can be used to make a T-bone marinade.
      Red wine vinegar, which can be used to make a T-bone marinade.
    • Garlic is a classic component of a t-bone marinade.
      Garlic is a classic component of a t-bone marinade.
    • Ginger root is used to make an Asian-themed t-bone marinade.
      Ginger root is used to make an Asian-themed t-bone marinade.
    • Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can be used in T-bone marinades.
      Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can be used in T-bone marinades.
    • Although steak marinades vary widely, garlic is a chief ingredient in many versions.
      Although steak marinades vary widely, garlic is a chief ingredient in many versions.