Beef Rib Marinade

Uncooked Marinated Flank Steak
George Crudo Photography / Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Makes 1 cup (serves 8)
Ratings (46)

This marinade adds a lot of flavor to your beef ribs. The acid from the lemon juice and vinegar will keep beef ribs nice and tender as they grill or smoke. Marinating also allows the meat to hold more liquid so your ribs won't dry out.

While perfect for ribs, this mixture can also be used on flat steaks like skirt steak, flat-iron, hanger, and flank steak. The marinating time for steaks would be 4 to 6 hours.

Cayenne pepper is optional in this recipe. Use it if you prefer spicier ribs or you can leave it out.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cayenne

How to Make It

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Place the ribs in a container large enough to lay one rack flat. Pour the marinade over ribs, coating them completely. Make sure to turn the rack of ribs a couple of times so it is coated with the marinade on all sides. Cover the container with plastic wrap and let it sit in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare the smoker. Remove the ribs from the marinade and place them in the smoker.
  1. While the ribs are cooking, you can turn any remaining marinade into a baste for ribs. It's safest to use a portion that wasn't used to marinate the ribs. But if you boil the marinade used on the ribs, it can be used as a basting sauce. Place the marinade into a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Use as a baste for ribs.
  2. If you are making marinade ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after preparation.


The container you use for marinating should not be made of metal, as the acids in the marinade can react with metal. Use a plastic or glass container or a large ziplock bag. Discard the bag after using it and do not reuse it.

Be sure to keep your ribs in the refrigerator while they are marinating. Do not leave them out at room temperature or outdoor temperatures. If you are taking them to a cookout, be sure to keep them in an ice chest until you are ready to cook.

If you get too busy to cook the ribs, they can be stored in the marinade in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 114
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 876 mg
Carbohydrates 13 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)