Beef Rib Marinade

Beef Rib Marinade

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Marinate: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
114 Calories
7g Fat
13g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 876mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 1g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 for a milder flavor.


  • 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 pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Beef Rib Marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Mix together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using) in a small mixing bowl.

    mix the Beef Rib Marinade ingredients together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Place the ribs in a container large enough to lay the racks flat. Pour the marinade over the 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 the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before cooking.

    Beef Rib Marinade in a pan with beef ribs

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • 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.
  • After the ribs have marinated, prepare a smoker or grill. Remove the ribs from the marinade and cook according to the smoker instructions or your favorite rib recipe.
  • 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.
  • If you are making marinade ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after preparation.