Beef Marinade Recipes

A good marinade will help out any cut of beef. To help you find one that will bring out the most of your cuts, we present you with this collection of beef marinades.

This type of preparation needs some acidic power to make it effective at tenderizing the dense and strong fibers of the meat. When marinating beef, take into account the thickness of the cut. Thin cuts need to be marinated for an hour or two while thicker cuts, like roasts, can be marinated for up to 12 hours.

Different seasonings, herbs, and acidic ingredients combine in our selection. Find the ones that speak the most to you and enjoy a juicy and tender piece of beef!

  • 01 of 09

    Mexican Marinade

    Beef tacos
    Kimberlee Reimer/Getty Images

    Although this marinade can be used on any meat or fish for a Mexican-style dish, we think it works wonders on tough cuts of beef. Combine vinegar, fresh cilantro, spices, dried herbs, and garlic, and coat your beef for at least 2 hours. Adjust the level of heat: start by using just a little of the ancho chili and the chili powder, taste, and add more. If you think it's too spicy, water down the preparation with equal parts of water and olive oil. Ready in 15 minutes.

  • 02 of 09

    Brisket Marinade

    Brisket marinade

    The Spruce

    Whether you're smoking or grilling a brisket, this marinade will add a lot of flavor and help tenderize the meat. By marinating brisket, you start the crust formation by softening the surface, which helps to promote smoke absorption.

    Aromatic red wine, pungent horseradish, and tangy mustard go into a base of vinegar, oil, lemon juice, spices, and seasonings. Mix all of the ingredients and pour over your brisket. Refrigerate overnight, turning the meat once or twice. Ready in 20 minutes.

  • 03 of 09

    Guinness Marinade

    Guiness Marinade
    Jim Scherer/Getty Images

    This classic marinade is full of flavor. Its earthy tone comes courtesy of some Guinness beer. Mix beer, spices, soy sauce, onions, fresh herbs, and salt and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before using.

    Place in a marinating bag and add your beef for at least 2 hours and as long as 24. The beer flavor will infuse the meat and leave it juicy inside and crusty outside after you've cooked it on the grill. Ready in 35 minutes.

  • 04 of 09

    Bulgogi Marinade

    Ingredients of Bulgogi
    Multi-bits/Photodisc/Getty Images

    This is the traditional marinade recipe for Korean Bulgogi, which is a marinated steak cut into thin strips and served up in lettuce leaves or on rice. A great marinade for most cuts of beef, our bulgogi mixture will tenderize the meat and help with the formation of a chewy and sticky crust if you plan to grill your beef.

    Mix soy sauce, sugar, sake, and sesame oil with scallions and seasonings. Coat your beef and refrigerate overnight. The thinner the beef strips the shorter the marinating time should be time. Ready in 25 minutes.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Beef Rib Marinade

    Beef rib marinade
    Istetiana/Getty Images

    This beef rib marinade makes the most out of your cut of ribs. The acid from the lemon juice and vinegar will increase the tenderness once the ribs are smoked, and the honey and oil will help with the chewy outer crust that's a must for finger-licking ribs.

    Mix lemon juice, vinegar, oil, honey, seasonings, and cayenne. Use it on beef ribs or any other beef cut. Ready in 10 minutes.

  • 06 of 09

    Fajita Marinade

    Fajita Marinade
    Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

    This marinade is loaded with the flavors perfect for making fajitas, though you can also use it on carne asada (hanger steak or skirt steak) before grilling it.

    Mix beer, oil, lime juice, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Marinate your meats for a minimum of 2 hours and preferably overnight. Grill your beef strip and place them on warm corn tortillas with veggies, sour cream, and avocado. Ready in 15 minutes.

  • 07 of 09

    Jamaican Jerk Marinade

    Jamaican jerk marinade

    Claire Cohen

    Our Jamaican-inspired jerk marinade has all the good flavors that you'd like on a juicy piece of grilled beef. Simply blend fresh herbs, spices, vinegar, and oil and use this paste as your marinade. The secret flavor is the Jamaican pimiento, but you can use allspice to replace it if it's difficult to find. Add hot sauce to bring in some heat. Ready in 15 minutes.

  • 08 of 09

    Best Odds Brisket Marinade

    bbq beef brisket burnt ends


    Gado Images/Getty Images

    Marinating a brisket is the best way to ensure your smoked brisket remains tender and juicy. This marinade will start the tenderization process and work a lot of flavor into the brisket. Mix red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, paprika, and seasonings and coat your brisket with this sauce.

    For best results use a resealable bag large enough to hold the brisket and make sure you get all the air out of the bag before you seal it. Ready in 15 minutes.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Steak Marinade

    Classic steak marinade

    The Spruce

    This is a quick and easy marinade that works great on steak and thicker cuts of beef. While good quality beef just needs salt and pepper, when you buy less expensive steak you could improve the texture and flavor with a good marinade.

    Mix red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs, and spices to make a liquid marinade to coat your steaks. Place them in a resealable bag and leave them marinating overnight to help the fibers soften and the meats absorb most of the flavors. Ready in 10 minutes.