Grilling the perfect steak gives you the satisfaction of serving a memorable, delicious entree for your next meal. Of course, in order to prepare the perfect steak, you need a great marinade. There are many ready-made marinades available today; however, these marinades are highly processed and often expensive. Why buy a processed marinade when you can create your own for a fraction of the cost?
The best steak recipes call for homemade marinades using fresh ingredients that you can easily customize. Making a marinade yourself ensures fresh flavors and allows you to prepare your steak just the way you like it. Here is the process for creating a versatile marinade you can make at home to save money and create a flavor that you and your dining partners will thoroughly enjoy:
Gathering the Ingredients
Olive oil serves as the base for a versatile steak marinade. It helps keep the steaks from sticking to the grill grate and prevents the exterior of the steak from burning. You will need about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about four steaks. Add about 2 tablespoons of ketchup to the olive oil to give your marinade a rich, tangy flavor. You also need about ½ cup of soy sauce to add a bit of zip to your marinade. If possible, choose a low-sodium variety to limit your sodium intake.
Peel 2 cloves of fresh garlic, or enough garlic for about 1 teaspoon. To peel the cloves, place them on a cutting board and place the flat side of a chef’s knife blade on the cloves. Press down on the blade with the palm of your hand, taking care to keep your hand away from the knife’s sharp edge. Remove the skins and mince the garlic cloves. If you don’t want to spend time mincing garlic by hand, you can run the peeled cloves through a food processor.
You will also need a teaspoon of dried oregano and a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper to complete your marinade.
You can add other ingredients to customize your marinade. For example, you can add a teaspoon of dried parsley to impart a distinctive herbal aroma and flavor. Include a half-teaspoon of ground cumin for a bold, earthy flavor reminiscent of Mediterranean and Spanish dishes. If you prefer a bit of kick, add a half-teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper to give your steaks a spicy flavor.
Simply blend the ingredients in a lidded container and place the marinade in the refrigerator. When you are ready to begin marinating your steaks, place the steaks in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the meat. Let the steaks refrigerate in the marinade for three hours. Remove the steaks from the marinade and you’re ready to grill!
Although commercially prepared marinades offer convenience, they can’t match the flavor of a homemade marinade. By customizing the basic recipe shown in this article, you can create your own signature flavor to impress your friends and family members. Best of all, you can create flavorful steaks much more cheaply than you could with a bottled marinade.