Kalyn's Kitchen

Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade

Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade is a recipe I got from my former neighbor Carol, and it’s one of my favorite recipes for marinating beef to cook on the grill. 

PIN the steak marinade recipe to make it later!

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade photo of cooked steak on plate with salad

As you can see from the title of the recipe, Carols Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade made quite an impression on me. And the story about how I got the recipe is as fun as the delicious grilled steak you’ll get if you try the recipe. So who is this Carol and how did I get her completely fabulous recipe for marinated and grilled steak?

Once upon a time a great family lived next door to me, and one night the mom (that would be Carol) knocked on my door and offered to bring me steak and grilled asparagus for dinner. I was working on the blog, hadn’t had dinner, and when someone offers to bring you steak and asparagus, you never say no, do you?

The steak was amazing, and when I told Carol how much I loved it, she gave me the recipe to share with my readers. The only slightly bittersweet part of the whole story is that a few days later Carol and Kevin found the house of their dreams, and moved away. I saw them a few times after that and then lost touch with them, but maybe through the magic of the internet they’ll see this and get back in touch!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Carol's Tri Tip process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Tri-Tip steak is what we used for this recipe, but use any cut of steak you prefer. I buy Tri-Tip at Costco when I get that craving for red meat. Trim off the visible fat and cut into serving-size pieces as desired.
  2. Rub the tri-tip pieces on both sides with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  3. Mix together lime juice, Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil; if you’d like you can mix it right in the bag like Carol did.
  4. Then put the tri-tip pieces and marinade into a Ziploc bag (or plastic container with a tight lid) and let the steak marinate all day, or even overnight if you’d like.
  5. When it’s time to eat, take the marinating steak out of the fridge, drain in a colander placed in the sink, and let it come to room temperature while you preheat the grill to high.  
  6. When you’re ready to cook, lay pieces on the diagonal across the grill grates, cook until you see grill marks (about 3 minutes), rotate so the pieces are going diagonally in the opposite direction and cook about 3 minutes more, then turn over and cook to desired doneness.
  7. I recommend using an inexpensive instant-read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to check for the level of doneness you prefer. Serve hot.

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade square image of cooked steak on plate

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

We enjoyed Carol’s Completely Fabulous Grilled Steak with Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper for a low-carb meal.

More Recipes for Tasty Beef:

Marinated Beef Kabobs 
Amazing Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill 
Grilled Cuban Flank Steak 

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade

Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

I’ve been using Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade for many years, and this recipe always results in the tastiest grilled steak ever!



  • 2 lbs. Tri Tip steak
  • 3-4 T Montreal Steak Seasoning (see notes)

Marinade Ingredients

  • 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce (see notes)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (can use garlic powder but I used minced garlic)
  • 2 T olive oil


  1. Trim any visible fat on outside of Tri Tip pieces, and cut into serving size pieces if desired.
  2. Rub all sides of steak pieces with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  3. Mix the add lime juice, Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil (or you can mix it right in the container you marinate in like Carol does. Put steak into large Ziploc bag or plastic container with tight-fitting lid and add the marinade. Seal bag or plastic container and turn over a few times to mix marinade ingredients.
  4. Let steak marinate in refrigerator 8 – 24 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, take meat out of refrigerator, drain marinade, and let meat come to room temperature.
  6. Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high (you can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.)
  7. When steak is room temperature and grill is hot, put steak on grill. For nice grill marks, place steak at a diagonal to grill slats, after about 3 minutes, rotate 45 degrees on same side and cook a few more minutes. Turn steak over and cook until desired doneness.
  8. You can see from the photos that I like my meat fairly rare, and I cooked this tri tip just over 8 minutes, but actual cooking time will depend on grill temperature, thickness of the meat, meat temperature, and even the temperature of the air if cooking outside.
  9. With steak this thick, I recommend using an inexpensive instant-read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to tell when it’s done. Here’s a chart showing recommended temperatures for various levels of doneness.


Carol says she has marinated this as long as two days, and it still turned out great. She’s also frozen the meat in the bag with the marinade and thawed it when she wanted to cook the pre-marinated meat.

You can make this with purchased Montreal Steak Seasoning, or use the recipe for Kalyn’s take on Montreal Steak Seasoning. Be sure to use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.

Nutritional information is for this recipe with two pounds of Tri Tip Steak, but use any kind of beef steak you prefer.

This recipe from my former neighbor Carol.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 3023mgCarbohydrates: 2.6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 41g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Steak that was marinated with Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade Recipe would be a great dinner option for low-carb diet plans. The South Beach Diet recommends choosing steak that’s less than 10% fat, and although this is a fairly lean cut, I’m guessing it’s slightly higher than that so if you’re strictly following South Beach this would be an occasional treat.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes for more ideas like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2008! It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade

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    38 Comments on “Carol’s Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade”

  1. How long is cooking time if done in oven ?

    • I can’t answer that because I’ve never cooked this in the oven. But if you have an Instant Read Meat Thermometer, you could easily use the chart (linked towards the end of the recipe) to see what the temperature should be for certain levels of doneness, and cook until it’s as done as you prefer. Love to hear how it works in the oven if you try it.

  2. I just ate my breakfast and you made me hungry again lol. What a recipe, wish I had a little more talent in the kitchen! Thank you for sharing it!

  3. What a recipe, wish I had a little more talent in the kitchen! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Followed every step – can’t believe I haven’t tried preparing a steak this way before! (and I work at a steakhouse so I know a thing or two) – Carol sure did a great job here!

  5. So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Hello KALYN DENNY,
    Made the Tri Tip for friends this weekend. First time grilling a tri-tip for me. May sound weird but we usually stick to steaks. This was delicious and came out perfect. We all thought it tasted amazing. Thank you for the recipe and step by step instructions.

  7. Really useful info! thanks 🙂

  8. Looks so delicious! Love to try a lot of different dishes as steak. It is my favorite dish.

  9. Looks like a good marinade. One thing I just wanted to point out for those who are gluten intolerant or allergic – like myself. Worcestershire sauce contains soy sauce (which contains wheat). I have had no luck finding a gluten free Worcestershire sauce! This would not be gluten free using a standard off the shelf Worcestershire sauce. If you know of a gluten free brand of WS, please let me know. I have to be careful and read all labels,as wheat is often listed. The Wikipedia ingredient list is incomplete.

    • Angie, I checked Amazon.com and also Google and found several brands of Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce in each place. At least they claim to be gluten-free; I can't do any more than check like that.

    • Angie, I'll make a note of it in the recipe though, thanks!

  10. What do you recommend for cooking these in the oven? I have done the rub and marinade all I need now is baking directions.

    • I haven't ever cooked them in the oven so I'm not sure how that would work. I'd cook in a pan on the stove if you don't have a grill.

  11. Mimi, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the tip on freezing!

  12. We loved the recipe and marinade. The steaks were juice, flavorful and tender. My family and guest enjoyed them.

    Since I froze 1/2 of the batch I made, we had them again last night. After 4 days in the freezer, they were even better than the first time.

    Thank you for a great recipe for a truly picky group of people.