This Easy Steak Marinade recipe came from my former neighbor Carol, and it’s been my go-to recipe for marinating steak for many years! And this post also shows you how to use the steak marinade on grilled tri-tip for a fantastic dinner!

PIN the Easy Steak Marinade recipe to make it later!

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

This week for my Friday Favorites pick I’m reminding you about the recipe for Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade that I got from my former neighbor Carol. This recipe made quite an impression on me, and I’ve been using it to marinate steak ever since Carol knocked on my door and offered to bring me steak and grilled asparagus for dinner!

The steak was absolutely amazing, and when I told Carol how much I loved it, she gave me the recipe to share with my readers. And this extra easy steak marinade has been on my blog for years now, thanks Carol.

The only slightly bittersweet part of the whole story is that a few weeks 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?

(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

What makes this Steak Marinade recipe so easy?

This perfect steak marinade only has six ingredients, and a few of them are things that I bet you keep on hand. This recipe is good on most any cut of steak of beef, and the marinating time is really flexible. And you can mix the marinade up right in the bag you’re going to use to marinate the meat in! It doesn’t get much easier than that.

How much marinating time do you need for this easy steak marinade recipe?

If you can possibly make it work, I recommend you marinate the steak all day in the fridge. Longer marinating time is great too if you want to start marinating overnight and then cook later the next day. 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.

How low in carbs is steak with this easy steak marinade?

Steak that’s marinated in this easy marinade and the grilled has less than 1 net carb per serving!

How can you tell when steak is done on the grill?

I always use an instant-read meat thermometer (affiliate link) to check when my steak is done. Here’s a great chart with cooking temperatures to help you pick the level of doneness based on the thermometer readings.

What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?

If you don’t have an outdoor grill or it’s not grilling weather, you can cook this marinated and grill steak on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or on a George Foreman Grill. (affiliate links) The George Foreman Grill cooks both sides at once, so you’ll need to adjust the grilling time for that method.

Want more ideas for beef cooked on the grill?

Carol's Tri Tip process shots collage

How to make Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade (and Grilled Tri-Tip):

(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

  1. I buy Tri-Tip at Costco when I get that craving for red meat, and Tri-Tip steak is what we used for this recipe, but use any cut of steak you prefer.  
  2. Trim off the visible fat and cut into serving-size pieces as desired.
  3. Rub the tri-tip pieces on both sides with Szeged Steak Rub or Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  4. Mix together lime juice, Worcestershire Sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil; if you’d like you can mix it right in the bag like Carol did.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.
  8. I recommend using an inexpensive Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to check for the level of doneness you prefer. Serve hot.

Carol's Easy Steak Marinade shown on serving plate with marinated zucchini salad

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

The steak you see in the photo was marinated with Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade and then grilled to perfection, and in the photo it’s shown with Marinated Zucchini Salad for a low-carb meal. Other side dishes that would be great include Low-Carb Italian Pasta Salad, Easy Grilled Vegetables, or Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad.

More Recipes for Tasty Beef on the Grill:

Weekend Food Prep:

This easy steak marinade recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Carol's Easy Steak Marinade shown on serving plate with marinated zucchini salad
Yield: 6 servings

Carol's Easy Steak Marinade

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 25 minutes

I’ve been using this recipe for Carol's Easy Steak Marinade for many years, and this recipe always results in the tastiest grilled steak ever! And this steak marinade is so easy, you can even mix it right in the bag you're going to use to marinate the steak.



  • 2 lbs. Tri Tip steak
  • 3 - 4 T Steak Rub (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 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.

I would love this recipe with Szeged Steak Rub (affiliate link). You can make this with purchased Montreal Steak Seasoning, or use the recipe for Sugar-Free 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

Easy Steak Marinade Photo showing grilled steak on plate with zucchini-artichoke salad.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
A juicy grilled steak that’s been marinated in this extra-easy steak marinade would be a great dinner option for low-carb diet or Keto 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 Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
The recipe for Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade was first posted in 2008 when the fabulous Carol lived next door to me, and I’ve been making it ever since! It was last updated with more information in 2024.

Pinterest image of Carol's Easy Steak Marinade

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