Chuck Steak Marinade (2024)

Chuck Steak Marinade (1)

Chuck steak is affordable and packed with flavor and nutrients. It offers an opportunity to stretch your food budget without skipping your favorite steak dinner. You can easily grill this cut of beef or use the stove and oven to give it a great texture. But no matter how you cook it, this particular steak benefits from marinating in a mix with an enzyme that softens it.

Marinating the Chuck steak adds flavor and juiciness. Using an acidic ingredient in the marinade tenderizes it as well. This steak is cut from the large muscle group of the shoulder, so the exercise it receives can lead to a little toughness. Make sure your dinner turns out tender with this flavorful Chuck steak marinade.

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Steak Marinade Basics

Marinade is based on ancient traditions closer to brining, which is soaking meat in salt water. The average modern marinade contains a lot more than just salt and water. Common ingredients include acids like lemon juice or vinegar, oil, and various flavorings like salt, pepper, and spices. Combinations of various flavorful liquids help boost both flavor and juiciness in the cooked steak.

Why Marinate Steak?

The marinade penetrates past the surface of the steak if you use the right ingredients. Salt and acidic liquids travel deeper, carrying along the other flavor compounds into the meat. The salt in the marinade also encourages the natural juices to circulate and stay trapped in the core rather than cooking out at the surface. Finally, marinating a more well-exercised cut like Chuck steak helps soften the texture, especially when acids or enzymatic ingredients are included.

Different Variations of Marinades

Many marinades are based on the combination of oil and vinegar, along with flavoring ingredients. Water and water-based ingredients often aren’t added since they’re hard to add to the emulsion of oil and vinegar. For a water-based marinade, you’re more likely to see ingredients like citrus juice, honey, wine, and soy sauce. There are also milk-based marinades that rely on buttermilk or yogurt.

These ingredients are both acidic and rich with enzymes that soften the meat. No matter the marinade you choose, you need to make sure you add enough salt to the mix for better flavor and texture.

How Long to Marinate Steak?

Tougher cuts of beef like Chuck steak can handle longer soaks in your favorite marinade. Thinner and more tender steaks like the Filet Mignon only need 3 to 4 hours in the marinade to reach peak tenderness and flavor.

For the maximum tenderizing effect, you’ll want to give the steak at least 8 hours to soak. That means you can mix up the marinade the night before or just toss the steak in to soak that morning before cooking that evening. 24-hour and longer marinating periods aren’t needed, but it’s fine if you need a little more time to cook since Chuck steak won’t get too soft from an extended soak.

Tips on Mixing Up a Marinade

Your Chuck steak marinade likely only needs a whisk or fork to come together. If you’re trying to mix oil with other ingredients like vinegar and water, you may want to add everything to a food processor or blender. Power mixing will ensure the oil droplets are mixed with the other ingredients for a marinade that distributes flavor evenly throughout the whole steak.

You can also try using a hand mixer or immersion blender to mix your marinade and get smooth results. If you’re mixing the marinade in a bag, you can seal it and shake or squeeze the bag to combine the ingredients.

Choosing a Marinating Vessel

You need to surround the Chuck steak with the marinade as much as possible while soaking it. While covered glass casserole dishes and plastic food containers can work, they tend to leave one side of the steak exposed. A plastic zip-top bag is usually the best choice because you can press out the air and ensure the Chuck steak marinade completely surrounds the meat.

Chuck Steak Marinade Recipe


  • ½ cup of olive oil or other neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup of lime or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper


1. Mix all the ingredients together by hand or in a blender.

2. Place the Chuck steaks in a bag or container, then cover them with the marinade. Soak the steaks for 6 to 12 hours, or overnight.


Once you’ve marinated your Chuck steaks, they can handle grilling or oven roasting without getting dry or tough. Serve these rich and flavorful steaks with your favorite side dishes.

Chuck Steak Marinade (2)

Chuck Steak Marinade

Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1/3 cup olive oil or other neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients together by hand or in a blender.

  • Place the Chuck steaks in a bag or container, then cover them with the marinade. Soak the steaks for 6 to 12 hours, or overnight.

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Chuck Steak Marinade (2024)


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