Home On The Grill Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade

Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade

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Carol’s 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 if you try this fabulous steak marinade recipe I got from Carol, I bet you’re going to end up making it over and over!

PIN Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade recipe to make it later!

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

This recipe for Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade made quite an impression on me, and I’m featuring it for Friday Favorites this week to entice you to try it too. 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 woman named 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’d never say no, right?

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. 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?

How long should you marinate the steak for this 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 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?

I know beef is more expensive these days, but if you still like a nice piece of beef cooked on the grill you can find more ideas in my round-ups for Amazing Low-Carb and Keto Beef Steak on the Grill and Low-Carb and Keto Beef, Pork, and Lamb Cooked on the Grill.

Carol's Tri Tip process shots collage

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

(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 Easy Steak Marinade shown on serving plate with marinated zucchini salad

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

We enjoyed the steak marinated with Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade with Marinated Zucchini Salad for a low-carb meal. Other side dishes that would be great include Air Fryer Turnip Fries, Low-Carb Italian Pasta Salad, Easy Grilled Vegetables, or Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad.

More Recipes for Tasty Beef on the Grill:

Marinated Beef Kabobs

Grilled Cuban Flank Steak

Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

Steak and Mushroom Kabobs

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Weekend Food Prep:

This 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!



  • 2 lbs. Tri Tip steak
  • 3 – 4 T Montreal Steak Seasoning or Szeged 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 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.

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 Kalyn’s 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!

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

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Steak that’s marinated in Carol’s Easy Steak Marinade would be a great dinner option for low-carb diet or Keto 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, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2008 when the fabulous Carol lived next door to me in Salt Lake and I’ve been making it ever since! It was last updated with more information in 2022.

Pinterest image of Carol's Easy Steak Marinade

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