How to Tenderize and Marinate Steaks

by Ainsley Patterson ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can go to the grocery store, select the most delicious-looking and expensive steak from the meat counter and put a hole in your pocket paying for it. You can also pick out a moderately priced steak and use tenderizing and marinading to give your less-expensive steak a rich flavor--saving you money while not skimping out on taste. Next time you are in the market for a good steak, save yourself money by devoting a little more prep time to your meat.

Coat your steak with a generous amount of Kosher salt. You want the entire to steak to be completely covered in salt. Don't worry, you will rinse the salt off later.

Measure the thickness of your steak and set your timer for one hour for each inch of thickness. For example, if your steak is 1 1/2 inches thick, set your timer for 1 1/2 hours. Let the steak sit until the timer goes off.

Rinse the salt off of the steak thoroughly, then pat the steak dry with a clean dish towel. Throw the towel straight into the wash to avoid spreading any bacteria around your kitchen.

Place your steak into a zipper bag with the marinade of your choice. Let the steak sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes. You can let it stay longer if you like to prepare the meat further ahead of time, but 30 minutes is adequate enough time for the meat to absorb the flavor of the marinade. Make sure all sides of the steak are coated in the marinade before placing it in the fridge to sit.

Remove the steak from the zipper bag and cook as you normally would, whether that be grilling or broiling.


  • Steak marinades come in a wide variety of flavors, so choose one that sounds good to you and try it out. You might go through a few different marinades before you find one you like. One simple way to marinade a steak is with Italian dressing.

    You can purchase marinade seasoning packets that you mix with ingredients such as vinegar and oil to make a marinade if you don't want to make one from scratch.

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About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.