Perfect 3 Ingredient Steak Marinade Recipe: Keto, Low Carb, and Delicious

Sabrina Dawson

3 ingredient steak marinade
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Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, mastering the art of marinating steak can elevate your cooking game to new heights. And what better way to start than with a simple yet flavorful 3 ingredient steak marinade? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about creating the perfect marinade for your favorite cuts of beef.

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The Appeal of 3 Ingredient Marinades

The beauty of a 3 ingredient marinade lies in its simplicity. By using just a few key ingredients, you can achieve remarkable results without the need for a lengthy list of spices and seasonings. This minimalist approach not only saves time but also allows the flavors of the meat to shine through.

The Ingredients

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1. Olive Oil

  • Quantity: 1/4 cup
  • Description: Olive oil serves as the base of the marinade, providing moisture and richness to the meat. Its subtle fruity flavor adds depth to the marinade without overpowering the steak.

2. Garlic

  • Quantity: 2 cloves (minced)
  • Description: Garlic brings a bold, pungent flavor to the marinade, infusing the steak with its aromatic essence. Whether minced or crushed, garlic adds a distinctive kick that complements the savory notes of the meat.

3. Rosemary

  • Quantity: 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped) or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Description: Rosemary lends a fragrant, earthy aroma to the marinade, imparting a subtle herbal flavor to the steak. Whether fresh or dried, rosemary adds complexity to the marinade, elevating it to new heights.

Making the Marinade

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Before you begin mixing your marinade, it’s essential to gather all your ingredients. For this 3 ingredient steak marinade, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of Olive Oil: This serves as the base of the marinade, providing moisture and richness to the meat.
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (minced): Garlic brings a robust, pungent flavor to the marinade, adding depth and complexity to the steak.
  • 1 tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary (chopped) or 1 teaspoon of Dried Rosemary: Rosemary lends a fragrant, earthy aroma to the marinade, imparting a subtle herbal flavor to the steak.

Ensure that your ingredients are fresh and of high quality to achieve the best results.

Step 2: Combine and Mix

Once you have all your ingredients ready, it’s time to combine them to create the marinade. In a small bowl, pour the olive oil and add the minced garlic and chopped rosemary.

Using a whisk or fork, thoroughly mix the ingredients together until they are well blended. You want to ensure that the garlic and rosemary are evenly distributed throughout the olive oil to infuse the marinade with flavor.

Step 3: Coat the Steak

Now that your marinade is ready, it’s time to prepare your steak. Place your steak in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag, making sure it’s large enough to accommodate the meat.

Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring that it is fully coated on all sides. Use your hands or a brush to massage the marinade into the meat, ensuring that every inch is covered.

Step 4: Marinate

Once your steak is coated in the marinade, cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate it. Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and penetrate the meat.

For optimal results, you can marinate the steak for up to 2 hours. However, avoid marinating for too long, as the acidity in the marinade can break down the proteins in the meat, resulting in a mushy texture.

Cooking the Steak

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Step 1: Preheat the Grill

Before you start cooking, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. This ensures that the grill is hot enough to sear the steak quickly, locking in its juices and creating that delicious caramelized crust on the outside.

Step 2: Remove the Steak from the Marinade

Take the marinated steak out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before grilling. Allowing the steak to come to room temperature ensures that it cooks more evenly.

Step 3: Grill to Perfection

Once your grill is preheated and your steak has rested, it’s time to start grilling. Place the steak on the grill, directly over the heat source, and cook it to your desired level of doneness.

For a rare steak, cook it for about 4-5 minutes per side. For a medium-rare steak, aim for 5-6 minutes per side. Adjust the cooking time according to your preference and the thickness of the steak.

Remember to flip the steak only once halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking and beautiful grill marks on both sides.

Step 4: Rest and Serve

Once the steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a juicy and flavorful steak.

After resting, slice the steak against the grain to maximize tenderness and serve it hot. You can accompany your grilled steak with your favorite side dishes and sauces for a complete and satisfying meal.

Tips and Tricks

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Choosing the Right Cut of Steak

Selecting the right cut of steak is crucial for achieving the best results with your marinade. Flank steak is an excellent choice for this marinade due to its lean yet flavorful characteristics. Ensure it’s well-trimmed to avoid any chewy or tough bits. Skirt steak is another great option; it has a bit more fat, which can enhance the flavor. Don’t hesitate to experiment with other cuts like sirloin, ribeye, or even tenderloin. Each cut will bring its unique texture and flavor profile, so feel free to explore what works best for you.

Quality Ingredients Matter

The quality of your ingredients significantly impacts the flavor of your marinade. Olive oil is the base of your marinade, and using high-quality extra virgin olive oil will add richness and depth. Fresh garlic cloves are essential for their robust flavor; avoid pre-minced garlic as it often lacks the same intensity. Rosemary should be fresh for the best results, as it brings a vibrant and earthy aroma to the marinade. If using dried rosemary, ensure it’s relatively new, as older dried herbs can lose potency over time.

Marinating Tips

Properly marinating your steak is key to infusing it with flavor. Ensure the steak is evenly coated with the marinade by massaging it into the meat. This helps the flavors penetrate deeply. While 30 minutes is the minimum for marinating, extending it to 2 hours can significantly enhance the flavor. However, avoid marinating for more than 8 hours, as the acids in the marinade can break down the meat too much, resulting in a mushy texture. Always marinate the steak in a non-reactive container like glass, ceramic, or a plastic bag to avoid any unwanted chemical reactions that can occur with metal containers.

Grilling Techniques

Preheating your grill to medium-high heat is essential for creating a good sear on the steak, which locks in the juices and adds a delicious caramelized crust. Lightly oil the grill grates before placing the steak on them to prevent sticking. Using a high smoke point oil like vegetable oil is ideal for this purpose. Cook the steak over direct heat for the best sear, and remember to flip it only once halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking and beautiful grill marks on both sides.

Monitoring Doneness

To achieve the perfect level of doneness, use a meat thermometer. Here are the temperature guidelines: Rare: 120-130°F (49-54°C), Medium-Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C), Medium: 135-145°F (57-63°C), Medium-Well: 145-155°F (63-68°C), and Well-Done: 155-165°F (68-74°C). If you prefer not to use a thermometer, you can use the touch test to gauge doneness. A rare steak will feel soft and squishy, while a well-done steak will feel firm.

Resting the Steak

Allowing the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes after grilling is crucial. This resting period lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each bite is juicy and flavorful. Tent the steak loosely with foil while it rests to retain heat without causing the steak to steam, which can soften the crust.

Slicing and Serving

When slicing the steak, always cut against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, which shortens them and makes the steak more tender and easier to chew. Serve your steak with complementary sides like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. A simple chimichurri or a dollop of herb butter can also enhance the flavors.

Additional Flavor Enhancements

Feel free to experiment with other herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil for a different flavor profile. Adding chopped shallots, a splash of lemon juice, or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinade can provide an extra flavor kick. While olive oil is a great choice, you can also try avocado oil or melted coconut oil for a twist.

Safety Considerations

Avoid cross-contamination by discarding any marinade that has been in contact with raw meat. If you have leftover marinade that hasn’t touched raw meat, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the marinade in ice cube trays for longer storage and convenient future use.


Mastering the art of marinating steak doesn’t have to be complicated. With just three simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful and tender steak that will impress even the most discerning palate. So fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal that’s sure to become a favorite in your household. Cheers to good food and great company!