Just the other day I was thinking, why aren’t there more BBQ sauce marinades for steak? Allow me to explain what I mean. Want steak with BBQ sauce then you'll need to know that there are steaks big and small, from choice to prime and all the other versions that exist. We hear about marinades which usually consist of some form of liquid, dry spice ingredients and herbs or in some case vegetables and even some form of oil but we never seem to hear about a BBQ sauce marinade for steak.
By now you’ve probably read my post called: When to add BBQ Sauce on Steak? This post set out to discover along with the reader when and if it made sense to add a BBQ Sauce to a steak during the grilling process. It was a simple question which oddly enough conjured up widespread consternation in the “Barbecue World” meaning those who work to create sauces or make barbecue for a living. There were as many opinions on that as there are fingers on one’s hand. But that question has already been asked and answered.
So, let’s spend a few moments on BBQ sauce as a marinade and what it actually does to a meat product. So, let’s first define our sauce. We’re going to be focused on our straight from the manufacturer Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce. Why? Well because this sauce is a blend of all the basic components that make up the most popular selling sauces. The BBQ sauce contains the compulsory liquids such as apple cider vinegar, water, molasses (which is both liquid water and browned sugar). The spices consist of salts and peppers, and the vegetable/herb component consisting of garlic, tomato paste and onion. And to top it off we throw in a little Xanthan gum a natural bean thickener to add body to the sauce along with some hints of natural wood smoke.
The sauce ingredients are great but we must ask ourselves the realistic question, why are we using a marinade for steak? Well, in most cases the average person isn’t able to invest $40 to $50 in an uncooked steak with the hopes of turning it into a restaurant quality result. Instead in so many cases steaks are bought at average quality then marinated to give them a higher degree of tenderness, thus somewhat simulating the higher dollar steaks. To take that steak up another level requires some effort and planning. And when we say planning what we generally mean is time. Time is the one factor we have very little control over. It is so easy to misjudge the marinating process and thus end up with a steak that is no tenderer than when it was first purchased. It’s also very easy to over marinate a steak such that it becomes almost limp and without any semblance of firmness or texture even after it is cooked. The end result of under and over marinating is loss of the money used to purchase the steak in the first place not to mention the taste.
So, let’s plan on using time wisely and also using our ingredients effectively to get the job done. But first it’s time for the technical jargon. Dictionaries define Marination or marinating as the process of soaking foods. Most often the liquid is somewhat acidic like a brine and produces what is commonly known as a “pickling process”. The liquids can either be of the acidic variety such as lemon juice, lime juice, wine or vinegar or can be made with items like pineapple, papaya or ginger. In addition a neutral pH source is used such as oils, herbs and spices used to create additional flavor.
The true marination process in addition to time is about tissue breakdown which is the ability to soften heavy fibrous members in effect opening up the pours of the fibers such that moisture can be absorbed to create a softer, juicier end product which is commonly called tender. There are a number of ways to achieve the marination process we’ve outlined what we believe to be the easiest and simplest form.
One must take precaution to limit the time in which the meat spends suspended in the marinating solution. Too much acid, oil or spice can be detrimental to the overall results. Also be careful to allow any frozen meats to thaw before adding marinades. If a marinade is added to a frozen piece of meat the odds are pretty high that the thawed result will turn mushy to the touch and make lack flavor overall.
What’s considered a reasonable period for marinating meats. Every real barbecue aficionado will tell you the time it takes to marinate a meat depends on the type of meat and not necessarily the size of the meat. Of course if you’re attempting to marinate a 2 pound roast with 6 ounces of marinade then obviously there is not enough marinade to go around. In fact you may need to envelope the meat by placing it in a sealable bag or in a container with a closing lid. If you have the ability to place the meat and marinate in a bag and vacuum seal it you then increase the marinating ability of the liquid by removing 99% of the air to create that vacuum. Using such a vacuum will decrease the time necessary to tenderize the meat. Here are some general guidelines for time and marinating:
½ Cup 1 Lb of Meat
1 Cup 2 Lbs of Meat
Some notations on marinating times. If your marinade contains alcohol, acid or salt then it’s advisable to marinate for no more than 4 hours. If your marinade contains items such as pineapple or lime juice then it’s advisable to marinate for no more than 2 hours. Additionally marinades that contain no alcohol or acid can be marinated overnight depending on the meat type. If marinating fish certainly you would not want to marinate that longer than 2 hours otherwise the fish will get mushy.
Alright now that we’ve gotten all of the technical jargon out of the way let’s get to why BBQ sauce as a marinade works on steaks. The real reason anyone uses marinades on steaks is primarily for the flavor. In fact 9 out of 10 people will tell you that they use a barbecue flavored, or Cajun flavored, or Texas style flavored marinade because they want to bring back some memory of an unforgettable meal they had in either in the location or at some friend or relatives home. Nowadays though so many people try a recipe because they saw it on some Food related TV show or perhaps because they’ve always wanted to try a version of a marinade for a specific event such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
As for our Really Good BBQ Sauce we created a formula that takes advantage of the premium marinating ingredients with heightened amount of apple cider vinegar, ripened tomato paste (the acids), smoked salt, garlic and onion balanced with molasses and brown sugar. And when combined in a container or bag for marinating it can act fast to tenderize meat in under 2 hours. Marinating a steak with BBQ sauce becomes almost effortless. The same applies to chickens and ribs.
Is it a good idea to reuse the marinade after using it on a steak? NO! The breakdown of tissue fibers in the meat along with the meat enzymes will cause other meats to spoil or be contaminated so it’s best to discard the marinade after its initial use. The marinade is best not be used on other meats or fish. As for the steak, you don’t have to scrape it off the meat just shake off any excess prior to grilling.
Now that your BBQ sauce marinated steak is ready for grilling what’s the best way to cook it? Unfortunately, the average home stove cannot reach the requisite 700-800 degrees for broiling. But you can achieve a really great taste and cook if you use a cast iron pan. We use the cast iron pan because it retains the heat better than aluminum or tin based pans. And like some many restaurants they use high heat to achieve a sear on the meat then quickly transfer the meat in the pan to a high temperature oven. The oven heat surrounds the meat evenly causing an awesome roasting effect. Once seared and roasted remove the steak from the pan and place it on a warm container covering the steak to allow it to properly rest. Most restaurant level steaks are cooked for about 6-8 minutes per side using a broiler where the temperature exceeds 500 degrees. For Medium Well the steak should be on the grill at least 8 minutes per side. Check our temperature and cooking charts for steaks to be sure.
The steak should rest for a minimum of 5 minutes before serving. DO NOT cut into the steak after pulling it off the grill without it resting. If you cut into it before the resting is complete the juices will run out of the meat leaving the pieces tougher than they would have been if rested. Restaurants will only rest a steak for 2-3 minutes before serving but they do rest them.
The beauty of using our Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce is that not only can the sauce be used as a marinade it can also be used as a basting sauce. The sauce can also be used as a way to glaze steaks.
Glazing a steak with Jake’s Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce. Sometimes you just want to have an extra amount of flavor on your steak. You can achieve through the simple process of glazing. Glazing allows barbecue sauces containing sugar to form a coating or sugar glaze on the outside of the steak. For this process to work you must first baste the steak then grill it then flip the steak while the BBQ sauce practically dries on the meat. The sauce is then reapplied and the process repeated several more times until the steak has a nice sugary sheen. You must be careful not to overcook or burn the meat in the process though.
The additional niceness of using our barbecue sauce on steak is the ability to pair the sauce with other ingredients like honey, or jalapenos or strawberries. In fact we have a really nice recipe for strawberry BBQ sauce that would pair wonderfully as a glaze on steaks.
Follow these links to get your favorite beef Barbecue Sauce and get our discount code to make sure you get more of what you want for less.
Really Good Mild Barbecue Sauce
Medium Hot Barbecue Sauce
Really Hot Barbecue Sauce
Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Memphis Blues Barbecue Sauce
Texas Style Inspired Barbecue Sauce
Asian Style Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Sriracha Ketchup Spicy Sauce
Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub
Memphis Style Rib Rub
Awesome Carolina Sugar Free Steak Rub
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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 13 March, 2020.