Inside Columbia


Bring Your Next Steak to the Next Level With This Magnificent Marinade

By Inside Columbia
Steak on the grill

Photos by L.G. Patterson

Being born and raised on a cattle farm, some of my fondest memories are of riding in the truck with my dad, checking fences, water and cattle.

My family still owns the same cattle operation, and we still produce some of the best meat anywhere. I’m literally all about beef.

And cooking beef? Grilling, especially? That’s my love language.

As a professional caterer, I’ve had occasions to grill on gas, charcoal and wood; on great big grills and some pretty flimsy affairs. From behind houses, cars, businesses and near lakes, I’ve learned how to judge heat, and meat, pretty well.

Sara Fougere's steak marinade

So here’s my grilling wisdom for you. It’s simple: Quality meat and a good, flavorful marinade.

People are surprised when I say my favorite steak is a top sirloin. It’s a really affordable cut and with a great marinade, it’s tender, full of flavor and has the best texture. I love a good filet as well, but for the price, flavor and texture, give me a marinated top sirloin anytime. I love to turn it into kebobs, add some veggies and put it on the grill. The marinade infuses flavor into the vegetables as well.

A great marinade, like this one, can take any cut of meat to pretty good and a good piece of steak to terrific. It adds complimentary flavors and, when necessary, some tenderness. I count on this marinade for professional jobs and when grilling for my own family on our deck. Short on prep time and long on results, you’ll wonder how you did without it.

Make this the year grilling becomes your love language, too.

Sara’s Steak Marinade


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (I love fresh but bottled is fine)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Place steaks in a glass baking dish.
  • Pour marinade over steaks, turning over to make sure they are fully covered. Marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours, but no more than 24 hours or meat will get mushy.
  • Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  • Grill over high heat to start, then lower temperature. Grill until medium-rare (time depends on the thickness of the steak).


To make kebabs, cut steak into 2-inch cubes before marinating. Marinate for two hours, then thread onto skewers with vegetables of your choice.

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