15 minutes is all it takes to infuse your meat with flavor, and with the tips below, you’ll achieve juicy and tender marinated skewers on the grill.
Should You Marinate Kabobs Before Grilling?
You don’t have to marinate kabobs, but if you crave tender, juicy, flavorful skewers, you’ll definitely want to! Marinades help tenderize the meat while infusing it with flavor, transforming plain beef into mouthwatering bites!
With this quick and easy beef kabob marinade, you don’t need to wait hours before grilling. Mix everything in a zip bag, let it rest for 15 minutes, and the meat will absorb pure flavor goodness -it’s that fast.
Of course, if there’s no rush and you like to prep ahead, you can soak the beef pieces for a few hours or even overnight before grilling for extra yumminess!
Super tasty ingredients come together for the most flavorful beef kabob marinade ever!
What you need:
- Soy sauce: helps to tenderize the meat without adding salt to the marinade.
- Olive oil: coats the beef for grilling while adding flavor.
- Lemon juice: always fresh! It brightens up all the flavors. You will discard the marinade, so don’t worry too much about the seeds.
- Worcestershire sauce: adds salt, flavor, and tenderizes the beef.
- Garlic cloves: a classic aromatic any grilling marinade needs!
- Dried basil: Italian seasoning or any other dried herb also works!
- Ground white or black pepper: because we want beef kabobs seasoned well.
- Red chili paste: also known as Sriracha, optional for a kick of heat.
- Beef: sirloin is a tender meat that works great for skewers. Flat Iron, Strip Steak, or Tenderloin are great choices too.
You’ll find a printable recipe card below with all the ingredient measurements.
How to Marinate Beef Kabobs
Adding delicious flavor to your beef kabobs is as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a zip bag and letting it rest for 15 minutes or more while the meat absorbs the marinade.
Check the step-by-step:
- Make the marinade
In a large bowl or direction in a zip bag, combine the marinade ingredients.
- Add the beef
Place the even cubed beef pieces in a zip bag with the marinade for 15 to 45 minutes, or up to overnight. You can also use a marinating tray to marinate the skewers already assembled.
- Prep the skewers
Tip: while the beef marinades, this is a great time to soak your skewers.
Thread the cubes of meat onto the skewers, alternating with veggies if using.
Watch this quick video to learn more tips!
How Long to Marinate Steak Kabobs
Once the beef kabob marinade is ready and you place the cubed meat in the zip bag, the steak pieces can marinade for as little as 15 minutes. For more flavor, let the marinade do its magic for 45 minutes and as long as overnight if you like to prep ahead.
Marinating the meat for a couple of hours will help tenderize the meat and come out more flavorful. However, do not let beef for skewers sit in an acid-containing marinade for longer than 24 hours, or the beef will begin to cook.
If you’re using wooden skewers to make your kabobs, soaking them while the beef is marinating is a perfect time, and it will help prevent them from burning on the grill.
Do You Need to Tenderize the Beef Before Making Kabobs?
Marinades that contain acids from citrus or vinegar will tenderize the beef by breaking down the meat fibers, so you don’t need to tenderize the meat manually. The Worcestershire sauce is highly concentrated in vinegar and does the job perfectly in this recipe!
What Cut of Beef is Best for Skewers?
When making skewers, you want cuts of beef that are naturally tender when cooked for a short period. Sirloin is used most often, but you can also make kabobs with Flat Iron, Strip Steak, or Tenderloin.
Do You Cut the Steak Before or After Marinating?
Since you’ll want all of your meat pieces to absorb the flavors of your marinade, you’ll want to cut the beef into even pieces before marinating. This will ensure that every piece of beef in the kabobs is flavorful, tender, and juicy!
Do You Marinate the Vegetables too?
Marinades make everything tastier, including veggies! You can use this marinade recipe to soak the vegetables in a separate bag or make this Simple Vegetable Marinade recipe. Veggies should not soak in any marinade for longer than 4 hours.
More Grilling & Kabob Tips
Want to add chicken and veggies to the party? Check how to grill chicken kabobs like a pro and all my tips to grill perfect veggie kebabs every time. To enjoy delicious kabobs all-year round, learn how to cook kabobs in the oven, and you won’t miss any grilling season flavor!
Beef Kabob Marinade
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 6 garlic cloves, grated
- 3 tablespoons dried basil, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste (Sriracha), optional
- 2 lbs of beef sirloin, tenderloin, or tips, cubed
- In a large bowl or direction in a zip bag, combine the marinade ingredients.
- Place the cubed beef pieces in a zip bag with the marinade for 15 to 45 minutes, or up to overnight. You can also use a marinating tray to marinate the skewers already assembled.
- Tip: while the beef marinades, this is a great time to soak your skewers.
- Thread the cubes of meat onto the skewers, alternating with vegetables if using.