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Should I put BBQ sauce on steak?


When it comes to grilling steak, there are countless ways to enhance its flavor. One question that often arises is whether it is appropriate to use BBQ sauce on steak. While some purists argue against it, others embrace the bold and smoky flavors that BBQ sauce can bring to a perfectly cooked steak. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using BBQ sauce on steak and provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision.

The Case for BBQ Sauce on Steak

Flavor Enhancement: One of the main reasons people choose to use BBQ sauce on steak is the added flavor it provides. BBQ sauce typically contains a combination of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors that can complement the natural taste of the steak. It adds depth and richness to each bite, making the overall dining experience more enjoyable.

Variety: BBQ sauces come in a wide range of flavors and styles, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect match for your steak. From tangy and spicy to sweet and smoky, there is a BBQ sauce out there for every palate. Trying different sauces can add an element of excitement and adventure to your grilling endeavors.

Tenderizing: Some BBQ sauces contain ingredients like vinegar or citrus juices that can help tenderize the steak. The acidity in these ingredients breaks down the proteins in the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy steak. If you have a tough cut of meat, marinating it in BBQ sauce can be a game-changer.

The Case Against BBQ Sauce on Steak

Steak’s Natural Flavor: Steak is already delicious on its own, with its rich, beefy flavor. Some argue that using BBQ sauce can overpower or mask the natural taste of the meat. If you prefer to enjoy the simplicity and purity of a perfectly cooked steak, you might want to skip the BBQ sauce.

Personal Preference: Taste is subjective, and while many enjoy the combination of BBQ sauce and steak, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t particularly enjoy the flavors of BBQ sauce or prefer the taste of a plain steak, there is no obligation to use it. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.

Can you use BBQ sauce as a marinade for steak?

When it comes to grilling a delicious steak, marinades can be a game-changer. They infuse the meat with flavors and help tenderize it for a mouthwatering result. While traditional steak marinades usually consist of herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice, many people wonder if they can use BBQ sauce as a marinade for steak. Let’s dive into this tasty topic!

What is BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce is a popular condiment in the UK that adds a rich and flavorful kick to grilled meats. It typically contains a combination of ingredients like tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, spices, and sometimes even Worcestershire sauce or mustard. The exact recipe can vary, but the overall aim is to create a sweet, tangy, and smoky flavor profile.

Using BBQ sauce as a marinade

Yes, you can use BBQ sauce as a marinade for steak! Its bold flavors can enhance the taste of the meat and create a delightful caramelized crust when cooked. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Marinating time: Since BBQ sauce is already flavorful, you don’t need to marinate the steak for an extended period. Aim for 30 minutes to a few hours to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  2. Acidity: Some BBQ sauces may contain acidic ingredients like vinegar, which can help tenderize the steak. However, prolonged exposure to acids can also make the meat mushy, so monitor the marinating time and avoid leaving it overnight.
  3. Basting: To intensify the BBQ flavor, you can reserve a portion of the sauce for basting during grilling. Brush it onto the steak in the final minutes of cooking to create a sticky glaze.

Remember, while BBQ sauce can be a delicious marinade for steak, it’s always a good idea to experiment and find flavors that you enjoy the most!

Alternative steak marinades

If you’re looking to try something different, there are plenty of other marinades that complement steak perfectly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Classic herb and garlic: Combine fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a traditional marinade.
  • Teriyaki: Mix soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and a splash of pineapple juice for a savory and slightly sweet Asian-inspired marinade.
  • Balsamic soy: Whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, honey, and minced garlic for a tangy and robust marinade.

So, while BBQ sauce can indeed be used as a marinade for steak, don’t hesitate to explore other marinade options to discover your personal favorite and elevate your grilling experience!

Is Coca Cola a Good Meat Marinade?

Marinating meat is a popular technique used to add flavor and tenderize the protein before cooking. While there are numerous options available for a marinade, some unconventional choices have gained popularity in recent years. One such choice is using Coca Cola as a meat marinade. Let’s explore whether Coca Cola is a good option for marinating meat.

The Science Behind Coca Cola as a Marinade

Coca Cola contains various acids, such as phosphoric acid and carbonic acid, which can help break down the muscle fibers in meat. Additionally, its high sugar content can aid in caramelization and browning during the cooking process. These factors could contribute to the tenderness and flavor of the meat when used as a marinade.

Pros and Cons of Using Coca Cola as a Marinade

Using Coca Cola as a marinade can have advantages, such as:

  1. Flavor enhancement: The unique taste of Coca Cola can add a sweet and tangy flavor profile to the meat.
  2. Tenderizing properties: The acids in Coca Cola may help break down connective tissues, resulting in more tender meat.

However, it is important to consider the downsides as well:

  1. High sugar content: While the sugar in Coca Cola can contribute to caramelization, excessive sugar can cause the meat to burn quickly or become overly sweet.
  2. Potential health concerns: Coca Cola is a carbonated beverage containing artificial additives and caffeine, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Expert Opinions

According to renowned chef, Gordon Ramsay, “Using Coca Cola in a marinade can add an interesting twist to your meat dishes. However, it is important to use it in moderation and balance it with other flavors.”

What can I put on my steak to keep it moist?

When it comes to cooking steak, achieving a delicious and juicy result is key. While the quality of the meat plays a significant role, there are a few tricks and ingredients you can use to enhance the moisture and flavor of your steak. Here are some options to consider:

1. Marinades

Marinades are a great way to add flavor and keep your steak moist. They typically consist of a combination of oil, acid (such as citrus juice or vinegar), herbs, and spices. The acid helps break down the muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender steak, while the oil locks in moisture. You can experiment with different marinade recipes depending on your preference.

2. Rubs

Rubs are dry mixtures that are applied directly to the surface of the steak before cooking. They can be made with various combinations of spices, herbs, salt, and sugar. Rubs not only add flavor but also help to seal in the natural juices of the meat, resulting in a moist and flavorful steak.

3. Basting

Basting involves brushing the steak with a liquid during the cooking process. This can be done using melted butter, beef broth, or even marinade. Basting helps to keep the surface of the steak moist while adding additional layers of flavor.

4. Resting

Resting your steak after cooking is crucial for retaining its moisture. When steak cooks, the juices move toward the center of the meat. By allowing the steak to rest for a few minutes before slicing, you allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier final product.

Tip: Using a meat thermometer is helpful to ensure your steak is cooked to perfection while maintaining its juiciness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C), while medium should be around 145°F (63°C).

Remember, the key to a moist and flavorful steak lies not only in the ingredients you use but also in the cooking technique. Whether you choose to marinate, rub, baste, or all of the above, experimenting with different methods can help you find the perfect balance of flavors and moisture to take your steak to the next level.


While Coca Cola can be used as a marinade, it is essential to consider both the positive and negative aspects. It can enhance the flavor and tenderize the meat, but the high sugar content and potential health concerns should also be taken into account. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and experimentation to determine if Coca Cola is the right choice for your meat marinade.