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Beef Rib Marinade

If you plan to smoke or grill some delicious beef ribs this weekend, consider using this beef rib marinade to get started. The incredible flavor will take your beef ribs to the next level! The best part is that you can use this marinade on other cuts of beef and venison!

Beef Rib Marinade in jar with Brush

Why Use a Beef Rib Marinade?

Marinating is crucial for achieving the best possible flavor and meat texture. One key benefit is that it helps tenderize the meat, especially tough, chewy cuts like beef ribs. The acidic ingredients will work wonders in breaking down the meat’s fibers, making it more tender and juicy. Read more about marinating meats.

Marinade for beef


  • Red wine vinegar
  • Beef broth
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (sub with garlic powder or onion powder)
  • Brown sugar
  • Tomato Paste
  • Soy sauce
  • Black pepper 
  • Cayenne pepper 

How to use a beef rib marinade:

  • Whisk marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until brown sugar has dissolved. Use 1/2 cup of marinade per pound of ribs. Double recipe to suit your needs.
  • If the racks of beef ribs are large, cut them into into groups of three ribs per section.
  • Place ribs into a large glass baking dish (use two is needed). Pour marinade over top, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place into the refrigerator. Turn the ribs over with tongs every 2-3 hours.
  • You can also use large freezer or turkey brining bags for this job. Simply add the rib sections into the bag, add the marinade and work it around well so the ribs are well coated. Release the air from the bag, seal, and place into the refrigerator.
  • Please note, You will not need to turn the ribs if using the resealable bag. Marinate and cook as directed.
  • Once the beef ribs have marinated, blot the excess moisture off with paper towels, season with a beef rub, and grill them!
Rib marinade for beef

Marinating Times:

Did you know that you can use this marinade on other beef cuts? Use them on tougher cuts like flat steaks and lean roasts. Try it on lamb or venison too. Also, this recipe is great for ribs cooked on indirect heat in a smoker, gas grill, charcoal grill, slow cooker, or air fryer.

Beef Ribs (beef back and short ribs): 6-12 hours
Flat beef steaks: 4-8 hours
Lean beef roasts and venison: 8-24 hours
Lamb leg: 8-12 hours
Rack of Lamb and chops: 4-6 hours


Like this beef rib marinade recipe? Try these!

Rib marinade for beef

Beef Rib Marinade

This perfectly balanced beef rib marinade will keep your beef ribs tender and flavorful.
4.78 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: beef marinade, beef ribs, rib marinade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 505kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh


  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper use less if desired
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional


  • Combine marinade ingredients in a small glass bowl. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, and then give it a good stir before using. This will ensure that the salt has dissolved. Recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of meat. Use 1/2 cup of marinade per pound of meat.
    You can also place the ingredients into a blender and blend for 10 seconds or until well combined.
  • Marinate steaks for 4-6 hours
  • Short ribs or beef finger ribs: 6-8 hours
  • Larger beef ribs (beef back or plate): 6-12 hours
  • Once the beef ribs have marinated, blot the excess moisture off with paper towels, season with a beef rub, and grill them!
  • If making marinade ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days after initial preparation.


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 39g | Sodium: 6400mg | Potassium: 235mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg

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