Beef Kabob Marinade

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This quick and easy homemade beef kabob marinade recipe is a smoky, tangy, and savory taste sensation that results in the juiciest steak kabobs imaginable.

Plate of steak kabobs in beef kabob marinade.

With summer here, many of us are marinating meat and grilling out on a regular basis. There are two marinades often used in my neck of the woods that aren’t readily available everywhere else. These are Dale’s Sauce and Moore’s Marinade, which are both made in Alabama. They are the key ingredient in many of the meats I cook, including my steak kabobs in the oven.

But when I’m feeling fancy, I pair my beef kabob recipe with this homemade all-purpose marinade instead. It can literally be whipped up in the time it takes for you to gather the ingredients from your pantry. It isn’t spot on the same as what you get in the store, but you’ll find it similar enough and equally delicious on EVERYTHING. 

All you need is 5 ingredients to make this beef kabob marinade recipe: soy sauce, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, and garlic powder. Add them to a mason jar, give it a good shake, and your steak kabob marinade is ready to rock and roll. Let your steak cubes marinate for at least an hour up to overnight before making the steak kabobs in the oven with your favorite vegetables.

One of my favorite things about this beef kabob marinade is that it can be made right when you need it or ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. It’s also so simple but so flavorful. It’s a little bit smoky, a little bit tangy, and a little bit savory. I sure do hope you enjoy it (and these marinated beef kabobs) as much as we do!

Another great thing about this recipe is you can use the marinade for other recipes like Chicken kabobs, steak sandwiches, Grilled chicken tenders, and pork tenderloin.

Labeled ingredients for all purpose marinade.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Liquid smoke
  • Ground ginger
  • Garlic powder

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Beef Kabob Marinade

Place soy sauce in large jar.

Place your soy sauce in a bowl or large jar.

I like to use this jar because it has measurements on the side and you can just put the lid on and shake it away when you get all of your ingredients in. You can also easily store it in the fridge in this.

Add water to jar.

Add your water…

Add garlic powder to jar.

Then the garlic powder…

Add ground ginger to jar.

Ground ginger…

Add apple cider vinegar to jar.

And apple cider vinegar.

Add liquid smoke to jar.

If you have it, add a wee bit of liquid smoke too.

Place lid on beef kabob marinade jar.

There ya go! Now put your lid on…

Shake beef kabob marinade in jar.

And give it a good shake.

Wasn’t this easy?

Top sirloin chunks in bowl for steak kabobs.

Making Steak Kabobs With the Marinade

Using kitchen shears, cut the top sirloin into bite-size pieces.

I generally cut mine into about one-inch cubes. You don’t have to be precise here though. Just make sure it is a small chunk of meat.

The meat doesn’t have to be exact but you want them about the same size so they cook evenly and cook through all around the same time.  

Pouring beef kabob marinade over steak chunks in bowl.

Place the steak cubes in a zipper seal bag or a sealable bowl and pour 1 cup of beef kabob marinade over the steak.

Seal well and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

However, you can marinate this the night before if you like.

Visit my marinated beef kabobs in the oven post for further detailed instructions or watch this video.

But basically, you’re going to thread the marinated beef cubes onto soaked wooden skewers along with the vegetables of your choice.

I’m using a red onion, two different bell pepper varieties, and mushrooms.

Plate of steak kabobs.

Place the marinated steak kabobs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the veggies are lightly brown around the edges.


Store the beef kabob marinade in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can’t find liquid smoke, feel free to leave that out. I don’t want you to go fretting all over because it will be just fine without it. Liquid smoke is an all-natural way to give your meat a wee bit of smoky grilled flavor.
  • You can totally substitute the garlic powder for 1 minced garlic clove if you like.
  • Another easy substitution: balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • For spice, add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How long should you marinate meat for kabobs?

Here are some suggested marinating times:

  • Most meat (chicken, beef, lamb, and pork) can marinate from 30 minutes up to 2 days.
  • Vegetables can marinate from 30 minutes up to 5 days.
  • Seafood should marinate for no longer than an hour.

Can I marinate kabobs overnight?

Yes, you can marinate steak kabobs for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

What else can I marinate in this steak kabob marinade?

You can marinate basically any meat or vegetable in this all-purpose marinade. Here are some suggestions to start:

  • Chicken kabobs, which are also baked in the oven.
  • Steak or steak sandwiches.
  • Grilled fish like salmon.
  • Grilled chicken tenders (no grill needed). Basically, any type of poultry will work, like chicken drumsticks, chicken wings, and chicken thighs.
  • Your favorite veggies, like potato, cauliflower, onion, and sweet potato.
  • Grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin.

For more FAQs, visit my beef kabob recipe post.

Plate of steak kabobs in beef kabob marinade.

Beef Kabob Marinade

This quick and easy homemade beef kabob marinade recipe is a smoky, tangy, and savory taste sensation that results in the juiciest steak kabobs imaginable.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: marinade
Servings: 4
Calories: 42kcal


  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke, optional


  • Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake to mix well.
    ½ tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup water, ½ tsp liquid smoke, optional
  • Marinate beef in the mixture for 30 minutes or more. After marinating, discard the used marinade. Store unused marinade in the refrigerator.
  • For beef kabobs, after threading the marinated steak onto wooden skewers alongside the vegetables, I place them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn them every 10 minutes until vegetables are lightly brown around the edges.


Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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