Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

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Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

A couple months ago, a bunch of us guys (5 to be exact) piled into cars and headed up to the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York.  (On a side note, the Thousand Island region is indeed home to the salad dressing of the same name.)  One of the guys has a family cabin in the area, and we were bound for that cabin in the woods.  However, the cabin wasn’t the ultimate destination.  The cabin was a convenient place to sleep while we attended the Brier – Canada’s yearly men’s curling championship.  (Little did we know at the time, but this turned out to be the last outing before the Great Quarantine.)

We crossed over the border into Ontario and watched several games.  It’s always impressive to see the upper echelon of competition in any sport.  Sure enough, the Canadian men’s championship didn’t disappoint!  Good curling, good friends, good times.

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

Speaking of crossing the border, the duty free shop as you cross back into the States is a regular stop.  Duty free prices on the Canadian side are insane!  (To be fair, the low prices point out just how much alcohol is taxed here in the States.)  You’re only allowed to bring 1 liter of alcohol back across the border.  For me, that’s bourbon.  I love whisky in all forms – be it scotch from Scotland or bourbon from the States.  In fact, I’d guess that 90% of our liquor cabinet here at home consists of either scotch or bourbon.

Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips

Normally, I enjoy my bourbon neat or perhaps with a drop or two of water.  I like to keep it simple.  However, on occasion I might whip up a fun bourbon drink – like a Smoked Old Fashioned.  This time, though, I used that bourbon in a marinade.  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips are mighty tasty.  (And, of course, they taste better when served with a glass of bourbon, too.  Haha!)

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

A good steak marinade is a thing of beauty.  To be fair, I enjoy steak in all forms.  A simple salt and pepper rub on a New York Strip is perfectly fine by me.  But I do like to plan ahead on occasion and whip up a fun steak marinade.  Homemade marinades are actually quite easy to make, and chances are you have all of the ingredients on hand in the pantry.  Skip the bottled dressings and sauces and make that marinade from scratch! After all, the best steaks start with the best steak marinade.

The key components of a good marinade are: (1) Fat, (2) Acid and (3) Seasonings.

Let’s start with Fat.  99% of the time, this means oil – typically either vegetable oil or olive oil.  Oil helps hold the marinade together so that it evenly coats the meat.  The oil also absorbs flavor from the other seasonings that go into the marinade.  Think of the oil as the blank canvas for starting your marinade.  For this recipe, olive oil checks off the box for fat.

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

Next up is Acid.  Have you ever taken a bite of something and said, “It’s good, but it’s missing something.”?  Often times that missing something is acid.  Take seafood for instance.  A squeeze of fresh lemon juice – an acid – elevates fish from good to great.  In marinades, the Acid is typically lemon juice, some sort of vinegar or even beer.  The amount of acid you put into a marinade should be roughly 1/2 or 1/3 of the amount of oil.  The more acid you use in a marinade, the less time the meat should marinate.  In this Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips recipe, red wine vinegar serves as the Acid.

And lastly comes the fun part – Seasonings and Spices.  Typically, seasonings in marinades include herbs, garlic and sugars.  Sliced onions are another good addition to marinade.  (And if you want to get really fancy, you could blend the onions/garlic/herbs into a paste before adding them to the marinade.)  The Seasonings category is where you get to be creative.  For this Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips recipe, I relied primarily on soy sauce, bourbon and brown sugar.

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

One note about sugars – sugar will burn quickly once the beef is cooked.  In this case, the steak tips ended up with a wonderful outer crust thanks to the brown sugar.  However, you just need to be aware whether the marinade includes sugar.  Nothing is worse than spending the time in advance to marinate some beautiful steaks only to “over-caramelize” (that’s a fancy term for burn) them.

You can use any cut of steak you’d like for these steak tips – we usually opt for sirloin steak or ribeye steak.

Now that we’ve chatted about marinades, let’s get to cookin’.  These bourbon marinated steak tips are delicious!  We served them up alongside roasted broccoli and a baked potato for a classic meal.  These steak bites have so much flavor that they could be a meal in themselves.  I hope you give this marinade a shot!  Cheers!

Did you make these Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips

Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinating Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 18 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 457kcal


For the Bourbon Marinade

For Cooking


  • Using a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for steak tips.
  • Place steak tips in a large ziptop plastic bag. Add marinade; turn steak tips several times to ensure well coated.
  • Close bag, squeezing out all air as you close it. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
  • Using a large cast iron pan, add vegetable oil and butter. Place over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted, add steak tips. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak reaches desired level of doneness. (Tip: A good instead-read thermometer takes all of the guess work out of this step!)
  • Let steak tips rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Looking for a fun marinade idea?  Pull out the bottle of bourbon!  These Bourbon Marinated Steak Tips make for a delicious (and easy) dinner idea!

Looking for other tasty steak recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

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Steak Sliders with Blue Cheese Butter

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Mix up pizza night this week!  This Steak and Gorgonzola pizza features seared ribeye steak along with dollops of creamy mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese.  Yum!

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  1. 5 stars
    These do indeed look and sound so tasty! I love the sear you get from a good cast iron pan – perfect for cooking a steak! I’m hoping things return to “normal” soon so we can travel and go places without even thinking about it!

    1. I’m with ya on the cast iron skillet, Kathy! We have 2 of ’em, and we pull them out all the time. And a good steak is really hard to beat. We’ve been enjoying cooking different things at home, but I’m with ya – I hope we can get back to “normal” soon. Hope your week is going well!

  2. 5 stars
    I bet that curling trip was a lot of fun! The things we took for granted, right?

    We’re more on the gin side of things, but wouldn’t pass up good bourbon – especially in the form of juicy steak tips! These truly look amazing, David!

    1. I know! I mean I was always looking forward to a weekend with the guys, but the whole quarantine has put an extra value added onto that trip. Hopefully things get back to “normal” soon-ish.

      So I’m not sure how gin would work in a marinade. Maybe we should try it out! I mean we’ve got plenty of time right now to try things out, right? 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    So simple this recipe is. Meat marinated in whisky is a great recipe to cheer up! Hoping to get the things “normal” soon so that I can see my dream country-USA.

    1. A good marinade can add so much flavor to grilled foods! I find this one particularly fun thanks to the whiskey in it. 🙂 And, yes, I hope you get to travel to the States soon. Let me know when you plan the trip and I can give you some thoughts on different areas!

  4. i only eat steak about once a year, when i go out to a local pub for dinner. Hubby doesn’t eat it at all:) I bet it tastes great with bourbon though! we are both fond of the stuff. When visiting new zealand, we like to buy booze there as it comes in huuuuuge bottles (unlike here) and it’s so cheap. you can drink yourself into oblivion very easily!

    1. Bourbon is such a fun steak marinade, Sherry. I highly recommend it! 🙂 So it sounds like New Zealand has the same situation as duty free coming back into the States from Canada. It’s SO much cheaper. Crazy I say! Hope you’re doing well, my friend!

  5. 5 stars
    Borbon is wonderful in a meat marinade and even better served neat. We try to go to Germany twice a year to make a booze run. Burbon and other spirits are about 40% less there. Four guys pile into a panel truck and travel 13 hours round trip. We just run over and hit the duty big bottle shop at the ferry landing, load the van, and have a great meal and head back. Unfortunately, our March trip was canceled and the boys are now hoping for a trip in June (I’ll still be self-isolating I’m sure). I think they’ll need to take a trailer along for this trip.

    1. I’m with ya on serving bourbon neat, Ron. I’d love to raise a glass with you one day! 🙂 Funny that Germany has the same prices as duty free coming back from Canada. It’s crazy! Sherry mentioned that New Zealand is the same way. And, yes, I think a full-on trailer will be needed for that next Germany haul. Sounds like a fun day…although I agree with you about waiting it out a bit more. This thing isn’t even close to over yet. On that note, let’s pour some bourbon, yes?

  6. 5 stars
    I don’t often eat red meat, but when I do, I just love it – and this is a recipe I know I would adore.
    The meat looks so tender and flavoursome! And I love bourbon in cooking preparations – so good! (And how good are duty free prices!!)

    1. Bourbon is a really fun steak marinade, Alex! And if some goes missing (like into a glass) while making the marinade? Well lucky chef! Haha. Thanks so much, my friend. I hope you’re doing well down there!

  7. 5 stars
    Let’s be honest, you can always win me over with a pile of meat. And man, this is one good looking pile! I am intrigued by marinating with bourbon – do you get any of the taste of bourbon in the steak? PS: Thanks for the trivia re Thousand Island dressing – I always wondered where the name came from (and yet never Googled it)!

    1. Haha! I’m with ya, Katerina. A big pile of steak tips is pretty much my heaven. So I find that the bourbon marinade added a ton of flavor here – but I wouldn’t say that the steak tips tasted like bourbon. The bourbon helps carry the flavors of the other marinade ingredients into the steak, too. I highly recommend trying it out! In fact, now that we’re talking about it, I wonder if you could make a bourbon sauce to toss the steak tips in once they are cooked? I might have to try that!

  8. First off, I had no idea that Thousand Island dressing was named after Thousand Island region – learn something new everyday!
    But I digress – David, I gave up beef completely but that bourbon marinade is droolicious and I bet it would be heavenly even with chicken or turkey! BTW – your breakdown of a perfect marinade reminded me of the TV show “Salt Fat Acid Heat” – have y’all seen it? Lil S and I watched a couple of episodes and it sparked a ton of debate on our end!

    1. Haha…I learned that about Thousand Island dressing, and I was like “no way!” As far as this bourbon marinade, I think it would totally work on any type of meat. It’s a delicious combination of ingredients! You know, I’ve heard about that Salt Fat Acid Heat show, but I’ve never watched any episodes. I’ll have to go find some…if I ever have any time thanks to a certain Robbie and 2 puppies. 🙂 Hope you gals have an awesome weekend down there in Athens!

    1. Marinades are such a great way to add flavor to all sorts of meats. I particularly liked this bourbon version for steak tips! Thanks, Dawn!

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Karen. 🙂 You are too kind! (And, yes, these steak tips turned out really well. Give ’em a try sometime!)

  9. 5 stars
    Not one of these people had actually made the recipe! These are comments, not reviews, so why do they get stars? !

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