Steaks are one of my very favorite things to make for my family, and by my family I mean me.  Now, ask yourself – and be honest – isn’t that really the way your family eats?  The cook gets to determine the cuisine for the family meal right?

I first heard of Sugar Steak in a culinary group I belong to online.  Our discussion surrounded if anyone had tried such a steak, and if anyone knew the origins of the recipe, i.e. what cuisine it belongs to.  Well, not to bore you with chef talk, I had not tried it out and was very eager to give it a try.

There are several recipes out there for a bourbon and brown sugar marinade.  They varied from red pepper flakes as the heat component, to Tabasco sauce (reflected in this adaptation from Food52).

Marinade times fluctuate – however, I like to generally use about 1 hour for every pound of meat (beef rules).  You can find more about marinades and their uses on our article “5 tips to a great marinade“.

When you are ready to serve this, this goes great with parsnip mashed potatoes, or mustard greens.

Bourbon & Brown Sugar Marinated Steak

Serves 4
Prep time 2 hours, 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 25 minutes
Allergy Soy
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Region American
Website Food52 dot com


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (or other whiskey)
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (preferably dark)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 2 Lbs beef steak (preferably flank steak)


Step 1
In a mixing bowl whisk together the soy sauce, whiskey, brown sugar, mustard, Tabasco until the sugar has dissolved completely.
Step 2
Place the steak in a zip-type plastic bag, pour the marinade mixture over the steak. Seal the plastic bag and remove the air. Massage the marinade to make contact with the meat. Place the meat marinade mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours and no more than 12.
Step 3
Before preparing your grill, remove your meat marinade from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. This will take about 20-25 minutes.
Step 4
Prepare your grill to a medium-hot fire for direct fire grilling. When the grill is ready, remove the steaks from the marinade and remove any excess. However, do no pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Reserve the marinade. Grill the steak until you start to see good grill marks, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Step 5
Rotate the steaks 90 degrees and continue to grill until all sides have the classic grill marks, and the edges are a little crisp. Total cooking time for your steak should be between 10-12 minutes for a medium rare cook. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes, under an aluminum foil tent.
Step 6
Meanwhile, pour your reserved marinade into a small saucepan over medium -high heat. Reduce the mixture for three (3) minutes, stir constantly to prevent any burning.
Step 7
If you used flank steak, slice the meat thinly against the grain. If you used strip steaks, or ribeye, slice thickly or serve in chunks. Serve the steaks drizzled with the sauce.

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