Try this marinade for your Labor Day steaks

The upcoming Labor Day weekend is a time for family and friends to gather and give the last hurrah to summer before autumn blesses us with its crisp embrace. And what better way to celebrate than by throwing a steak on the grill, popping open a cold one and sitting down to a feast with a perfectly marinated and grilled piece of beef.

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When it comes to marinating steaks, it's all about bringing an already good cut of meat to new heights. So here are some of my favorites I've picked up through my years at the grill, including a new one that came to me via email from with the tag: Best Steak Marinade in Existence. That one was hard to resist, so I tried it and found it to be remarkably good and perfect for a beautiful rib-eye I picked up at Don't Meat Shop.

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› For those who appreciate simplicity, a classic herb-infused marinade is a favorite. Begin with a base of quality olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, then add whatever fresh herbs you want, like rosemary, thyme and oregano, all finely chopped to release their fragrant oils. Add minced garlic for depth, a touch of Dijon mustard for a subtle tang and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper — preferably freshly ground — for balance. Allow your steaks to marinate in this timeless blend.

› For a decadent twist on your Labor Day steaks, a bourbon glaze is a winner. In a bowl, combine bourbon, dark brown sugar and a splash of Worcestershire sauce for a rich, caramelized flavor profile. Add a dash of soy sauce for a magical touch and a pinch of red pepper flakes to awaken your taste buds. The steaks will soak up all the deliciousness and release mouthwatering aromas as they sizzle on the grill.

› If you crave an explosion of umami on your palate, mix soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, honey, grated ginger and minced garlic. I've been doing this for years and usually enhance the flavors with a splash of rice vinegar. Let your steaks marinate in this blend of East-meets-West flavors overnight if possible or at least four hours.

› For a vibrant and refreshing steak experience, look no further than the tangy taste of chimichurri. This Argentinian green sauce is a beautiful marriage of parsley, cilantro, garlic and red wine vinegar with just a pinch of red pepper flakes for a gentle kick. The result is a zesty dance of flavors that perfectly complements the savory taste of steaks.

Remember, the longer the marination, the deeper the flavors will penetrate the meat, ensuring an unforgettable experience when you fire up the grill.

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Now, here's that Best Steak Marinade in Existence. You be the judge.

Best Steak Marinade in Existence

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons dried basil

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Blend on high speed until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Use as a marinade for steaks or chicken.

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  photo  Anne Braly