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Balsamic Vinegar Marinade for Steak: Teriyaki Twist with a Tang

Bryan, Feb 25, 2024

If you’re looking for an easy way to season up your steak marinades, balsamic vinegar can make your usual teriyaki steak taste even better. It’s super easy to make: If you have a favorite teriyaki steak recipe, use that as a base and add some balsamic vinegar to kick it up a notch. We’ll go over how to do it, but first, we’ll provide more facts about balsamic vinegar.


Balsamic Vinegar Nutrition Benefits

If you’re new to cooking with balsamic vinegar, here are the top reasons that it’s so great: It's low in calories and fat-free. It offers a small dose of antioxidants, and its natural acidity is a brilliant meat tenderizer. Bonus: You probably already have it in your pantry! It tastes great on salad, but it can also improve meat, vegetables, and even desserts. 

Wonders of Balsamic Vinegar

The regular vinegar you buy at the store does not have the same depth of flavor as balsamic vinegar. Instead of being distilled, balsamic vinegar is made from pressing grapes. After 12 years or more of aging in wooden barrels, balsamic vinegar has a complex mix of sweet, sour, and woodsy notes. The unique aging process gives it its thick consistency and concentrated flavor. Better balsamic vinegar will make a difference, and not just on your steak. It will also make dressings and reductions taste better.


Balsamic Vinegar Glaze on Steaks

Balsamic vinegar can make tougher cuts, like flank steak or skirt steak, incredibly juicy. The sweetness complements rich flavors like teriyaki beautifully, adding a caramelized edge when the balsamic marinated steak hits the grill or pan. 

If you’re looking for a great-tasting balsamic vinegar recipe, you’ll love this one that goes well with teriyaki.


Marinating Teriyaki Steak with Balsamic Vinegar

Let's get to the good stuff! 

Here's what you need to perfect your balsamic vinegar marination technique:

  • Teriyaki sauce: Store-bought or your own special recipe
  • Balsamic vinegar: A good quality one, like one of the many options available from Big Paw Olive Oil— it makes a difference
  • Garlic: Minced, for a flavor boost
  • Ginger: Freshly grated, for a little zing (optional)
  • Brown sugar: This is optional but balances the acidity
  • Steak: Flank, skirt, sirloin, ribeye

You may wish to experiment with marinade ingredient amounts depending on your tastes and the size of the steak you are marinating. The idea is to go with a standard teriyaki steak marinade recipe (or your favorite take on that) and add a dash of balsamic vinegar to taste. 

Whisk everything together in a bowl or zip-lock bag. Add your steak, and marinate in the refrigerator.

How Long Does It Take to Marinate Steak in Balsamic Vinegar?

The beauty of balsamic vinegar is that a little goes a long way. For most cuts, you need only 30 minutes to a few hours for the flavors to infuse. Marinating too long can lead to mushiness; 24 hours is your absolute maximum.

Cooking Teriyaki Steak with Balsamic Vinegar (Step by Step)

Let’s go with your teriyaki/balsamic steak recipe! Remove the steak from the fridge: Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking; this promotes even cooking.


  • Fire it up: Get your grill blazing hot or heat a skillet over medium-high.
  • Pat it dry: Pat the steak dry with paper towels; excess moisture prevents a good sear.
  • Cook to perfection: Times vary depending on your cut and preferred doneness (use a meat thermometer for accuracy!)
  • Rest is key: Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This redistributes juices for maximum tenderness.


Final Touch: What to Serve with Balsamic Teriyaki Steak?

Your balsamic vinegar-marinated teriyaki steak needs great sides to round out the meal. Try these veggie, rice, and bread recommendations:


  • Grilled veggies: peppers, onions, zucchini, or any of your favorites
  • Fluffy rice: Perfect for soaking up the sauce
  • Simple salad: A crisp salad with a light vinaigrette balances the richness of the steak
  • Garlic bread: the best bread for dipping in the sauce

Takeaways: Balsamic Vinegar for the Win!

Adding just a splash of balsamic vinegar to your usual teriyaki marinade can seriously upgrade your steak. You'll be amazed at how the sweet yet acidic balsamic vinegar complements and enhances the teriyaki. The vinegar breaks down the meat fibers for super tender and juicy results.


Enjoy experimenting with a balsamic vinegar/teriyaki marinade for steak. You’ll love how adding balsamic vinegar to your marinade makes your food taste rich and delicious. Once you try it, you'll be hooked!