Grilled Ranch Steak will make you rethink this inexpensive cut of beef. Don’t hesitate buying those cheaper cuts when you know the tips and tricks to grill them to perfection. There is always a time and place for them. Porterhouse steaks can’t make a showing every weekend and we get that!
I think once you bite into the ranch steak, you will be impressed by the flavors and texture of it. It is stripped of all the excess fat leaving just a mean, lean cut of meat ready to put on the grill.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
This cut is cheaper than more expensive cuts of meat. So, you can get your steak fix while not emptying the wallet.
This is a lean cut of meat. It is easy to tenderize it and complement it with a robust marinade that adds a lot of flavor.
It only takes a few minutes to throw it together, and the rest is marinating.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Ziploc Bag – I prefer to marinate inside of a Ziploc Bag. Be careful, as every now and then you’ll find on that leaks, so I place the bag in a bowl to avoid having to clean a mess in the fridge.
Meat Thermometer – Use a good quality wireless meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the ranch steak.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Ranch steak – This is part of the chuck area of the shoulder that is similar in texture to a sirloin steak with more of a beefy flavor. The shoulder area tends to be a bit tough which leads to a cut of meat that needs to be slow-cooking to optimize the tenderness. We’ll show you how to grill it nice and tender.
For this recipe, we chose to use the mechanical tenderizing technique followed by a one-hour marinade.
Ranch Steak is also known as Beef Shoulder Center, Boneless Chuck Shoulder Center Cut Steak, Ranch Cut, Shoulder Center Steak, Chuck Steak Center Cut or an Arm Steak. Keep an eye out for any of these at your butcher.
The little bit of fat and silver skin will most likely already be taken off from the butcher. If it’s not, take a couple of minutes to remove them for a better end result of your meat. If you’ve never cut away the silver skin, we show you in detail how to do that in the Smoked Flank Steak recipe.
Guinness Beer – This is a rich and creamy beer that is full bodied. That is the main reason I come back to it time and time again. There is a sweet bitter taste to the Blonde Stout that we used this time but you will be happy with Guinness overall.
Soy Sauce – This is one of my favorite ingredients for marinades. It is rich, deep and tangy which lends itself well to lean cuts of beef. Offset it with the brown sugar.
🍴 How to Tenderize Steak
There are three primary ways to tenderize meat.
Chemical Tenderizing – You will find the jarred Meat Tenderizer in the spice aisle at the grocery store. This chemical helps break down the muscle fibers in the meat and results in a soft and tender meat.
⚠️ Caution: If you choose to use the jarred Meat Tenderizer, there are often extra flavors and ingredients added. You may not want those in your dinner.
🔨 Mechanical tenderizing – Use a tenderizing butcher’s mallet to hammer the meat. It’s a blast if you have never tried it. You can also poke the meat about 15-20 times with a fork, but seriously…Hammer Time!
Marinating – The homemade marinade is my recommendation as you can adjust the ingredients and it adds a lot of flavor for a grilled dinner that you and your family will enjoy.
Did you know: Adding papaya or pineapple to your marinade will help to break down muscles in the ranch steak even faster.
Ranch Steak Marinade
Step One: Pierce the steak with a fork about 10-15 times on each side of the meat to assist in tenderizing. You can use a mallet tenderizer, if you have it. We used a fork this time and it worked perfectly.
Step Two: Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir.
Step Three: Place all ingredients into a gallon ziploc bag with the ranch steaks and marinade for 1-2 hours.
Grilling the Steak
Grilling up these steaks just takes a couple minutes and three simple steps.
Step One: Preheat the grill to a medium high heat of 375-400°F.
Step Two: Grill each side of the ranch steak for about four minutes for medium rare. Test for the temperature at 130-135°F for medium rare or 135-145°F for medium. I don’t recommend grilling it above this temperature as the dry heat dries out this lean meat.
Step Three: Allow meat to rest for five minutes before cutting into it to allow juices to settle within the steak. Don’t skip this step or the meat will dry out.
Just a couple of quick and easy ways to put out your charcoal grill.
💡 Recipe Tips
To get the best result from this cut of meat, make sure you:
- Tenderize the meat to break down the connective tissues.
- Don’t cook past MEDIUM. Higher internal temperatures may cause this meat to become tough.
- Allow the meat to rest when you take it off of the grill.
Note: Another secret to handling a tough piece of meat is to rub a couple of teaspoons of coarse sea salt into the meat and allow it to sit for an hour. Rinse the steak off and dry well. Now season it as you normally would and grill.
Additions and Substitutions
Tweak the marinade recipe to make it your own. In addition to the sea salt and black pepper, consider adding fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. A bit of fresh coriander, celery seed and lemon juice add a bit of freshness to the mix as well.
Consider serving this with grilled onions. While we usually caramelize them, since you already have the grill on, go ahead and make them outside. You’ll love the slightly charred flavors.
One of my favorite side dishes to serve with these ranch steaks is balsamic carrots. These are extremely easy and fast, and you can have them ready to serve by the time the steak is done resting.
Nothing goes better with steak than potatoes, right? Try these quick grilled baby potatoes on skewers. They can cook on the grill the same time as the steak, and the awesome garlic flavor is to-die-for good! If you have a grill and a smoker working at the same time, why not make a big batch of Smoked Mac and Cheese?
What is a Ranch Steak?
Tasty ranch steak is a cut from the center shoulder area of the cow. It is typically a lean cut of beef, as it is part of a highly-used muscle group. The fine grain, lower fat, and great flavor make it perfect for grilling as a great alternative to flat iron steak or sirloin.
👨🍳 Recipe FAQs
Yes, the reason why this steak is is flavorful and juicy is due to being tenderized and marinated. This is a vital step for the steaks to turn out tender.
You need to marinate the steak for a minimum of one hour, but you can let it sit for up to eight hours.
While we like to use Guinness, you can use any kind of beer that you like. You can always play around with the flavors until you find your favorite.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Grilled Ranch Steak
- 2 Ranch Steaks ours were about 8 oz each
- 1 bottle Beer we used Guinness
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt sea salt or kosher
- ½ tsp Pepper coarse grind
Tenderize the Steaks
- Use a fork to poke the steaks 10-15 times. Alternatively, you can hammer it with a meat tenderizer mallet.
Prepare the Marinade
- Place all ingredients into a gallon Ziploc bag with the ranch steaks and marinade for 1-2 hours. Work the marinade around the meat.
Grill the Steaks
- Heat the grill to 375-400°F. Lean towards a hotter grill and I suggest waiting for it in order to get a nice outer crust and great sear marks.
- Grill each side for about four minutes.
- Check the temperature often. It is best to keep this cut of meat at 130 – 135°F for medium rare, or 135 – 145°F for medium.
- Remove from the grill and allow it to rest for five to ten minutes.
- Tenderize the meat.
- Don’t cook past MEDIUM. Higher temperatures may cause this meat to become tough.
- Allow the meat to rest when you take it off of the grill.
- Slice the steaks against the grain to help it remain tender as well.