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Sake Marinated Grilled Ribeye Steak

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Our Sake Marinated Grilled Ribeye Steak is a fusion of bold flavors that soak into an ultra-tender, juicy ribeye. This choice cut of steak is marbled with fat and already packed with flavor, but we’re taking it a step further with our Japanese sake marinade.

The mix of sake, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil with fresh ginger and garlic infuse the meat with our favorite flavors. And our method of grilling ensures the steak gets a thick, charred crust. This is grilled ribeye steak done right!

Drizzling sake marinade over a grilled ribeye steak.

Aren’t ribeyes the best? They definitely are at the top of our list of favorite cuts of steak. We often turn to this Ribeye Steak in the Oven recipe or our Sous Vide Ribeye Steak with Chimichurri. We even have a bison ribeye with a peppercorn sauce.

But this grilled ribeye steak recipe is another winner! A Japanese-inspired marinade adds a whole new depth of flavor to an already-delicious ribeye.

It is salty and lightly sweetened, with that familiar sesame flavor and light sake taste. Even better, not a drop of that grilled ribeye steak marinade gets wasted. Cook the excess marinade for a few minutes to reduce it down to a flavor-packed sauce and drizzle it all over those grilled ribeye steaks.

Why this Recipe Works

Our sake marinated grilled ribeye steak recipe is:

  • flavor-packed
  • simple to make with only 20 minutes of prep time
  • gluten-free (with a gluten-free soy sauce substitution)

With bold flavors and the juiciest, most tender meat, our grilled ribeye steak is mouthwatering. And since this recipe only requires 20 minutes of actual prep time and less than 10 minutes to cook, it’s doable on weeknights, yet perfect for a special occasion or a relaxed, backyard barbecue.

The Ingredients

The ingredient list is short and sweet! You can use whichever brand of sake you prefer. And if you need this to be strictly gluten-free, make sure to choose a gluten-free soy sauce (tamari) and a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.

You will need:

  • sake
  • soy sauce
  • toasted sesame oil
  • sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly-grated ginger
  • garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ribeye steaks, about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

How to Make Grilled Ribeye Steaks

This grilled ribeye steak recipe requires a marination time of 1 to 24 hours, so plan accordingly! We recommend at least 2 hours to ensure the best flavor. If you have a prime cut ribeye you will only need the shorter amount of time in the marinade. Let more economical grades like choice or select stay in the marinade longer.

Here is a quick look at the process. For all of the details and ingredient amounts, be sure to check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page:

  1. Marinate the ribeye steaks: You can either add the steaks to a shallow dish or Ziploc bag then pour the marinade on top. Let the steaks soak up all that flavor.
  2. Grill the steaks: Heat your grill (charcoal or gas) with two heat zones (see recipe notes below). Prep the steaks and save the marinade for later. Start the steaks on the hot zone for a good char then move them to the cooler zone.
  3. Make the sauce: Let the steaks rest for at least 4 minutes before slicing. Place the reserved marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat, boiling for 5 minutes. Remove and serve the sauce over the steaks.

Make sure you pat the steaks dry after you remove them from the marinade then coat them with a bit of oil. If you oil the steaks and the grill grates, the steaks won’t stick to the grill.

Another way to ensure your steaks do not stick to the grill is to keep them cleaned and well maintained. We like using a nylon cleaning brush because it doesn’t damage the grates or leave particles of metal behind that can get in your food.

Two ribeye steaks marinating in a Japanese sake marinade.
A ribeye steak on a grill.

More Grilling Recipes

Pro Tips for Grilling Ribeye Steaks

  • How to prepare a two-zone heat on a grill
    • Spread out hot coals on one side of the grill and leave the other size without coals. If using a gas grill, only turn on half of the burners.
  • Why cook with a two-zone heat method
    • This method works well because the high heat gives the ribeyes a thick, charred crust and the indirect low heat allows the steaks to cook until they reach your desired doneness.

      The timing will vary based on the thickness of the steak. It generally will take about 5 to 12 minutes longer and up to 30 minutes for steaks that are over 2 inches thick. Make sure to use an instant read thermometer or a grilling thermometer for best results.
  • Dry the steaks well after removing them from the marinade. If they are still wet, they will not brown well on the grill.
  • Always boil the marinade if you plan to use it as a sauce. Never reuse marinade that was in contact with raw meat unless you boil it first. That will remove any harmful pathogens. We boil it for 5 minutes to get it slightly reduced.
  • You can use bone-in or boneless ribeye steaks. Boneless steaks will cook slightly faster.
  • Pull the steaks at the right temperature. Keep in mind that the internal temperature of the meat will raise about 5°F to 10°F once you pull them off the grill. Take them off the grill when they are about 5-10°F below your target temperature.

Temperature Doneness Chart for Steak

Doneness levelPull TempTemperature
Medium rare125-130°F130-135°F
Well-done155°F +155-160°F
Temperature chart for steak and pull temps

A grilled ribeye sliced on a chopping block.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you grill ribeye steak?

This time will vary based on the thickness of the steak and your personal preference for how well you want the steak done. We typically grill a 1-1/2 inch steak on high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side to get a nice crust. Then we move the steaks to indirect heat and cook another 5 to 12 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.

How do you grill a thick ribeye steak?

For ribeye steaks that are at least 2 inches thick (or more), you may need to cook the steaks over indirect heat for up to 30 minutes after charring them over high heat. Use an instant-read meat thermometer for best results.

Do leftovers keep well?

Yes, these grilled ribeye steaks make amazing leftovers! Save the sauce separately and reheat when serving. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

A sliced ribeye steak on a plate with vegetables and sake marinade.

With a thick, charred crust, tender, juicy interior, and a deliciously bold marinade, you will love every element of this dish! A drizzle of that flavorful sauce tops it all off for ultimate tastiness.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

These incredible sous vide filet mignon steaks are low effort with a high reward! Fresh herbs, butter, and simple salt and pepper is all it takes to create an epic filet mignon that will please any palette.

The most versatile of sauces, our lemon garlic butter sauce goes with steak, chicken, fish, etc.! It takes only 15 minutes to make and will amp up any meal.

This elegant salmon dinner is tender and flavorful, drizzled with a sophisticated white truffle beurre blanc that tastes as delightful as it sounds. It’s rich, buttery, and luxurious!

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Grilled Ribeye Steak

This grilled ribeye steak gets extra flavor from a Japanese sake marinade.
When you finish marinating the ribeye, save the marinade and boil it for 5 minutes to use as a flavorful sauce to drizzle over the steaks.
4.82 from 16 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 28 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


For the marinade

  • ½ cup sake
  • cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped

For the Grilled Ribeye Steaks

  • 1 to 2 ribeye steaks 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a small dish, whisk together the sake, soy, sesame oil, sugar, Worcestershire, ginger, and garlic. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the steak to a shallow dish (or a resealable plastic bag) and pour the marinade over the top, turn to coat both sides with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 to 24 hours.
    If you don't use a resealable bag, turn the steaks occasionally to ensure they marinate on all sides.
  • Prepare a hot charcoal or gas grill with two heat zones (see notes) or set a pellet grill to 500°F.
  • Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush oil over each side of the steaks and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Save the marinade. You will boil it and use it as a sauce later.
  • Oil the grill grates and place the steaks on the hot side of the grill. Let the ribeye steaks sit undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes until a crust and grill marks form.
    Flip the steaks and let them cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until they form grill marks and a crust
  • Once the steaks form a charred crust, transfer them to the lower heat zone or turn the pellet grill down to 250°F. Continue cooking them over indirect heat until they reach your desired doneness (see notes for doneness levels).
    The timing will vary based on the thickness and desired doneness but generally takes 5 to 12 minutes and up to 30 minutes for steaks over 2 inches thick. Use an instant read thermometer for best results.
  • Allow the steaks to rest for at least 4 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • While the steaks rest, place the reserved marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil the marinade for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with the steaks as a sauce.


  • The length of time you marinate your steak is a personal preference. If your ribeye steak is a prime cut, we recommend less time in the marinade. Less expensive grades like choice and select will benefit from more time in the marinade.
  • How to prepare a two-zone heat on a grill: Spread out hot coals on one side of the grill and leave the other side with no coals. If you are using a gas grill, only turn on half the burners.
  • Make sure you dry the steaks when you remove them from the marinade. If they are still wet with the marinade, they will not brown well.
  • If you need to be strictly gluten-free, then make sure you use gluten-free soy sauce.
  • To reuse marinade as a sauce, you MUST bring it to a boil. Never reuse the marinade that was in contact with raw meat unless you boil it to kill harmful pathogens. The USDA recommends bringing it to a boil, however, we boil it for 5 minutes to get it slightly reduced.
  • You can use bone-in or boneless ribeye steaks for this cooking method. Boneless steaks will cook slightly faster than bone-in steaks.
  • Keep in mind that when you remove the steaks from the grill, there will be an increase in temperature from approximately 5°F to 10°F due to carry-over heat. Pull the steaks off the grill when they are about 5 to 10°F BELOW your target temperature.

Doneness levels for steak:

  • Medium rare = 130°F to 135°F
  • Medium = 135°F-145°F
  • Medium well = 145-155°F


Serving: 1 | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 2339mg | Fiber: 1g

This recipe was originally published on July 24, 2015. We updated the post with new photos and added some helpful tips. We left one of the original photos below.


Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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4.82 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Hello! Sounds delicious! Is there anything in can use to sub for sake? Thanks!

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 24th of February 2022

You can use mirin if you can't find sake but if you want an alcohol-free substitution then I would go with rice vinegar

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