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Move over plain ol’ steak and potatoes – this bourbon steak recipe's got some serious flavor! The sweet and smoky combination of the bourbon and chipotle, coupled with the fact that this is a truly no-fuss meal push this recipe into the dream dinner category.
If you have steak fans in your house, this is quickly going to become your new go-to recipe. The marinated steak has a perfect crust and just the right amount of smoky-sweet flavor to keep 'em comin' back for more. Plus, after the steak is cooked, the marinade gets reduced into a bourbon bbq sauce — come! on!
3 good reasons to make this bourbon steak recipe tonight
- Easy peasy: 6 ingredients and 5 steps until you put a perfect protein on the table.
- Downright delicious: We're heading into broken record territory, but it can't be overstated, this bourbon steak recipe is just that good. You'll simply have to make it to find out!
- Make it just how you like it: You can use your favorite cut of beef for this recipe, you can cook it on the stovetop or on the grill, and you can pair it with any number of sides to round this out to one incredible, customizable meal.
Why bourbon is the perfect pairing with steak
Steak and bourbon are like a peanut butter and jam, bacon and eggs, salt and pepper level of partnership.
This is because the bourbon enhances and lends flavors to the meat that are smoky, nutty, and caramel-like. Not to mention, cooking meat with bourbon also acts as a tenderizer as well as a marinade to make for one tender piece of meat.
If you aren't familiar with or are unsure about cooking with alcohol, know that most of the alcohol content of the bourbon gets cooked off and all you're left with is the flavor the bourbon adds to the dish.
To whip up an incredible bourbon chipotle steak, here's what you'll need to add to your grocery list:
- Bourbon: Ok, this ingredient you may already have on the shelf. You'll need ½ cup of bourbon.
- Ketchup: Sweet, acidic ketchup! It adds a sweetness to the sauce and the acidity from the tomatoes and vinegar helps tenderize the meat while it cooks.
- Soy sauce: This will enhance the flavors of the sauce and add a salty component. You can use gluten-free tamari if needed.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: Mince the chipotle peppers to add a rich, smoky heat to the sauce. You can find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in most grocery stores; it's typically sold in a small can.
- Cooking oil: Olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil will work. Whichever cooking oil you have in your cupboard is great.
- Steak: Use your favorite cut of steak, or ribeye steaks as seen in the pictures. A larger cut is easier to cook and slice after for multiple people.
How to make this bourbon steak recipe
This bourbon steak recipe is heavy on the flavor and light on your evening to-do list!
- Baste the steaks: Combine the sauce ingredients and add your steaks to a baking dish. Baste them and let them sit in the marinade for 8-24 hours.
- Save the marinade: Remove your steaks and blot with paper towels. Make sure to save the marinade.
- Get your skillet hot: Sear the steaks to get a nice crust on both sides. Once the steaks are done to your liking, let them rest.
- Make the sauce: Add the leftover marinade to a pot and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir until it thickens into a sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!
Tips for cooking the perfect steak
The last thing you want to do is spoil this bourbon steak recipe by cooking it to anything less than perfection. Here are a couple of tips to help make sure this is a bang-up meal!
- Avoid using non-stick pans: When cooking your steaks, use a heavy-bottomed or cast iron skillet to help get a nice crust on the steak. You won't achieve this with a non-stick pan.
- Use a meat thermometer: The best way to know if your steak is done cooking is to use a steak thermometer. You're looking for a read of an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, or 160 degrees Fahrenheit for a well done steak.
- Let the steaks rest: remember to let the steaks rest for 10 minutes so that the flavor develops even further and the juices won't all leak out when you cut into them.
What to serve with bourbon steak
Now that you have your star protein lined up, let's make this a full blown meal! Here's some inspiration for what to pair with your steaks:
- Mini Hasselback Potatoes
- Garlic Bacon Mushrooms
- Grilled Broccoli Caesar Salad
- Shoestring Fries
- Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Butter
What can I use instead of bourbon?
You can alternatively use brandy or sherry, or omit it altogether.
What can I use instead of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce?
Dried spices can be used as an alternative, like chipotle pepper powder or smoked paprika. Just know that these alternatives can have a more intense flavor and heat, so add sparingly.
What cut of steak should I use?
You can use your favorite cut of meat or you can use ribeye steaks, as seen in the pictures here.
Bourbon Chipotle Steak
- ½ cup bourbon
- ¼ cup EACH: ketchup and soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 24 ounces steak (see notes)
- Mix the bourbon, ketchup, soy sauce, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a small baking dish just big enough to hold the steaks. Add the steaks and baste them in the marinade. Set them aside on your counter to marinate for 30 minutes – or up to 8 hours in your fridge.½ cup bourbon, ¼ cup EACH: ketchup and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 clove garlic, 24 ounces steak
- Remove the steaks from the marinade and blot off the marinade with paper towels. Pour the marinade into a small skillet and set it aside.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat – do not use a non-stick pan or you won't get a nice dark crust on your steak. Add the oil and let it heat just until it is shimmering. Add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes per side for medium-rare or 6 minutes per side for rare. (See notes!) Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest for several minutes.1 tablespoon cooking oil
- While the steaks are resting, bring the reserved marinade to a boil and let it boil for 2-3 minutes, until it begins to thicken and becomes a sauce.
- Serve the steak with the bourbon sauce over the top.
140 degrees Fahrenheit – medium
160 degrees Fahrenheit – well done
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.