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Flank Steak Marinade with Soda and Cumin

Sweet, juicy, melt-in-the-mouth flavor is what this steak marinade is all about and you will find that the high sugar content in Dr Pepper® is perfect for caramelizing your steak. Swapping the Dr Pepper® for Diet Dr Pepper® will cut down on the sugar but the steak will not caramelize in the same way, so use the original soda and you will appreciate the crispy exterior of the steak. The crispier the outside gets the more moisture will be locked inside. This is one reason why ingredients like sugar or Coca-Cola® often appear in marinade recipes.

This is the best steak marinade to use if you like your steaks full of spicy flavor but remember to stop cooking when it is medium rare. Although some people are in the habit of cooking their steaks to medium-well or beyond, you really should taste a medium-rare steak. It offers a wonderful juiciness and you might discover you prefer that to your usual higher doneness.

Flank steak tends to go tough if you go beyond medium rare. You can use the steak in this steak marinade recipe as a fajita filling, in which case you should warm tortillas and fill them with the steak and some tasty Mexican toppings like sour cream, cheese, avocado, and onion.

Spicy Steak Marinade with Dr Pepper
Summary: Dr Pepper® is used to give this marinade its distinctive flavor. Along with a range of spices and seasonings, this breathes really hearty, robust flavors into your flank steak.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Marinade
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 16 oz bottle Dr Pepper®
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried garlic granules
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  1. Combine the garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, and Dr Pepper in a bowl.
  2. Put the steak in a dish and pour the Dr Pepper mixture over it. Cover tightly with foil and then refrigerate for 12 hours, turning once.
  3. Combine the salt, chili, garlic granules, sugar, cumin, thyme, and pepper to make a grill seasoning.
  4. Store this seasoning mix in a tight container. When the steak has marinated, take it out of the refrigerator and pat with paper towels.
  5. Heat the grill to medium high.
  6. Season both sides of the steak with 2 tablespoons of the grill seasoning and grill for 3 or 4 minutes per side until medium rare.
  7. Remove the steak from the grill, cover it loosely with foil, and leave it to rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Cut the steak across the grain into 1-inch slices.

Photo Description:

Flank steak is perfect for marinating because it goes so juicy and succulent, and is a really full-flavored cut of meat. Use it as a fajita or taco filling, or serve the steak with mashed potatoes or your favorite side dishes. This recipe is spicy and sweet, largely thanks to the Dr Pepper® as well as the spices used. Make the steak the star of the meal by serving mild-tasting side dishes, so nothing has to compete with the flavor of the meat. This recipe is great for fans of Dr Pepper® as well as anyone who likes their steak crisp on the outside but juicy and moist inside.


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