This Steak Seasoning recipe will have your family and friends declaring you the steak master! It can be whisked together in 5 minutes with pantry friendly spices, is easy to customize, eliminates MSG and anti-caking agents and stores for up to 6 months. Best of all, it elevates every juicy steak hot off the grill with its savory paprika, garlic-herb caramelized crust WITHOUT overpowering the steak!
Watch How to Make Steak Seasoning Recipe
Why this is the Best Seasoning for Steak
You will never go back to your old way of grilling steaks again! Here’s why you’ll be head-over-heels for this steak seasoning recipe:
Steak Rub Recipe ingredients
The best steak seasoning is made with easy-to-find ingredients. If you don’t own all of the seasonings called for, I highly suggest you add them to your pantry – they are staples you will use all the time! Here’s what you’ll need (full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Steak Seasoning substitutions and additions
Swap in any of your favorite seasonings or play with the existing seasoning ratios:
How to make the Best Steak Seasoning
Are you ready to see just how easy the best steak seasoning is to make in 3 easy steps?! (Full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
How to season Steak: Ways to use this Steak Rub
There are so many ways you can use this steak rub from steaks to chicken and more! Here are just a few ideas to try:
Best Seasoning for Steak FAQs
When preparing a steak, season the steak before adding any oil or fat. This allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat and the kosher salt to work its dry brining magic, including drying out the surface of the steak for better browning. Once the steak is seasoned, you can grease the grill with vegetable oil or add it to a cast iron skillet to sear, then add butter to baste if desired.
Steak seasoning should either be applied:
1. Just before grilling (no longer than 3 minutes (not ideal). This will create a solid crust on the steak, but will not promote tenderization or pull the flavor through the steak.
2. 60-90 minutes before grilling while the steak comes to room temperature.
3. Up to 24 hours before grilling, refrigerating the seasoned steak on a baking rack, uncovered, then bringing to room temperature before grilling.
Options 2 and 3 will create the most tender, deeply flavored steaks through a process called dry brining. This simply means the salt in the steak rub pulls the moisture from the steak to the surface of the meat (the steak will look wet) where it mixes with the seasonings, dissolves the salt, then pulls the seasoning solution back into the meat for deep seasoning (see below).
You should NOT add the steak rub and let it sit unless you have 60 minutes, otherwise, the salt will pull the moisture from the meat onto the surface without having time to reabsorb back into the meat.
A dry rub will tenderize steak if:
1. It contains kosher salt
2. Is allowed to rest on the steak for at least 60 minutes, up to 24 hours.
This will result in a process called dry brining which accomplishes three goals:
1. Deep seasoning: the moisture of the steak breaks down the kosher salt and other water-soluble elements in the seasoning on the surface of the meat. This glaze eventually seeps back and penetrates deep into the meat as the salt moves from an area of high concentration (the surface of the beef) to a lower concentration (inside the beef), resulting in deeply flavored steak.
2. Tenderizes: the salt breaks down the cell proteins so they can no longer contract when cooking which allows the cells to hold onto more water resulting in juicier steak..
3. Golden crust: the salt draws the moisture into the beef, and away from the surface, resulting in a drier surface which has a quicker and deeper Maillard reaction, unlocking complex flavors and creating a crispy, golden seared crust– the hallmark of any well-cooked steak.
You will need 1 tablespoon of steak seasoning per pound. Depending on the size of your steak, such as New York Strip, top sirloin and similarly sized steaks, this is about ¾ tablespoon per steak. Of course, you can always use more or less to suit your personal preferences.
To see if your steak seasoning is still fresh, pay attention to the appearance and smell. The spices should be as vibrant as when they were whisked together. If they are starting to fade and look dull, your seasoning may be starting to lose flavor.
If you suspect your blend is going stale, it’s time for the sniff-test. Crush or rub a small amount in the palm of your hand. It should smell bright and fragrant. If the scent is weak and the flavor is lackluster, then it’s time to whip up a new batch.
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- 32 grams coarse kosher salt (2 TBS of Morton's or 3 ½ TBS of Diamond Crystal)
- 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 TBS EACH regular paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, chili powder
- ½ TBS EACH (1 ½ tsps) pepper, dried rosemary, dried thyme, ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (will not be spicy, add more for spicy)
- Make seasoning: Whisk all of the seasonings together in a small bowl.
- To use: Elevate steaks on a baking rack placed over a baking sheet. Liberally sprinkle steak seasoning on all sides of the steak (top, bottom and sides) and pat into the meat (don't rub). Use approximately 1 tabelspoon per pound of steak.
- Dry brine: For the best steaks, let them rest once seasoned for 60-90 minutes uncovered at room temperature, until the kosher salt dissolves and the steaks look dry.
- To store: Store steak seasoning in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
- Substitution: The coriander can be omitted if you don’t keep it stocked or swapped with 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
- Caution: You should NOT add the steak rub early and let the steaks rest if you don’t have 60 minutes, or only a partial brine will be accomplished and the surface of the steaks will be wet. (Read more in FAQs Section). Instead add the steak rub immediately before cooking (within 3 minutes).
- Meal Prep: Steak can be spice rubbed up to 48 hours ahead of time on a baking rack, refrigerated uncovered, then allowed to rest at room temperature for 60 minutes before grilling.
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