When it comes to cooking a good steak, the right steak seasoning can make all the difference. Nothing compares to the flavors and aroma of homemade steak seasoning.
A quick seasoning is the best way to add tons of flavor to a grilled steak, no matter what cut of beef you're using.
My favorite cut of steak is a ribeye, but I also love New York Strip. For an affordable option, try rubbing this blend all over flank steak and then cutting it against the grain.
Consider this the ultimate guide to seasoning the perfect steak. I'll guide you through the simple process of making it, answer frequently asked questions about steak seasoning, and share proper storage instructions.
Get ready to take your steak to new heights!
Best Steak Seasoning Recipe
Sometimes all you need is kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to season steak. In addition to those key ingredients, we're adding some smoked paprika to make it taste like you cooked it over an open flame.
The garlic powder and onion powder add depth and the dried herbs add a bit more earthy flavor.
The combination of all of these spices and the proper cooking technique takes your steak to the next level. Using your own blend of spices allows you to customize the flavors based on your preferences.
Unlike the spice blend in these easy grilled pork chops, this bend focuses on classic savory herbs and spices instead of sweet flavors like brown sugar.
Love making your own spice blends? Try this easy carnitas seasoning next.
Then try this pork tenderloin marinade featuring soy sauce, fresh garlic, and honey.
Types of Steak to Season
Almost every steak is going to benefit from some sort of seasoning, spice rub, or marinade. Here's a list of some of my favorite cuts of steak to use with this blend of spices.
- Ribeye (my favorite cut of steak for the quality and value)
- New York Strip Steak
- Top Sirloin
- Filet Mignon
- Flank Steak
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this easy steak seasoning blend. Most are basic spices from your pantry, or easy and affordable to find at the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Kosher Salt: this acts as a foundation for the seasoning, adding texture and enhancing the meat's natural flavors.
- Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper brings a pungent and slightly spicy kick to the blend.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder provides a savory, aromatic component to the seasoning, giving the steak a delightful depth of flavor.
- Onion Powder: Onion powder adds a hint of sweetness and complexity to the blend, balancing out the other robust flavors.
- Smoked Paprika: Paprika contributes a smoky and earthy note, giving the seasoning a rich and enticing color.
- Dried Herbs: Choose from a selection of dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano to add a touch of freshness and herbaceousness.
- Red pepper flakes: these are optional for a hint of spice.
How to Make Steak Seasoning
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. The step-by-step instructions will make sure this easy steak seasoning recipe turns out every time.
Combine all of the spices in a small bowl and stir them together until combined. The seasoning should have a deep red color thanks to the smoked paprika. But you'll also see flecks of herbs and black pepper.
When you're ready to cook the steak, pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Sprinkle the steak seasoning on the surface of the steak. Use your fingers to rub the spices on the surface of the meat.
Note: You can season pretty liberally if the steak is 1 ½ inches or larger, but start slow and sprinkle on a little bit more as needed. It's easier to add more steak seasoning rub than take it off the steak.
Sear, cook, or grill the steak using your preferred cooking method. We love using the grill to achieve perfectly crispy grill marks.
Remember: use a meat thermometer to determine the level of doneness. We remove our steak from the heat when it reaches 135°F, with a target temperature of 140-145°F while we let the steak rest, for medium-rare steak.
Expert Tips for Seasoning Steak
- Start with a dry steak: Pat the steak dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will help the seasoning adhere better to the meat.
- Season with salt: Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt evenly over both sides of the steak. The salt will not only enhance the flavor but also help tenderize the meat. Allow the salt to sit on the steak for about 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. This process is known as dry brining.
- Add fresh cracked black pepper: After the dry brining, sprinkle freshly ground black pepper onto the steak. The pepper adds a nice kick and complements the savory flavors.
- Rub the seasoning: Gently press the seasoning into the steak, ensuring an even distribution on both sides. Use your hands to massage the seasoning into the meat, allowing it to penetrate and infuse the flavors.
- Let it rest: Once seasoned, let the steak sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes. This rest time allows the seasoning to penetrate the meat and helps the steak cook more evenly.
- Cook the steak: Grill, pan-sear, or broil the steak according to your preferred cooking method until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remember to follow proper cooking times and temperatures based on the thickness of the steak and your desired doneness.
- Rest before slicing: Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the heat source and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful steak.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it is possible, coarse salt is recommended as it provides a better texture and enhances the overall flavor profile. However, if you only have table salt, reduce the quantity slightly to avoid over-salting the steak.
When stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, homemade steak seasoning can last for several months. However, for the best flavor and potency, it is recommended to use it within 3-6 months.
The beauty of homemade steak seasoning lies in its versatility. Feel free to experiment with different ratios and additional ingredients to tailor the blend to your personal taste preferences. Try adding chili powder or brown sugar for a sweet or spicy flavor.
This recipe has many similarities to Montreal steak seasoning including garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. However, Montreal seasoning, which is a combination of pickling spices from Eastern European and Jewish cuisine, also includes dill seed and red pepper flakes.
Store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture and air exposure. Keep it in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry, for up to 6 months. Use as needed.
Best Steak Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Small bowl
- Airtight container or small plastic bag for storage
- Mix together all of the dry rub spices in a small bowl. Use the seasoning right away or store it in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
- When you're ready to season, pat the steak dry and sprinkle on approximately 1 teaspoon on each side of the steak. Add more as needed before searing, grilling, or broiling.