When it comes to steak purists, you only need a generous sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to season a steak to perfection. In this case, most people choose to season steaks right before preparing. To do this, sprinkle coarse salt (kosher salt works best) and fresh-ground pepper on both sides and edges of steaks. For others, trying different flavor combinations can be a change of pace to usual steak routines. We especially love to do this with dry rubs.
Dry rubs are easy to make and add a big punch of instant flavor to meats, poultry, fish and seafood. You can keep unused mixtures in airtight containers in a cool, dark location for up to 6 months. For each of the following, rub mixture generously on all sides of steak before preparing.
Southwest Rub: Mix 2 tablespoons each regular chili powder or ancho chile pepper powder, ground cumin, smoked or regular paprika, garlic powder, salt and brown sugar.
Smoke and Spice Rub:
Mix 2 tablespoons each ground chipotle chile pepper powder, regular chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and brown sugar.
Mix 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice, 1 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, ¼ teaspoon each salt and cayenne.
Espresso Steak Rub: Mix 2 tablespoons each instant espresso coffee powder, ancho chile pepper powder, paprika and brown sugar with 1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa, 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Mix 2 tablespoons each ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, ground turmeric and salt with 1 tablespoon cayenne.
Spicy Herb Rub:
Mix together 3 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon each salt and garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and cayenne.
For more fun seasoning ideas, try some of our favorite steak recipes: