The Perfect Steak: Seasoning your steaks

By on January 19, 2016

This post is part of our Fired Up Food series, Flame-Cooking The Perfect Steak, giving you a total guide to one of the best meals imaginable.

Brows the list below to skip to a specific step:

  1. Selecting a Steak
  2. Preparing Steak
  3. Seasoning
  4. Fire, Fuel and Cooking Surface
  5. Cooking Process
  6. Cooking to Temp
  7. Resting
  8. Cutting and Slicing
  9. Saucing and Sides
  10. Alternative Cooking Methods

Seasoning Your Steaks

The Kind of Salt Matters

Seasoning your steaks with kosher, sea, or rock salt rather than table salt. There are several reasons. First, natural salts don’t have iodine added, and you don’t want to taste iodine in your steak. Second, the larger salt crystals are less soluble, so the flavor or the salt will stay on the surface of the steak rather than permeating it. Third, it is “less salty” by volume – there’s less salt by weight in a teaspoon of large grain sea salt than there is in a teaspoon of table salt.

  The-Perfect-Steak-Seasoning your steaks_Salt

Flavored Salts

For the ultimate flavor experience, avoid the “prepackaged” flavored salts like garlic salt, onion salt, seasoned salt, etc. If you want to add these flavors to your steak do it yourself with ingredients/seasonings you can verify are fresh and over which you can control the amount.

Try Smoked Salts

Smoked salts are an up and coming gourmet trend. You can buy smoked salts from specialty purveyors like the Salt Works in Washington State or make your own. It’s amazing the varied flavors provided by salts smoked with different kinds of wood.

For more insight and recipes on smoked salt visit and


How Coarse My Pepper

Hopefully it’s a given you’ll be using freshly ground black pepper on your steak. How coarse to grind the pepper is largely up to personal taste. For a preparation of the traditional steak au poivre the ideal grind is just breaking each peppercorn in half and not much more. That may be a bit rough for standard preparations, but generally go with as coarse a grind as pleases your palate.


Other Seasonings and Rubs

Best advice is: Use what you like. The question is: How do you figure out what you like until you try it? High-end steaks don’t generally need much more pre-seasoning than salt and pepper. If you want to introduce other flavors, better to do it on the backend with the right sides and sauces. If you want to try a seasoning mix or rub, do it on a less expensive cut before breaking out the Porter Houses.

When to Season

Salt and pepper your steak an hour before cooking.  This can be done as soon as you get it out of the refrigerator to come up to ambient temperature.

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