How to Season a Steak

by Pauline Gill ; Updated September 28, 2017

Whether it is summer, fall, or winter, there is nothing like a steak on the grill. Just the aroma of meat cooking will make any mouth water. Tender cuts of steak need little seasoning to taste great. Other cuts of meat need to be tenderized with a marinade. The marinade will also add flavor. All steaks are great when topped with a flavorful sauce. There are three basic ways to season a steak. You can use a rub, a marinade or a sauce. It all depends on the cut of meat and your preferences.

Pick out the cut of steak you want. There are many cuts to choose from such as tenderloin, filet mignon, porterhouse and T-Bone. These steaks do not need to be marinated because they are already tender. They do, however, taste great with a seasoned rub. Steaks good for marinating are chuck, flank. round, sirloin, and top round.

Choose a marinade for cheaper cuts of meat. If you have chuck, flank, round, sirloin or top round, you may want to marinate the steaks to help tenderize the meat and add flavor. Marinades are a mixture of wet and dry ingredients used to soak the meat. Marinades usually contain vinegar or citrus fruit. Just soaking a steak in citrus fruit will help tenderize and flavor the meat. Most meats need at least two hours to marinate. The following is a simple marinade for steak:Teriyaki Marinade1/2 cup of vegetable oil1/2 cup of brown sugar1/2 cup of soy sauce2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced1 cup of pineapple juice

Choose a rub for better cuts of meat. If you have a good cut of meat, use a seasoned rub for flavor. Good cuts do not need to be tenderized, but they may not be as flavorful as a lesser cut. There are two types of rubs: wet and dry. A dry rub is made of herbs and spices that may be sprinkled on the meat or rubbed in. Wet rubs contain a liquid ingredient, such as oil, and are the consistency of a paste. A wet rub will stick to the meat better.Simple Rub for Steak1 tsp. garlic powder1 tsp. onion powder1 tsp. parsley 1/2 tsp. oreganoOlive oil to create a paste

Choose a sauce for any cut of meat. A sauce is not used to tenderize the meat or add a particular flavor while cooking. It's added to the meat after grilling. Bases for sauces may be red wine, beef broth or even ketchup.Simple Sauce for Steak1 1/4 cups of ketchup2 Tbs mustard (brown or yellow)1 1/2 Tbs cider vinegarSalt and pepper to taste

Whether you have a good cut of meat or lesser cut, you can make any steak taste wonderful with the right seasonings. Don't be afraid to experiment with ingredients in your kitchen. Look for oils, vinegars, citrus juice, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and herbs. Now create!


  • Use a hot grill to sear the meat and hold in the juices. Make sure all other food is ready when the steak comes off the grill.

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About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.