The first time I tried to blacken a steak, it was a complete disaster. The spices never stuck to the meat. I had no idea what I did wrong. Then someone told me that you should actually make a paste out of the spices, and rub that onto the steak instead of trying to sprinkle them on.
Trying again, using this technique, I managed to make something that resembled blackened steak, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.
I kept working at it, modifying my technique and trying different spice blends until I found a combination that really worked for me. I’ve been using this same technique ever since (and tweaking it a little over time), and now my blackened steaks are always delicious and turn out perfectly every time.
I’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to blacken a steak with pictures and detailed instructions so anyone can learn how to do it right the first time.*
The first step to blackening a steak is to season it with salt and pepper. The second is to apply the spices. These spices will include paprika and chili powder. You can also add cayenne pepper if you want the steak to be even hotter and spicier. The third step is to coat the steak in flour, which will give it an extra crunchy texture. Sprinkle the steak with flour, while gently tapping off any excess flour.
The fourth step is to heat up some oil. You can use vegetable oil, lard or any other type of oil that has a high smoke point. The fifth step is to cook the steak in the hot oil on both sides until the crust becomes very dark brown and crispy-looking.**
The sixth step is optional. After you’ve cooked your steak and removed it from the pan, you can add a little bit of butter to the pan and melt it down over medium heat before adding in your juice of choice (wine, beer or any other liquid). Then mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk, scraping up all of that delicious browned-on-the-pan goodness onto your steaks. (You can even add a little more salt and pepper at this point.)
To blacken a steak, preheat the broiler. A cast iron skillet is ideal for this. Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil and heat it on high until the oil begins to smoke. Place the ribeye in the hot pan, and sear it for about 2 minutes before flipping it over. Sear the other side for another minute.*
Now place the steak under the broiler and cook it for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness.**
To serve, remove from pan onto a plate, add salt and pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice. Serve with butter.
First, you need to preheat your grill or frying pan. You want a medium-high heat. After you have heated your grill, turn off one of the burners on the gas grill and heat it on high. This will give you an area to cook your steak that is not as hot.
The next step to blackening a steak is to coat your meat with a thin layer of vegetable oil. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to rub the steak with the oil using your hands (be careful not to get burned). The second way is to put the steak in a plastic bag and add about two tablespoons of vegetable oil (or enough oil to cover the steak). Then shake the bag so that the steak gets covered in oil.
Now that you’re finished with step one, it’s time for step two—adding seasoning. If you use store bought seasoning, then follow their directions; otherwise, use this recipe:
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika (try smoked paprika)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Combine all these ingredients into one container and mix them together thoroughly. Then put some of this mixture onto a plate or in a bowl.
Step 1: Get a pan that is not completely flat. Preferably a cast-iron skillet or a black steel pan. The goal of this process is to get the steak to sear over high heat so the Maillard reaction can occur (this is why it’s called blackening). If your pan is too flat, you won’t get good searing and will end up with a steamed steak.
Step 2: Heat your pan on high heat for 10 minutes until it’s hot enough to cause a drop of water to dance on the surface.
Step 3: Add 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil (canola, corn, etc.) into the pan when hot. It should sizzle when landing in the pan.
Step 4: Add steak to the pan and cook for 2 minutes without moving.
Step 5: Flip steak and cook on other side for 1 minute without moving.
Step 6: Turn off heat, flip steak and put 1/3 Tablespoon butter on top of steak. Turn heat back on to medium low and move the sides of the steak so that butter melts into all parts of the steak by using your tongs or spatula to scrape up against all sides of the steak. This is important because butter adds flavor and moisture
Blackening is done by creating a flavorful, spicy crust on the outside of your steak. The term was coined in Louisiana and refers to the color given to meat from spices. Cooking with blackened seasoning gives a unique flavor to your steak that you won’t find in any other way.
Just like any recipe, cooking a blackened steak takes practice. You will have to try it several times before making it just right. It may be easy to mess up at first, but soon enough you’ll be cooking some of the best steaks around.
Trying to figure out how to make blackened seasoning can be difficult at first. You need ingredients such as paprika or cayenne or chili powder and garlic powder. Making sure all of these ingredients are balanced is important if you want a delicious cooked steak.
Step 1: Heat a cast iron skillet on high for about five minutes or until it is extremely hot.
Step 2: Coat both sides of the steak in blackening seasoning. Use as much or as little as you want, but remember that less takes longer to cook and more is more spicy. This is a matter of preference, so be prepared to adjust the amount of seasoning to suit your taste.
Step 3: Place the seasoned steak in the previously heated pan and allow it to cook, untouched for about three minutes. The time will vary depending on thickness and desired doneness.*
Step 4: Flip the steak over and cook it on the other side for two minutes. Again, this will vary depending on thickness and desired doneness.*
Step 5: Remove the steak from the heat and place it on a plate with a paper towel draped over it so it can continue to cook through and absorb excess grease. Serve immediately.
*Approximate times are based on 1-inch thick steaks cooked medium well.”