Steak dust is a blend of spices that is popular in the state of Texas. It is also known as steak seasoning or steak rub. And although it is commonly used in flavoring steaks, it is the spice of choice when it comes to bringing hearty, smoky, and savory flavors of any dish – even vegetables. The main components of steak dust are the following: salt, pepper, garlic, onion, chili flakes, cumin and/or coriander. However, some Texans prefer to add sugar and other spices. Nevertheless, the taste of steak dust may vary according to its producer. But, the texture of this spice remains the same. It has the consistency of paprika, except steak dust has a light brown color.
Steak originated back in the mid-15th century. Throughout the time, technology, and modernization, steak dust has been created to make cooking convenient. Nowadays, it is used not only to flavor steaks but also to season hamburgers, pork chops, roasts, mushrooms, and other vegetables.
Steak Dust Trivia
- U.S.A. celebrates the Steak and Blowjob Day, sometimes called Steak & BJ Day or Steak & Knobber Day, as a male response to St. Valentine’s Day. Therefore, this satirical holiday is celebrated every March 14, exactly one month after the presumed women’s event. In response to the chocolates, flowers, and greeting cards, women are supposed to cook steaks for their men and give them a fellatio afterward; hence, where the “blowjob” part of the event refers to.
- The most popular day Americans eat steaks is during Memorial Day; 4th of July and Labor Day follows.
- The most expensive steak in the world is a rib steak called 2000 vintage cote de boeuf; it is priced at $3,200. On another note, Japanese Kobe steak is the most expensive steak that you can buy in selected stores; it is priced around $200 a pound.
Steak Dust Buying Guide
Steak dust is definitely everywhere in the state of Texas from large supermarkets such as H-E-B and Natural Grocers to online shops and nearby markets. The only downside of buying the store-bought ones is the variety and amount of ingredients that affect the flavor of the seasoning. The consistency may also vary and preservatives are commonly added in mass-produced ones. Nevertheless, here are some things to look out for when you opt to buy store-bought steak dust:
- You can find steak dust in the spice aisle section of the store.
- Check out the sodium content as commercially-produced steak dust is heavy on the salt. Better yet, opt for no-salt-added, reduced-sodium, or low-sodium, and just add salt as you normally flavor your dishes.
- Check out the ingredients list to see if there are preservatives and other spices involved in the product. You may want to choose a steak dust that has its original components.
- As always, steak dusts from local food vendors and artisans in farmers’ markets are better than the mass-produced ones. Here, you’ll get close to no preservatives and the ingredients are usually organic. Their products are also made in small batches and you might be able to get free samples along the way. And, don’t forget that our Texas Real Food website is home to all Texan vendors that would love to hear from you.
Steak Dust Production & Farming in Texas
With the state of Texas being the largest producer of cattle in the United States, it is easy to conclude that we Texans love steaks! Steakhouses are scattered from the Panhandle region to the Rio Grande Valley and the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo is home to the biggest steak challenge, wherein a 72-oz steak is laid on the table for someone who dares to contend the meat. But, due to the fact that steaks are known to be expensive and a luxury for some, others try to enjoy these meats at home. Hence, the production of steak dust at home truly became popular. Also, some cattle ranches craft this spice based on the profile of the beef that they offer. That is also one of the reasons why the flavor varies per producer.
Pesticides, additives, and chemicals:
Although steak dust might be more convenient than blending one at home, it will never be our best choice as most of them contain additives and chemicals for a lower cost yet fast-producing and shelf-stable products. Thus, here are some additives that we found on top brands:
- Artificial Flavorings – These are usually chemically-formulated products that are used to intensify the flavors of the product. Although they are labeled as such due to its very small quantitative participation, it’s always a better option to stay away from these ingredients. For steak dust, some artificial flavorings come in the following names: disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, and disodium succinate.
- Dextrose and Maltodextrin – It is a type of sugar that acts as an artificial sweetener, food neutralizer, and a preservative. Too much consumption of this ingredient can lead to body fluid build-up and high blood sugar.
- Caramel Color – It is a water-soluble food coloring that is made from caramelizing natural sources such as sugar or corn. Nonetheless, it acts as an emulsifier and a dye for a more appetizing color. Although this additive is generally safe to eat, it might increase the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension if eaten regularly and in great amounts.
- Yeast Extracts – These are added as a flavor enhancer and possess the same side effects just like MSG. You may want to avoid products with these ingredients especially if you have blood pressure problems or sodium-related concerns.
- Extractives – These additives are made with essential oils or condensed flavor essence of different spices. It can be mixed with solvents such as alcohol, or water. They act as a flavor enhancer and it also contributes to a longer shelf-life.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – This artificial sweetener never does any good to our health. Too much consumption of this additive can lead to diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, obesity, and other serious diseases. This additive can also be listed as corn syrup solids.
- Calcium Stearate – This additive acts as an anticaking agent in foods where it binds and lubricates the products at the same time. Some calcium stearates are plant-derived while others are derived from animals like cows and pigs.
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein – Abbreviated as HVP, this additive creates a broth taste without meat, bones, and vegetables. Common HVP includes hydrolyzed corn, hydrolyzed yeast protein (a.k.a. yeast extracts), hydrolyzed soy, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and hydrolyzed wheat gluten. Although HVP is a processed additive, it is a good source of protein.
Steak dusts can only be bought in powdered form that is packaged in a variety of ways. Most commercial ones come in plastic containers that weigh between 6 ounces to 29 ounces. Some also come in pouches and single-use packets.
Enjoying Steak Dust
Steak dust is an all-purpose seasoning blend that can be enjoyed as a meat rub for steaks, chicken, pork, and fish prior to grilling or roasting. Vegans and vegetarians also love this spice as it can easily provide umami or meat taste on vegetables without using animal and animal byproducts.
Steak dust should be kept in a sealable and air-tight container. You may also use a spice jar with a tight-fitting lid on. This spice should then be stored in a cool and dry area far from humid and hot zones like stoves, grills, and ovens to prolong their shelf life. Following these, steak dust will maintain its best quality and potency for about 2-3 years. To optimize its longevity, keep the container tightly closed when not in use.
Make your own Steak Dust:
Steak dust is easy to make at home. It only takes less than 5 minutes to gather your ingredients, measure, and finally blend. Below is a quick recipe that you can make ahead of time for more convenience. We highly suggest you to multiply this recipe according to your needs as this seasoning can be used for a long time.
Yield: 1 ½ cup / 25 tablespoons
- 4 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 2 tbsp chili flakes
- 2 tbsp parsley flakes
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Using a funnel, transfer the mixture in an airtight container or shaker with a lid. Store accordingly.