steak with dry rub

Steak Rub: How to Make Your Own with Pantry Staples

When you have a sizzling, perfectly cooked steak with a crusty exterior of spices in mind, it’s upsetting to see your favorite dry rub slide off the sides of the meat while it’s heating up. So how do you ensure that meticulously crafted dry rub stays put on your steak where it belongs? Fortunately, the answer is simple and you likely already have everything you need. It comes down to lightly prepping the surface of the steak before adding the dry rub. 

All you need is a spray bottle, like the one you use for your air fryer, armed with a neutral oil like vegetable oil. Before applying your dry rub, give your steak a light mist of oil. This acts as an adhesive, allowing the spice blend to adhere to the meat better. The extra moisture helps bind the spices blend without having to use a marinade. But what exactly does a dry rub do for your steak anyway? 

Beyond adding flavor, a dry rub forms a delicious crust on the exterior of the meat, sealing in juices and enhancing the overall texture. It’s the difference between a lackluster steak and one with a fantastic crust that’s bursting with flavor from the first bite to the last.

Try these neutral oils on your next steak

spraying cooking oil

So which oil works best for this dry rub trick? While vegetable oil is a popular choice for its neutral flavor and high smoke point, there are a few other options to consider. Grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or even canola oil can all serve as effective dry-rub binders without altering the taste of your steak. Experiment with different oils to find the perfect balance of flavor and functionality for the best results that suit your personal preferences. Now, all you have to decide is whether to go for a super simple pepper coating for your steak, or a more unusual coffee rub.

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So, the next time you fire up the grill or heat up a skillet, remember to lightly spray oil onto your steak before adding your go-to dry rub recipe. With this simple trick up your sleeve, you won’t have to watch your steak coating fall off either while cooking or the moment it is lifted from the prep plate and onto the heat.

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