LongHorn Steakhouse logo with three spice blends

Explaining the Seasonings Used at LongHorn Steakhouse

From humble roadhouse roots to a chain with over 500 locations, LongHorn Steakhouse has certainly earned a following over the last 40 years. While the restaurant professes the quality of their meat and expert execution of their grill masters, their steak seasonings are a key factor in the popularity of their dishes. They make no secret of the names of their three iconic seasonings: char seasoning, grill seasoning, and prairie dust seasoning, but the full ingredients are kept under wraps.

While the steakhouse keeps its spice-mix ingredients secret, many copycat recipes and fans have speculated and successfully mimicked the grill seasoning and prairie dust seasoning. Plus, LongHorn Steakhouse sells the grill seasoning online and in certain grocery chains, giving you a glimpse into the spices used. The grill seasoning lists garlic powder, salt, paprika, onion powder, and additional spices. Of the three, it is the simplest blend, used on grilled and flat-top cooked steaks like Flo’s Filet. The prairie dust seasoning has more ingredients listed, including black pepper, cayenne, coriander, paprika, and turmeric, giving it spicier and more savory herbal notes. It’s used over the chain’s grilled sirloin, but would also work on veggies and poultry.

The char seasoning remains the biggest mystery, but it’s also the blend most recommended by Look and former LongHorn Steakhouse employee Emilee Unterkoefler who provides helpful recommendations for patrons looking for a great steak. You’ll find it on bone-in grilled cuts like ribeye and T-bone, and also dusted over their smoky chicken wings.

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steaks grilling over a flame

Despite LongHorn char seasoning’s unknown ingredient list, its flavorful smoky palate is worth investigating. While Emilee Unterkoefler recommends requesting that any steak or grilled meat dish be seasoned with the char seasoning, this only helps if you’re dining at the restaurant. If you’re trying to recreate the seasoning for a home cookout, the one ingredient most char seasonings contain is sugar. Sugar caramelizes over the grill’s open flames to create a deliciously charred crust and sweet, smoky notes.

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While the menu at LongHorn Steakhouse may not specify it, Unterkoefler’s insider knowledge asserts that prairie dust seasoning is an all-purpose seasoning used on tons of LongHorn Steakhouse menu items, including vegetables, french fries, pork, and chicken dishes. Considering the overlapping blend of aromatic, herbal, and spices in each of these three iconic seasonings, you could potentially experiment with adding them to the same varied list of proteins, veggies, and carbohydrates.

As dry rubs, you’ll want to use a generous portion of these three seasoning blends over any cut of steak. Employing a hefty amount of dry rub is one of the main steak seasoning tips that will guarantee the most effective flavor infusion into red meat’s dense fibers. It will also help seal in a steak’s flavorful juices while also creating a delicious crust, whether you’re grilling, searing, or pan frying.

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