What is Blackened Steak?

If you have ever been down south, especially in areas known for Cajun dishes, then you have probably heard of blackened steak. You might have even encountered the blackening technique on other meats like chicken and fish.

If you are unfamiliar with it, there is no need to worry. This post will tell you all you need to know about blackened steak, from what it is to how to prepare it.

What Is the Blackening Technique?

Blackening is a cooking technique that involves coating meat with seasoning before searing it in a pan over intense heat, forming a flavorful and crispy crust on the outside. This crispy crust seals in the meat’s natural juices, helping to make it more juicy and tender on the inside.

Many believe that this technique was first made famous by Chef Paul Prudhomme after serving blackened redfish at his New Orleans restaurant.

What Is in Blackened Seasoning?

The term blackened steak can be confusing since it refers more to the cooking method than what is actually used. Are you interested in knowing what’s in blackened seasoning?

Blackened seasoning is a combination of herbs and spices that you can either buy at a store or make yourself. While every cook has their preferred blend of herbs and spices, you can have variations depending on the blackened steak recipe you follow.

That said, blackened seasoning usually includes:

  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder

Some blackened steak recipes might suggest adding cumin and brown sugar to the seasoning you will use to prepare your steak.

How Do You Make Blackened Seasoning?

To make the seasoning, combine all the spices mentioned above in a bowl and mix properly.

How to Make Blackened Steak

Preparing blackened steak is quite simple. All you need to do is sear your steak over intense heat in a cast-iron skillet. Doing so will give it an outer crust that looks almost burnt but a tender inside cooked just right.

What Steak to Use

Some of the best types of steaks to use for this technique include rib eyes, t-bone, porterhouse, filet mignon, or New York strip steaks. These options are ideal because they do not have excess amounts of fat. On top of that, they cook evenly while remaining tender and juicy even after searing them.

Ensure that you purchase USDA-grade “prime” cuts of meat (See Grades of Beef Explained). Their flavor, tenderness, and juiciness make them the perfect steaks for blackening. “Choice” cuts will also work.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Using a paper towel, pat the steaks dry and brush some olive oil on them.
  3. Take your blackened seasoning, sprinkle it over the meat, and rub it in. Flip the steaks over and repeat the same on the other side.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet over intense heat for five minutes.
  5. Once the pan is hot, add butter and let it melt.
  6. Once the butter has melted, add the steaks.
  7. Sear the steaks for two minutes without moving them.
  8. Turn the steaks and cook them on the other side.
  9. Place the skillet in your preheated oven and let the meat cook for four to six minutes.
  10. Cook the steaks at 130 degrees F for medium, 125 degrees F for medium-rare, and 120 degrees F for rare. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure they cook perfectly.
  11. Remove the steaks, place them on a plate, and cover them with aluminum foil.
  12. Let them rest for between five and ten minutes. During this time, their temperature will increase approximately five degrees.
  13. Remove the foil and serve immediately.

What You Can Serve with Blackened Steak

While blackened steak can go with almost anything, most people serve it with cooked vegetables, potato dishes, and salads. There are a few other pairing ideas, with side dishes such as:

  • Easy roasted potatoes
  • Fresh broccoli salad
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Roasted garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Easy vegetable pasta salad
  • Grilled watermelon salad

Nutrition

The precise nutritional value for the meal will vary depending on the alterations you make and the side dish with which you choose to have your steak. That said, here is the nutritional value you can expect:

  • Calories: 595kcal
  • Protein: 32g
  • Fat: 49g
  • Saturated fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Sodium: 3481mg
  • Cholesterol: 150mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Potassium: 598mg
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Calcium: 12mg
  • Iron: 5mg
  • Vitamin A: 1714IU
  • Vitamin C: 1mg

Storing Blackened Steak

Though you won’t always end up with leftover steak, some occasions might leave you with more steak than you can finish in one sitting. Fortunately, there are several ways you can enjoy leftover blackened steak.

For instance, you could serve it alongside fried or scrambled eggs or prepare some quick steak quesadillas for dinner. Some choose to slice up the steak, adding it into their steak taco salad to make the perfect lunch. The key to enjoying these and many more meals is storing your steak correctly.

To store your blackened steak:

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.