How To Create An Herb Brush For Unbeatable Steak Basting

Every cut of meat has its own challenges when it comes to mastering the cooking technique and achieving the perfect result. Some lean meats dry out very easily, and cooking them properly requires ensuring that you seal in as much moisture as possible. There are some cuts that are better suited to being cooked low and slow, while others do well with a quick burst of high heat.

Steak is unique in that there are a lot of elements to pay attention to. As Smithsonian Magazine outlines, you typically want to get some kind of sear on the exterior of the steak in order to activate the Maillard reaction, the browning process that releases a ton of desirable flavors and aromas. You also want to ensure the steak's interior is cooked to the perfect level of steak doneness — while everyone has their preferences, according to Chicago Steak Company, medium-rare is the best option. At the temperature required for a medium-rare steak, the meat retains enough moisture to keep it from drying out and the proteins are heated to the ideal level for taste and texture.

However, even if you've mastered exactly how long to keep your steaks on the grill or in the pan and how to season them, you're missing out if you're overlooking basting. Basting helps your steak cook more evenly, as per HestanCue, and it also infuses your meat with a ton of added flavor. For even better results, you may want to consider an herb brush.

Why use an herb brush

In order to baste your steak like an expert, you don't need any fancy tools. In fact, as Circle M. Meats outlines, all you really require is a spoon that will allow you to bathe your cut of meat in the buttery, aromatic basting mixture. However, instead of adding aromatics like fresh herbs to your butter while it's being warmed in the pan, why not mix things up and use the aromatics for the actual basting tool, as Kitchn suggests?

Creating your very own herb brush couldn't be easier. You simply need to gather a selection of fresh herbs whose flavor you think would work well with steak, and then tie them together in a bundle using some cooking-safe kitchen twine. Then, you use the bundle of herbs as a brush of sorts, the exact same way you'd utilize a spoon or basting brush in order to distribute that melted butter over your steak.

You can still level up your basting mixture by adding garlic, shallots, or other seasonings to the pan you're basting in. However, you won't have to worry about moving large bunches of herbs around the pan — your DIY basting brush will do the work of infusing those aromatic, herbaceous flavor notes into your steak.

Not sure which herbs to start with? It's all a matter of which flavors you prefer in a steak, but you can't go wrong with rosemary and thyme.