Powdered Cheese Makes A Surprisingly Perfect Steak Seasoning

There are several mistakes everyone makes when seasoning steaks, but probably the biggest is not seasoning the meat well enough. If you're working with thick steaks, it's especially important to add enough seasoning to the exterior of the meat to add flavor to the interior. However, you don't have to stick to salt. There's one unexpected ingredient that TikTok users are putting on steak to boost its flavor, and though it's unconventional, it could work. The ingredient in question? Powdered cheese. And no, this recipe doesn't come from a mac-and-cheese-obsessed toddler. Real adults are using this method.

TikTok user @GugaFoods posted a video showing how they used the powder from a box of macaroni and cheese to season a steak, coating the raw meat entirely in bright orange powder, cooking it sous vide, and then searing it on the grill. The results? "That's not even good; That's like delicious!" the creator says. It even inspired other creators to try the hack, including TikToker @foodgains, who made their cheese powder-coated steak in an air fryer. But why is the combination of steak and mac and cheese powder so good?

Why it works

Why does cheese powder from a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese make steak taste so good? Cheese sauce powder mix contains ingredients like whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, and lactic acid. It also contains salt. While the salt seasons your steak just as regular salt would, the dairy-based cheese ingredients add umami, a savory flavor that is created thanks to the glutamates in the amino acids found in cheese. Add in the high-heat cooking of a grill, skillet, or air fryer, and you increase the umami even more, as cooking helps release the glutamates in foods, enhancing their flavors.


Kaft MAC n CHEESE Steak! #steak #fyp #experiment #cheese #cheesesteak

♬ original sound – Guga Foods

If you want to double down on the savory flavor that a cheese-powder crust can give steak, you might want to try a higher-quality cheese powder. You can find cheese powders made with real aged cheddar cheese, which is rich in umami and might make food snobs less skeptical of your cheesy steak creation. Then again, celebrity chef Roy Choi once used powdered Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos to season steaks at a Flamin' Hot Cheetos restaurant, so maybe mac and cheese powder isn't such a low-brow steak seasoning ingredient after all.