The Unexpected Ingredient That Will Change Your Steak Forever

It's hard to improve on the perfection of a delicious, juicy steak, but it's still fun to try. When it comes to cooking a great steak, there are a few ways to shake things up. Maybe get creative with your technique by attempting the reverse sear method of roasting your steak first before searing it in a hot pan. Or, you could try Bobby Flay's method of slightly undercooking your steak to achieve the juiciest results. 

By far, though, the thing that allows for the most imagination in your steak cookery is the seasoning. Reader's Digest says the ticket to the steak of your dreams is an unexpected ingredient that's probably already in your kitchen. It's your early morning hero and brain-awakening buddy: coffee. They say mixing finely ground coffee with other spices, like paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and maybe a pinch of sugar adds a rich, aromatic quality to your steak. 

If your appreciation of coffee goes no further than the comforting caffeine boost it provides throughout your day, consider that coffee has flavor profiles just like the spices in your spice cabinet. It can bring some serious character to the party when added to other seasonings.

Bitterness and umami go together

Maybe you've never given much thought to the flavor profile of the coffee you drink but, according to Bespoke Post, there's quite a bit going on there. Acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and sourness are all important elements in the taste of your coffee. The Roasterie sings the praises of combining those acidic notes with the savoriness of meat, and Serious Eats claims the unique bitterness of coffee is a flavor hard to find elsewhere in the kitchen. Those contrasting bitter notes might be just what your steak needs. 

Cook Smarts points out that bitterness actually enhances salty and umami flavors. A little ground coffee, blended with salt and other seasonings, combined with the inherent umami of your steak, really sounds like a recipe for success. Another added benefit of using dry seasonings like coffee on your steak, as opposed to a wet marinade, is that they facilitate a nicely caramelized crust. Bon Appetit says dry rubs don't add any additional moisture to your steak, which makes it easier to achieve a nice sear. We can only talk about a coffee-seasoned steak for so long before needing to eat one. Next time you're seasoning your steak, embrace the unexpected and add a bit of ground coffee to the mix.