Why Alton Brown's Steak Mayonnaise Hack Works So Well

The Food Network is full of big personalities giving viewers ideas for recipes, cooking hacks, and mostly just good entertainment. Anyone who has seen an episode of "Chopped" knows they probably won't ever recreate any of the dishes prepared by the contestants, but it's wildly fun to watch the chefs scramble and create surprisingly amazing meals using strange ingredients.

Every now and then, though, a well-known chef will give out a tidbit of cooking advice or a suggestion and, as bizarre as they sometimes seem, they usually work. Alton Brown is much-loved by us all. This quirky chef and show host is fun to watch and is always giving us some zany food tip that usually ends up working. (Does anyone else remember when he told us we should be cooking meatballs in egg cartons? The man is a genius.) His recommendation for cooking steak with mayonnaise is no different.

Mayonnaise adds good flavor

While it might seem a little gross to cover up a perfectly good cut of meat with mayonnaise, the science behind it is pretty sound. In his Instagram picture of a steak coated with mayo, Brown captioned it, "I didn't have any oil or butter so... #mayo #steak." While a lot of people might think this is borderline sacrilegious treatment of a good steak, a little closer inspection reveals the technique to be actually pretty genius.

Mayonnaise is primarily made up of eggs and oil, and everyone knows that adding oil when cooking is an easy way to add flavor. Since eggs are mostly made up of fat, and oil is already fat, adding mayonnaise to coat a steak instead of butter or oil is really just adding a different type of fat, and a flavorful one at that.

The Daily Meal describes in detail why grilling with mayonnaise is a good idea, and Buzzfeed mentions a few other chefs who add mayo to foods before grilling them. It sounds delicious, honestly, so we'll be trying this in the near future.