Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Carne DiemJump to Recipe
This Chicago steak seasoning comes together quickly with a few ingredients. This well-balanced steak rub consists of Maldon sea salt, coarse black pepper, garlic and onion, with hint of spiciness from crushed red pepper, smoky undertones from hickory seasoning, and some herbal notes from the addition of thyme.
Inspired by the great Chicago steakhouses like Gibson's, and Smith and Wollensky this homemade seasoning salt makes a great rub for seasoning your steaks before cooking or can be used as a finishing seasoning as well.
Table of contents
Making the Chicago Style Steak Rub
To make the steak seasoning, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well to combine. If you do not have hickory seasoning it can be omitted or you can substitute a little smoked BBQ rub. You can also substitute smoked black pepper for the regular black pepper for additional smoky flavor. Hickory seasoning is available on Amazon for a reasonable price as well.
Place the steak rub in a sealable jar or seasoning shaker. Depending on the size of the steaks you are cooking, this recipe should be enough Chicago Style steak rub to season 4-8 steaks.
Unused steak rub should keep for up to a year in a sealed spice jar but is best if used within 6 months. As with any spices, the rub tends to lose its potency over time, so fresh is always better, but the rub is very unlikely to spoil.
Cooking a Chicago Style Steak
Pat your steak dry then season your steak liberally on both sides with the Chicago Style Steak Rub. This Chicago style steak seasonings works well on all types of steaks, but our favorites are a nice thick ribeye or KC strip steak. The coarse ingredients form a nice flavorful crust on the steaks, and the Chicago style seasoning is sugar free, so you avoid that bitter, burnt taste which can ruin a good char.
Be sure to check out more of our favorite steak rubs, sauces, and enhancements:
- Ancho Espresso Steak Rub
- Bone Marrow Compound Butter
- Easy Chimichurri Recipe
- Malbec Sauce For Steak
- Stout Sauce for Steak
- Best Alabama White BBQ Sauce
Prepare your grill or smoker to cook the steaks. Use your favorite method for grilling steaks, whether it be hot and fast over high heat, reverse seared, or even sous vide the steak and finish on a hot grill or cast-iron pan. This Chicago Style Steak Rub does not contain sugar so it is not prone to burning like some other rubs, but you can still get a nice char on the steak.
We cooked this Chicago style ribeye on our Big Green Egg, but any grill will work. Be sure to check out more of our favorite recipes for the Big Green Egg or Ceramic Smokers.
Don't forget to check out our ever-growing collection of some of the best steak recipes from around the world.
- Belgian Steak Frites With Sous Vide Bavette Steak
- Reverse Seared Argentinian Ribeye With Chimichurri Sauce
- Sous Vide Florentine Style Porterhouse
- Filet Mignon with Goat Cheese Sauce and Grand Marnier Sautéed Peppers
- A5 Japanese Wagyu With Yakiniku Sauce
- Garlic Basted Rotisserie Picanha
Finishing and serving your Chicago Style Steak
Cook the steak to your desired doneness. Allow the steak to rest for about 5 minutes before serving, then serve it up with your favorite sides for steaks like Smoked Jalapeno Twice Baked Potatoes, Fried Lump Crab Cakes with Sriracha Mayonnaise, or Fried Mashed Potato Cakes with Herbes de Provence Butter.
Leftover Chicago steak seasoning can also be used to season larger cuts like prime rib, brisket, and Baltimore Pit beef. Sprinkle a little on roasted potatoes or grilled vegetables for a bit of smoky, spicy flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Chicago style steak seasoning typically consists of coarse salt, pepper, and garlic and often includes dehydrated onion and a hint of red pepper.
While both seasonings typically have a base or salt, pepper, and garlic, Montreal seasoning tends to be more earthy and herbal undertones, with the addition of dill and coriander. Chicago seasoning tends to have mild spice undertones with the addition of spices like red pepper.
The homemade steak rub should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool dry place. The seasoning is at its best when used within 6 months of making it as spices tend to lose their potency over time.
Yes, this homemade rub is gluten free and sugar free. It is also free of any of the major allergens.
Usage can vary depending on the size of the steak, but about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon should season a 16-ounce steak.
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Chicago Style Steak Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Dehydrated Onion
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Hickory Seasoning optional
- Combine the steak rub ingredients in a small bowl or container. Stir to combine well.
- Store in a glass shaker or spice bottle.