The Best Herbs for Cooking Steak – Never Make Steak the Same Way Again After Learning These

best herbs for cooking steak

Chef Jena says, “roasted garlic infused steak takes flavor to another level.” 

Garlic, rosemary and thyme are basic yet effective for beef. However, charring herbs like oregano and sage adds layers of flavor. 

While rosemary and thyme are safe choices, experimenting with uncommon herbs and preparation styles leads to remarkable steak dishes. 

Some simple culinary methods empower you to deliciously boost herbal flavors in every morsel. Keep reading to learn techniques making ordinary steak extraordinary.

Key Takeaways

Some of the best herbs for cooking steak include rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage, and oregano. Each herb contributes unique yet complementary flavors to elevate the taste of steak.

Top Herbs to Use in Steak

Steak is a hearty protein that benefits from pairing with bold flavors from fresh herbs (1). Incorporating herbs not only elevates the taste of steak but may also impart health advantages. 

Some of the most popular herb varieties used in beef steak preparation include rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage, oregano and pepper – each contributing unique yet complementary tastes.

  • Rosemary beautifully accents steak with pine and citrus notes. Rub sprigs on steak or skewer together. Contains antioxidants that may protect against cancer and reduce inflammation (2).
  • Thyme lends sweet woodsy flavor. Enhances grilled steak. Add to rubs or infused oil. Rich in antioxidants, may decrease inflammation.
  • Garlic boosts savory depth. Pairs with cuts like strip and T-bone. Rub minced garlic on steak or scatter slices. Antioxidants may lower cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer risk.
  • Sage provides earthy subtle sweetness. Complexity stands up to ribeye. Add to rubs or infused oil during last minutes. Compounds may reduce inflammation, protect neurological health.
  • Oregano adds bold citrus spice. Nicely enhances sirloin, flank. Sprinkle dried or chopped onto rubs or under fat before cooking. Contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatories.
  • Peppercorn heightens taste. Options include cracked black, pink/white, crushed green/red. Peppers aid absorption, used medicinally since ancient Greece, Rome.

Incorporating various fresh herbs takes steak to the next level, boosting layered flavors while imparting possible health benefits to complement the hearty protein. Experiment pairing different herb combinations to discover new flavor profiles for upgraded grilled beef.

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Credit : Hodder Books

Herb Combinations for Maximum Flavor

Herbs added to dishes impart layers of complex flavors while also providing nutrients. Pairing herbs synergistically creates nuanced flavor profiles that enhance dishes like no herb alone could. Some classic herb combinations that magnify flavors include:

Herb CombinationMain HerbsFlavor ProfileUses
The Holy TrinityThyme, Rosemary, OreganoDeep herbal notes, savory depth, piney warmth, bright citrus spiceRubs for meats and vegetables, infused olive oil
Herbes de ProvenceThyme, Savory, Marjoram, Rosemary, LavenderHardy herbs, floral notes from lavender, hints of aniseSeason slow roasted meats and vegetables, rub onto chicken
Italian SeasoningBasil, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, ThymeBright, warm, aromatic flavors, freshness, brightness, depth, savory complexityPizza, pasta, chicken, steak, bruschetta, tomato sauces

Pairing complementary herb combinations takes dishes to new heights. Beyond single herbs alone, thoughtfully blending distinctive flavors creates nuanced taste profiles. Experiment blending dried or fresh herb combos to discover new and inspired ways to enhance homemade meals.

Tips for Using Herbs in Steaks

Herbs enhance the deep flavors of steak in delicious ways. Incorporating fresh or dried herbs into steak preparation is simple and makes each bite more vibrant. Here are some tips for optimally using herbs when cooking steaks:

best herbs for cooking steak
  • Rub herb rubs or seasonings onto steaks: Make dry rubs with thyme, rosemary, sage and apply generously onto steaks 30+ minutes before grilling to allow flavors to permeate.
  • Baste with herbed butter: Stir fresh herbs like oregano or chopped garlic into softened butter. Baste steaks during last 5 minutes of cooking to infuse herb flavors.
  • Skewer herb sprigs with steak: Alternating pieces of rosemary, thyme or basil along small skewers with steak adds herb-directly in each bite.
  • Use in marinades: Steep sprigs of tarragon or thyme in red wine or broth along with steak strips for 1+ hours for intense herb flavor in every part of cooked steaks.
  • Sprinkle cracked pepper and flaked sea salt: Complement steak with contrasting flavors and aromas from peppercorns and quality saltfinished with olive oil.
  • Focus on texture: Incorporate textures alongside flavors using herbs – pile chopped herbs or pestos atop tender cooked steaks.

Exploring new fresh herb combinations and preparation methods with steaks takes the meal to new heights. Remember, less is more – showcase the natural meatiness of steaks first and let herbs simply enhance the existing flavors.

Latest Techniques for Enhancing Herb Flavor

Maximizing herb flavors takes steak to new heights. Simple culinary techniques capture vibrant herbal notes for bold steaktiness.

  • Make herb compound butters. Blend softened butter with minced rosemary, thyme and garlic. Form into logs, wrap tightly. Slice over steak during last minutes of cooking.
  • Infuse steak with herb oils. Steep oregano, sage in olive oil for 2+ weeks. Brush oil onto steaks before and during grilling for intense flavor penetration.
  • Dry herb rubs. Mix paprika, garlic powder, crushed rosemary. Generously coat steaks 30+ minutes before cooking, allowing flavors to absorb.
  • Fresh herb chimichurri. Blend parsley, cilantro, oregano, red wine vinegar. Spoon over cooked steaks, adding flavor with every bite.
  • Pistou. Blend basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan for a Provençal take. Stir into basted steak juices for intense herbed pan sauce.
  • Herb salt crust. Cover steaks with mixture of sea salt, dried thyme, rosemary. Let stand to form crust before searing. Gives bold herbal crust.

Enhance steak’s natural savor through simple culinary maximizing fresh and dried herbs—infused, blended, rubbed and pureed for optimal bright herbed flavor with every juicy, savory bite.


Experimenting with different herb combinations is a fun and deliciously rewarding way to take your steaks to a whole new level. 

Whether you go for classic blends like the Holy Trinity of thyme, rosemary and oregano, or get creative with your own fresh combinations, pairing complementary herbs allows you to craft nuanced flavor profiles that make each bite more vibrant. 

Remember – less is more when it comes to showcasing the natural meatiness of steaks. Herbs are meant to simply enhance the deep, savory flavors that are already there. By incorporating simple culinary techniques like infusing oils, making compound butters, or mixing up dry rubs, you can really maximize herbal notes and impart bright, hearty notes with EVERY juicy bite. 

Don’t be afraid to get hands-on and play around with different preparation methods – the options are endless! With practice, i’m sure you’ll be grill mastering delicious herb-enhanced steaks in no time. 

Let me know if you have any other questions or leave a comment below to share your favorite herb combinations for taking steak to the next level!



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