Steak Seasoning - Cloning a Commercial Product... help with pepper and smokiness

Joined Dec 19, 2014
Hi all :)

I use a commercial steak seasoning that I love, but want to make my own - primarily to get away from the oil. Here are the ing:

coarse salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, natural flavor, extractives of paprika, sunflower oil

The flavor is almost there, but I am stuck:

1) The pepper is not coarse enough. My peppermill grinds rather fine; are there mills avail that grind really coarse? If not, how to get really coarse pepper? Do I need to put peppercorns in my mortar and pestle and grind by hand?

2) The comm. product has a certain smokiness to it. I guess that's where 'natural flavor' comes in. I have liquid smoke, but that's not gonna do it, b/c it's well, liquid. :)

What can I add to get smokiness?

Thanks in advance.
Joined Mar 1, 2017
To answer your questions:

1. Use whole peppercorns and yes, grind them with a mortal and pestle or grind them on a cutting board using the underside of a heavy pan. That should give you the coarseness that you want. Try toasting the peppercorns before you grind them. The flavor is sublime.

2. Believe it or not, the commercial brand probably uses liquid smoke, too. Otherwise, you can make a batch of your seasoning and cold smoke it on your grill. You just need a handful of charcoal, smoking wood, a good bottle of wine (for you, of course or beer, if wine isn't your thing) and an afternoon with nothing to do.

Just light the charcoal, let it turn gray, add the smoking wood, put your seasoning in grill at the furthest point away from the coals, close the lid and check every hour or so to make sure the coals are still lit. If not, add some new coals/wood, rinse and repeat. Smoking temperature is not a concern unless it rises above say 225'f. Keep the temperature inside the grill between 150 and 200 and you should be good to go. The longer you keep your seasoning on the grill, the smokier the end result.

Or you skip this whole process and add replace the coarse salt with smoked salt.

Cheers. :)
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Check sales at any decent coffee place. ... Or just ask them to mark one down for you. ... Get a simple coffee grinder. ... You can grind whole peppercorns any fineness you like. ... I bought a bunch for $6 each after Christmas. I use them for grinding all sorts of herbal stuff. Not cheese though; that episode was a wreck.
Mine all say Starbucks instead of Krupps.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I've tried both and I prefer the result you get from using a mortar and pestle (or even the bottom of a solid pan or saucepan) over a coffee grinder. Granted, it's a subtle difference, but as with many things, you get used to certain things and the difference they make becomes important to you. On the other hand the mortar and pestle is a work of patience, requires a little bit of time and effort, whereas the coffee grinder is extremely convenient, quick and effortless.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Second the smoked paprika idea. Depending on the brand it can be pretty intense, don't overdo it.



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
You can buy powdered smoke. Taste is like liquid smoke. I get it at


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
You should read this post if not the whole thread.

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