Blackened steak is a staple technique of Southern cooking and I won’t suggest that this is how they do it exactly, but it is a pretty fair attempt at the technique. One essential ingredient that you really can’t do without is a Cast Iron Skillet, I prefer to use my 12 inch skillet but any size should get the job done. A boneless steak such as a Ribeye or New York strip is ideal but you choose what will fit your budget and how well you cook it is entirly up to you.
Let go over the ingredients before we talk technique:
- Steaks – I used New York Strip
- Olive oil
- Seasoning – your call here. I used Mesquite Country Seasonings but Old Bay or Tony Chachere’s work great.
- Salt – optional if needed
- 3/4 stick butter
- 1 onion – optional
First things first we need to pre-heat the grill and skillet. You want that skillet hot, that takes time, about 20 – 30 minutes of time. I use a two zone fire on my grill, which is basically heat on one side only, which is where the skillet is setting. The cold zone (not really cold) will be where you finish cooking your steaks. Pre-heat on high for 20 – 30 minutes, you need that skillet really, really hot. You might see your skillet turn white thinking that the patina may be burning off, that shouldn’t be the case if it has been seasoned properly.
While the grill is pre-heating we will start seasoning the steaks. Here I am using two New York Strips steaks, washed and patted dry.
Apply a good coating of Olive Oil to all surfaces of the steak and then apply your selected seasoning and coat your steaks well, coating all sides, rubbing the seasoning into surface of the steaks. Let the steaks rest while the skillet continues to heat up.
Next add a couple of pats of butter to the top of each steak.
Once that skillet has pre-heated it is time to add the steaks to the skillet. Do not add any oil to the skillet! Now be forewarned that you might see flames when the butter hits that skillet, this is a good thing and should actually happened. This just means the skillet is hot enough and will blacken properly, if there is no flames then don’t worry, it will taste every bit as good just not authentic blackened steak.
Lots of smoke and flames makes for an exciting display of grilling culinary skills but be careful as it makes safety take a back seat. The grill is very hot, the skillet is very hot and the steaks are spitting hot grease all over, so be careful!
After two to three full minutes, apply a couple of more pats of butter to the steaks and flip them again. Watch out for flare-ups and splatters. Cook for two to three minutes more and remove the steaks from the skillet to finish cooking on the cold side of the grill.
Your steaks may be to your liking now or may need several more minutes grilling on the cold side to finish cooking depending on your personal taste and the thickness of the steaks.
While your steak is finishing up on the cool side of the grill, throw some sliced onions into the skillet to soak up some of that blackened steak flavoring. Just continue to toss until cooked to your liking.
Caramelize those onions to perfection while your steak finishes coming up to temp, then serve!
It doesn’t get any simpler than that! Give this a try on your next grill adventure!