Seasoning Meat 101: How To Use Herbs, Spices & More
When it comes to cooking meat, seasoning is half the fun. A well stocked spice rack can help you create flavors from around the world with ease, and to make your meat taste incredible. If you’re not used to cooking meat, you might not be sure how to season different types. Or, maybe you get stuck in a rut and always season your meals the same way. There’s so many amazing seasoning possibilities out there, and whether you want to keep it simple or cook something elaborate, you’ll love what happens when you get creative with herbs and spices. When you’re seasoning a cut of meat before cooking, you want to season generously on all sides - the flavor you add will need to carry throughout the entire piece of meat once it’s sliced up after cooking.
Seasoning Bison, Beef and Elk Steaks
For steaks, I like to keep it simple. Ours have such incredible flavor that sea salt and freshly ground black pepper are all that’s needed for them to really shine. Now, it is important to use a quality salt and pepper. I always like to use sea salt because it has a little more texture and flavor, and it contains minerals because it’s not processed. You’ll never find table salt in my kitchen. I’m also a fan of Redmond’s Real Salt - it’s a name brand that comes from a super pure ancient seabed in Utah. As far as pepper goes, you definitely need the kind that comes in a peppermill with whole peppercorns. This is about as far as I go with seasoning for steaks, although I have been known to use garlic salt from time to time. Simple works well when it comes to quality meat!
Seasoning Burgers Of All Kinds
I’ll start out by saying that I often make burgers with no seasoning at all. Our ground meats taste so good all by themselves that I’m perfectly happy with the meat, toppings and buns as they are. However, that’s not to say that seasoned burgers aren’t delicious. Simply add the seasonings into the ground meat and combine before forming patties. My favorites to add are garlic salt, cumin, onion powder, smoked paprika (or the regular sweet paprika is fine, too), freshly cracked black pepper, and a little pinch of brown sugar or coconut sugar.
Seasoning Roasts And Other Slow Cook Items
On slow cook items of all kinds, I love using lots of herbs. Whether you’re using fresh or dried, herbs like rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme will add a delicious savory earthiness to slow cooked meats. You can also just go for an Italian seasoning blend. For summertime barbecue slow cooked meats, you’ll want to use a spice rub with a little kick. Plenty of garlic and onion powder, brown sugar, smoked paprika, mustard powder and salt and pepper will do the trick. And barbecue sauce, of course. Either of these styles of seasonings, the herby wintery mix or the summer barbecue spice rub, will make your slow cooked meat cuts completely mouthwatering.
Seasoning Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon & Other Fish
Salmon is extremely versatile when it comes to seasonings, and whether you just use salt and pepper or go for an exotic blend of flavors your fish will turn out great. My go-to is a drizzle of oil with sea salt, pepper, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and some lemon slices. But I also love adding a little pinch of red pepper flakes, garlic, and/or other herbs like dill and parsley.
Seasoning New Zealand Lamb
I love seasoning lamb because the flavor lends itself so well to all sorts of amazing and exotic herbs and spices. You can really go heavy on the seasoning with this meat because it has a strong enough flavor that it won’t be overpowered by a robust spice rub. I love adding cumin, rosemary, garlic and oregano for a more traditional holiday tasting lamb. It’s also a perfect opportunity to enjoy the fresh taste of mint. Orange or lemon zest adds a bright dash of citrus that goes perfectly with the flavor of lamb. We often hear from customers who thought they didn’t like lamb when they tried it in the past. Many people are pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoy our lamb, because of its delicate yet distinctive flavor. It’s complemented perfectly by many combinations of seasonings, so let yourself get creative in the kitchen.
Seasoning Wild Boar & Heritage Pork
First things first, wild boar and pork do not taste the same. With wild boar, you’ll encounter a flavor reminiscent of both pork and beef, with a complex, nutty flavor. However, I still find that it is just as versatile when it comes to seasonings as pork. When I think about cooking wild boar or heritage pork, my mind almost always goes straight to delicious Asian recipes. I love using coconut aminos, fish sauce, sriracha, ginger and garlic on these meats. Of course, there’s tons of other options. These are extremely versatile meats and you truly can season them with just about anything depending on what type of dish you’d like to cook. I’m fond of adding some brown sugar or coconut sugar, as these meats pair well with a touch of sweetness. Lots of savory herbs is another great go-to for wild boar or pork.
Seasoning Chicken To Be Anything But Boring
Sure, chicken breast has a reputation for being boring. But with the right seasonings and cooking methods, any cut of chicken can be completely mouthwatering. The French seasoning blend known as herbes de Provence is perfect for chicken. But much like pork, chicken can roll with pretty much whatever seasoning you throw at it. Barbecue, spicy, Asian, Indian… the options are limitless.