Can You Cook A Steak With Mayo?

Have you heard of tenderizing your steak in mayonnaise before cooking? You might be wondering if it worth doing or even works? And if so, what will it does it do for the meat?

Does Cooking Steak With Mayonnaise Work?

Tenderizing a steak with mayo works and is something you should try! I know it might seem weird to cook with a condiment… 

Read further to understand why cooking steak with this popular condiment works!

What Exactly Is Mayo?

So what is mayonnaise or ‘mayo’ for short? Let’s find out to help understand why before we start this delicious technique.

Mayo is a table condiment and food ingredient in a variety of different recipes. Made by fat emulsion between oil and egg yokes with seasonings and an acid.

Is Cooking Steak With Mayo That Weird?

Now, believe me, I am a humble home cook and not a food scientist… But it seems to me that mayo is just oil with a few extra ingredients.

The traditional method for cooking steak is using oil and browned butter. The only difference is the emulsion of oil and butter is done in the pan while cooking! So it’s pretty much the same anyway!

Some Steak Recipes to Try with Mayo

Flank Steak Pellet Smoker

Oyster Blade Steak

Pit Boss Carne Asada

How Cooking With Mayo Make Your Steak Better!

See below and consider this favorite condiment for cooking steak!

Adds A New Depth Of Flavor 

A good quality mayonnaise isn’t just about the texture to dipping potential. Popular component ingredients include Djon mustard and aromatic spices.

These all add a new layer of flavor profiles to the steak. 

Helps Tenderize The Proteins

Remember the acidic component in mayonnaise?

Lemon juice and vinegar are other popular and create a tangy taste.

This acid and the kosher salt in the mayo will denature the meat proteins.

Breaking down and softening for a mouth-wateringly tender steak.

You can even add this step to your recipe for preparation.

Is A Binder For A Dry Spice Rub

The term ‘binder’ is used mainly in BBQ culture, especially when smoking.

Smoking takes longer than grilling with direct heat or frying on an iron skillet.

A longer cooking time increases the chance of dry ingredients falling off.

Mayo is an excellent choice for binding when cooking meat.

It has the right consistency and can absorb spices like garlic powder or flaky sea salt.

Resulting in even flavor and cooking on the surface area of the steak.

Lowers Moisture Evaporation

Believe it or not, the mayo will help the steak from drying out!

The fat compounds will block excess moisture from evaporation out of the proteins.

Lowering the rate and even blocking evaporation on your beautiful steaks.

Trapping the meat juices for a more tender and flavorful steak.

Helps Form A Golden Crust 

Who wants to enjoy a golden-brown perfect steak?

An even and golden color on the crust is a sign of tasty chemical reactions.

Mayo caramelizes to a great texture and taste.

Sealing in the delicious flavors and juices.


Disadvantages Of Cooking Steak With Mayo 

Are there any disadvantages when cooking mayo?

– Mayo can stop the meat from cooking evenly if applied too thick.

– Mayo can burn easily to a bitter flavor.

– It’s not the healthiest thing in the world (let’s be honest)!

– Can cause contrasting flavors.

– Marinating for longer periods can cause soggy meat.

How To Minimize The Problems When Cooking With Mayo 

How do we solve the problems?

– Carefully and evenly apply mayonnaise with a basting brush.

– Do not add a thick layer of cooking on high heat and choose a good-quality mayo.

– A portion of mayo is healthier than butter.

– Don’t pick a flavored mayo like tartare sauce.

– Only marinate in mayo for 60 minutes and no longer.

What Way Should I Cook The Steak When Using Mayo?

The two popular methods of cooking steak are grilling/frying or smoking.

Which works best when planning to smother with mayo!?

Note: Both have cons and benefits so apply the mayo as directed.

Smoking The Steak With Mayo On Indirect Heat

When smoking meat you want a binder to reduce losing flavors.

The indirect heat lowers the chance of burning for a bitter taste.

Using mayo before smoking steak is a great technique.

Grilling The Steak With Mayo On Direct Heat 

A marinated steak with a thin layer of mayo won’t burn easily on direct heat.

But you should still be careful when it is in your cast-iron skillet.

Frying on high heat has a better crust formation than smoking.

Tips For Applying Mayo On Steak Before Cooking

Now we know that cooking steak with mayo works well and is something to try.

What are the tips and tricks to go about it?

– Buy a good quality French mayo made with fresh ingredients. 

– Have the necessary equipment like a basting brush and mixing bowl.

– Do not marinate the steak for longer than 60 mins with mayo.

– Be food safety conscious of contamination. 

– Add a thinner layer of mayo if grilling or frying. 

– Add a thicker layer with dry ingredients when smoking. 

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *