Mayo-Rubbed Grilled Steak

published Jun 28, 2022
Mayo-Rubbed Grilled Steak Recipe
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Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Duncan Fitzpatrick

True or false? A seasoning blend of dried spices is a simple way to add flavor to a grilled steak. The answer: Sorta.

While dried spices have the potential to warm from the heat of the grill and add loads of flavor to the meat, they also have a contentious relationship with high heat — especially the grill’s. Spices have a tendency to burn when subject to high heat for too long, and unless your steak is very dry before the spices are added, the spices often cling to the grates instead of the steak.

But there is a simple solution, and it’s probably in your fridge right now: mayonnaise. Even if you don’t like mayonnaise, you’ll like this technique.

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Duncan Fitzpatrick

How Mayo Can Make Your Grilled Steak Better

Stirring your spice rub into the mayo will seal the spices to the steak and keep them from burning. J. Kenji López-Alt explains the science behind it in the New York Times, but in short, the mayonnaise is a sort of protective wetsuit for the spices. It keeps them in place and helps their flavor travel. Plus, because mayonnaise has so much fat, you don’t have to separately grease the grates, which diminishes the potential for flare-ups. 

Feel free to use any dry rub you like on steak, or here’s a recipe for a new favorite. The recipe is easily scaled up to accommodate however many steaks you’d like to grill; just keep the ratio of dry rub to mayonnaise equal and you’ll be golden (literally).

Mayo-Rubbed Grilled Steak Recipe

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 1 to 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    (1 to 1 1/2-inch thick) boneless New York strip or ribeye steak

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    store-bought or homemade dry rub

  • 2 tablespoons



  1. Heat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat (375 to 450°F). Meanwhile, pat 1 boneless NY strip or ribeye steak dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Place 2 tablespoons dry rub and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise in a small bowl and stir to combine. Spread onto both cut sides of the steak.

  2. If needed, scrape the grill grates clean. Place the steak on the grill. Grill (cover the grill if using a gas grill), flipping every 2 minutes, until the center registers 120 to 125°F for medium-rare, 8 to 20 minutes. If the steak is flaring up, move to a cooler part of the grill.

  3. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice across the grain.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The steak can be rubbed with mayo mixture up to a day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let it sit out at room temperature while you heat the grill.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.