Montreal Steak Seasoning


This is a fermenting site (primarily), but sometimes there’s a recipe I enjoy so much I feel the need to share it here. I’m going to be posting some ferment recipes using my Montreal Steak Seasoning (MSS), so I wanted to go ahead and just put the base seasoning recipe on here first. Have you ever had Montreal Steak Seasoning pickles before? MSS Kraut? (Update: this is now a recipe here!) I’m guessing (and hoping) no.

My go-to steak prep is usually coating it in butter and MSS, super fast, always delicious. I’ve also found that MSS is good on just about everything, from chicken, to fish, pork, and grilled veggies (mixed with EVOO on my asparagus or broccoli is a family favorite).

You may be used to purchasing it pre-made in the spice aisle, but you’ll find that making your own is easy, all-natural, and packs even more flavor. That said, if you want to buy Montreal Steak Seasoning, you can find it at any grocery store. Like “sriracha,” it’s a generic term and doesn’t refer to a specific company. (MSS, as the name implies, is a spice that developed in the 1940’s, in one of Montreal’s Jewish delicatessens.) The McCormick version seems to be the most prevalent store version today, and it’s very good.

However, if you follow my recipes for fermenting with MSS, the store versions typically have some type of oil in it – usually soy, which is not healthy – and furthermore you need to keep oil out of your ferments. They also have “natural flavor” added, whatever that is.

Back in my college days, I worked at a Harris-Teeter grocery store in the Atlanta area. Harris-Teeter didn’t last long in the Georgia market, but I had the good fortune to work with a master butcher who introduced me to Montreal Steak Seasoning. His favorite marinade was MSS mixed with Dale’s (liquid) Steak Seasoning. I love that too, but I equally love it with Kikkoman soy sauce or generously applied to a steak that’s been rubbed in butter.

If you’re ready to try your own, here’s my recipe. There’s variations out there but they all look more or less alike.

This batch used ground onion powder, which will dissolve nicely into your fermentation brine. If you only are looking to make a steak seasoning, dried onion flakes provide a nice texture advantage.


  • 2 TBS sea salt (or any non-iodized salt you like if you’ll be trying out some of my ferment recipes with it)
  • 2 TBS crushed black pepper
  • 2 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 TBS dried onion flakes (or substitute with onion powder)
  • 1 TBS ground coriander
  • 1 TBS dried dill/dillweed
  • 1 TBS red chili flakes

Mix these ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Good for about six months stored at room temperature. That’s it! Enjoy!

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