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How to use msg on steak? (Explained)

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One of the best ways to get an incredible steak is to season it right. With numerous spices and herbs in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine the best ones for your steak. Many chefs swear by garlic powder, thyme, paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, parsley, and rosemary.

MSG is an overlooked but flavorful seasoning for your steak to enhance its taste and savor. This article explains MSG’s benefits and how to use it on steak for the ultimate steak experience. 

What is MSG and Why Should You Use it?

MSG is an acronym for Monosodium Glutamate, a flavor enhancer dating back over a hundred years ago. It has a long history from 1908, when Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese biochemist, first prepared it in a lab, to the 1920s, when it reached the US.

MSG is derived from L-glutamic acid, a nonessential amino acid your body produces. It is also naturally occurring in foods like tomatoes and cheese and ingredients like yeast extract, vegetable protein, and soy extract.

You may wonder, ‘how does MSG look like?’ It is a white, odorless, crystalline powder with an umami taste. Umami is a basic taste alongside salty, bitter, sour, and sweet.

Although MSG has been demonized as an unhealthy ingredient, the present research has questioned this proposition and presented it as a safe and nutritious ingredient. MSG stands out with its flavor-enhancing effect, thus improving appetite and satiety.

Its umami taste promotes salivary secretion, making your mouth watery, thus enhancing the taste of food. Additionally, it contains two-thirds less sodium than table salt.

Is MSG Better than Salt When Seasoning Steak?

The most basic seasoning for steak is salt. When you search for ways to season a steak online, the first suggestion you get is rubbing with salt. Salt boosts the flavor of steak while improving hydration, promoting vascular health, and supporting a healthy nervous system. 

With 90% of Americans consuming too much salt, it is increasingly vital to identify healthy alternatives. Too much sodium harms your health and can cause heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and a weak immune system.

According to a study in the Journal of Food Science, MSG can serve as a partial substitute for salt to lower sodium intake while promoting the enjoyment of healthy foods.

In the research, when MSG replaced some of the salt in food, and the participants described the food as flavorful, delicious, and balanced.

The research reported that while MSG is safe and nutritious, many people do not know how to use it in their cooking. The best way to incorporate MSG into your food is to use it together with salt. If a recipe requires a teaspoon of salt, consider using ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of MSG.

How to Use MSG on Steak

Numerous scientific journals, meta-analyses, and literature reviews consider MSG an excellent addition to food. Also, FDA regards MSG as safe for human consumption. As such, you don’t have a reason not to use MSG in your steak to enhance its taste and umami component.

Depending on your preferences and cooking objectives, you can season your steak with MSG before or during cooking. MSG is available in most local grocery stores in the spice aisle, and common brands include Ajinomoto and Accent.

Using MSG for your steak is not rocket science; simply use it as you do other seasonings. Start by patting the raw steak with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture and give it a colorful crust after searing.

Then, coat your steak with MSG as well as other spices of your choice, such as kosher salt, rosemary, onion, garlic, and thyme.

All sides of your steak should have an adequate coat for a perfect restaurant-quality steak. Ensure the seasoning does not overwhelm your steak -it should enhance the flavor. You can also make a custom spice blend and store it in an airtight jar for future use. Mix MSG with your favorite spices and herbs, and the outcomes will be heavenly. 

The amount of MSG to use depends on the quantity of steak. If you want to cook a pound of steak, ½ teaspoon of MSG will suffice. Like other seasonings, personal preferences differ from one person to another. Consequently, it is best practice to start with a small amount of MSG and adjust upwards as you get used to the seasoning. Too much MSG on your steak may dampen its flavor, resulting in an undesirable taste.

Do not sear your steak immediately after seasoning. Let it rest for several minutes to an hour before cooking –overnight is optimal. This gives time for the steak to absorb the spices and herbs for a mesmerizing slice of perfection.

After cooking, your steak gets a divine aroma that is very inviting and can’t wait to taste. However, it is advisable to let the steak rest for a few minutes to allow the inside juices to redistribute. Finally, cut the steak against the grain and enjoy your meal.

Final Thoughts

MSG is an excellent seasoning for your steak to heighten its taste and flavor. The past misconceptions about this seasoning should not hinder you from using it, as recent research proves it is a safe flavor enhancer.

MSG increases steak’s flavor by giving it an umami taste and stimulating your taste receptors. It also increases appetite while reducing sodium intake. If you want to elevate your steak experience, you will never go wrong by seasoning it with MSG.