Retiring A1

A1. That is what steak meant in my house growing up. Having steak? Break out the A1 sauce. Heinz 57? Never had it. Other sauces? No way. Eat it without A1? Unheard of.

As I got older and learned more about food and cooking, I heard a chef talk about the flavor of the meat and how the cook needs to find ways to compliment it, not mask it. A1, how I slathered it on anyway, was masking the flavor of the meat. I could have a low quality piece of beef or Prime Filet Mignon, they would both taste like A1. I decided to make a change.

One day I was standing at the butcher counter in my local grocery store waiting for them to wrap up the steaks I had selected when I looked over at a display of McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning. I decided to give it a try.

The bottle is a collection of spices that I already had in my spice cabinet, but as with many spices, the combination is the key. I went home and rubbed my steaks with the spice mix. On the grill and onto the table they went. The Ranting Wife took a bite and looked at me and said “these are really good steaks”. I had to agree. While the A1 was on the table, it never made it to my plate.

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You can easily purchase your Montreal Steak seasoning or you can make it yourself and adjust for your tastes.

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A small collection of spices.

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I tend to put quite a bit on my steaks (both sides).

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Aromatic and savory! The A1 has been retired from my plate.

Montreal Steak Seasoning

Makes: About 3/4 cup


  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


Combine 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon granulated onion, 1 tablespoon crushed coriander, 1 tablespoon dill, and 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, and mix well.


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Categories: Beef, Condiment, Grilled, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Picnic, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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11 Comments on “Retiring A1”

  1. November 9, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    These steaks look really good! I’m going to tell daddy about this for him to try next time. Of course I’ll need a bite or two to let you know how they come out – snorts. XOXO – Bacon


  2. November 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Gonna give it a try!


  3. November 9, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I know, right?!?! I used to do the same thing, gotta have the A1! This sounds really good. . . I usually only use a bit of pepper on my meat these days, but I think this combination of spices might be quite interesting. Will have to try it. Thanks!


  4. November 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    We have never used those store bought sauces and condiments in our house, my father would have had a cow or two. I have tried the Montreal steak spice and it is really good on beef but you can put it on pork, it is just as good. I also use it on chicken breasts when I make grilled chicken ceaser salad.


  5. November 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    I am A1’s biggest cheerleader but I will give it a try. On a side note… have you ever tasted the horrible imitation of A1 at Sizzler Steakhouse Restaurant? Now Sizzler has nothing to save those horrible steaks. How can they even call themselves a steakhouse? The only thing going for Sizzler is the salad bar.


  6. Sunshine
    November 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Those look amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂


  7. November 10, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    This looks really good. I find that just paprika works pretty well (with salt and pepper in the resting phase).


  8. November 10, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    I have to admit that I have never had A1. Your stakes look good!


  9. November 10, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I actually use Montreal steak seasoning on chicken as well – it’s one of my favorites!


  10. November 11, 2013 at 5:05 am #

    Toss some on your ground beef when you are making it to go into chili and add that garlic for an entirely new taste in the chili…also use on chicken and other beef dishes


  11. November 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I usually buy a premixed Montreal Seasoning packet, but I think I’ll try your mix here next time. The steaks look really good! I like to use the Montreal Seasoning with Pork Chops and add some bacon bits to it… it’s pretty good, but then again, anything with bacon is good!


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