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Parmesan Crusted Steak

by Brad Prose

Step up the savory flavors with this Parmesan Crusted Steak. Using filets, we’re adding an incredibly creamy layer of cheesy umami and spices. Only a few extra minutes transforms this into a very special meal.


Parmesan Crusted Steak

You might be thinking, is this necessary? Don’t answer that, because once you taste this you’ll be realizing that it absolutely transforms the experience in front of you. Think about garlic mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, grilled asparagus, and suddenly you’ve got a full steakhouse meal at the table. Just need to grab that bottle of red wine.

Most of you would agree that simple recipes are the most helpful, and thankfully that’s what this is. Creating the parmesan crusted steak just adds another 6 minutes or so to your cooking process, that’s it: A simple mix of ingredients with a quick broil. Perfect medium-rare steak with a creamy and crispy crust.

Let’s talk about which type of steak to use, how to prepare it, and ways you can customize it to your preferences.

Choice of Steak

You’ll see above that I’m using filet mignon for this recipe. Part of the reason is that this is a special recipe, so using a higher-end cut makes you feel that way as you’re eating it. There’s more to that though, which is balance.

The parmesan crusted steak is topped with a mixture of freshly grated parm, mayo, Dijon, and other herbs with spices. Mayo and cheese are added fats, coming together to form the melted crust on top. The richness in eat bite is prevalent and quite strong. I’m recommending using filet mignon steak if possible due to their naturally lower fat content. You’ll thank me for the balance.

The filet also works well for using the reverse-sear process and broiling to finish off the creamy crust. Using thinner steaks has a higher potential for you to overcook the steak in the oven, especially if the topping layer is too thick and you need to make sure it’s broiled.

Need a backup option? I would use a NY Strip Steak as an alternative. The fat content isn’t as high as a ribeye, which I would not recommend, so you’ll still have leaner bites with the rich topping.

Reverse-Sear the Steaks

You’re in for a mind-blowing experience if you’re not familiar with “reverse-sear”. Don’t be scared, this is a simple process of baking the steaks slowly, below the target temperature you’d like to serve them at. Typically what you’d do for the second half is searing them in a hot skillet, or over a grill to create a nice crust. You’ll have a perfect temperature inside with minimal grey colors on the outside.

The process of reverse-searing is not new and can be adapted for the oven or smoker. I’m using the smoker, so you’ll notice that my final results are bright red. This color is indicative of taking a short smoke bath at a very low temperature. Just stick with the same temperature for the oven and it will cook your steak at the same rate.

Baking the Steaks to Target Temp

Season your steaks on all sides, I used salt and coarse black pepper, and preheat your smoker or oven to 225°F. When preheated, set the steaks inside and you’ll cook them until they are about 10-15 degrees from your target temperature. You’ll see in the photo above that I pulled my steaks at 115°F for a Medium Rare finish when we’re done.

Shown above is the Thermoworks MK4 which is the best out there for quick, extremely accurate temperatures. Check them out, they always have sales.

Here’s a handy chart!

DonenessTarget Temp in the SmokerFinal Temp After Sear
Med-Rare115°F 130°F 
Medium125°F 140°F 
Med-Well135°F 150°F 

Creamy Parmesan Topping

Here we go, the key to the entire parmesan crusted steak. Whip up this recipe in a few minutes as your steak is cooking slowly, and have it ready for the broiler. Here’s the simple recipe:

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

This is the base recipe for what you see. Customizing it is extremely simple too! Do you want the topping to be crispier? Add in some Panko bread crumbs. Switch out the herbs and try basil, thyme, or a combination. Spike it with some paprika or chipotle powder for some color.

My main advice here is to use freshly grated Parmesan. Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Granada Padano or Romano are all fine substitutes too. The powdered cheese from the famously green can will not give you the results you’re looking for.

Smear a layer on top of the steaks when they are ready to be pulled out of your smoker and set them in the preheated cast iron skillet. The steaks can go in the broiler immediately, do not let them rest.

Broiling for the Finish

Finally, the finish line. This final step is obviously crucial, and you don’t want to walk away while the steak is in the oven. There’s a fine line between charred and burnt. Stay close!

Wait, there’s no searing?

You’ll sear the bottom, and also crisp up the top layer at the same time. Let’s break it down, it’s easy.

Prepare the oven for broiling (High not Low if your oven has the options) as you’re close to the target temperature. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat it, which gives us an incredibly hot surface to sear the bottom. Make sure that you use a well-seasoned skillet. Do not add oil to the skillet, it could potentially smoke when you’re broiling it in the oven.

I have not tested this with another type of pan, such as stainless. Do not attempt this with a non-stick pan.

Craving more steak? Try one of these

Parmesan crusted steak with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.
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Sliced parmesan crusted steak, ready to eat.

Parmesan Crusted Steak

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Step up the savory flavors with this Parmesan Crusted Steak. Using filets, we’re adding an incredibly creamy layer of cheesy umami and spices. Only a few extra minutes transforms this into a very special meal.


  • 4 Filet mignon steaks
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan Topping

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Season each steak with salt and pepper, let them rest at room temperature while you prepare the rest.
  2. Preheat your smoker or oven to 225°F.
  3. Cook the steaks for 45-60 minutes, depending on how you want them to be cooked. I recommend pulling them off at 115°F for medium-rare. Place the steaks on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath if using the oven.
  4. Prepare the parmesan topping while the steaks are cooking. Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust.
  5. When you’re close to the target temperature, preheat the broiler with a cast iron skillet inside. If you’re using the oven, just wait until the steaks are at the target temperature, and then switch to broil.
  6. Pull the steaks out of the smoker or oven when you’ve reached the target temperature (see chart in the guide). Smear the parmesan topping on each of them and place them in the hot skillet, and then under the broiler. Do not walk away, the topping will crisp up in just a few minutes. When it looks like it’s ready, take out the skillet carefully (will be blazing hot) and remove the steaks, allowing the parmesan to cool slightly.
  7. The steaks are ready after a few minutes, they do not need extended resting time. Slice and enjoy!


Pay attention to temperatures for the first half of reverse-searing. Make sure you do not add oil to the skillet and place it under the broiler, just use a well-seasoned pan. The steaks will sear just fine.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Steak

Keywords: steak, filet mignon, parmesan, reverse sear, smoking, oven, parmesan crusted

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