Alton Brown is known for his quirky personality and kooky — yet incredibly helpful — cooking tips. So when he posted a picture of a steak covered in mayonnaise to his Instagram account, fans knew it was worth looking into.

(Remember when he told us to cook meatballs in an egg carton? Or how about juice a watermelon with an immersion blender?)

Brown captioned the photo:

“I didn’t have any oil or butter so..”

View this post on Instagram

I didn’t have any oil or butter so…#mayo #steak

A post shared by Alton Brown (@altonbrown) on

It turns out that coating meat with mayo is actually nothing new to savvy chefs of the world. After all, mayonnaise is just eggs and oil, so the condiment can actually add more flavor to steaks and seafood than olive oil can do alone.

This trick has also been used by grilled cheese masters to develop a crispier exterior. They mayo actually raises the smoking point, so the sandwich can be kept on the griddle longer, allowing the delicious, gooey insides more time to melt without burning the bread.

A thin coat of mayonnaise on proteins can prevent from losing moisture or sticking to a grill. It can also help promote browning and lets spices stick better so the meat can develop a more delicious crust.

So simple, yet so genius.

So what do you think? Will you try out Alton’s hack on your next meal?

Also see, Alton Brown’s tips for never messing up a recipe again. 

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.