Is there anything better than a perfectly seasoned steak?If you're like most home chefs, you probably season your meat just before cooking, adding a sprinkling of salt for extra flavor. But could a different approach actually make your steaks even better?
Check out this guide that we've curated for how to salt meat and discover how adding that seasoning earlier could create the ultra-tender and flavorful results you're looking for.
Steak is often pretty thick.The salt is only seasoning the surface, which means a significant portion of the meat has no salt on it at all. That's why it's imperative to salt generously. If you were only eating the surface of the steak, it might be too salty. But you aren't. You're eating the whole steak. The seasoning on the surface has to be enough to properly season each bite.
Start by coating both sides of the steak, and its sides, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, so a visible layer of seasoning exists on every surface. The salt shouldn’t pile up, but it should coat the meat. The steak is essentially putting on a t-shirt made of salt and pepper. A skin tight t-shirt. It’s weird, but that’s just what steak likes to wear. Don't judge.
Why should you let your beef rest?
Placing an ice-cold piece of meat on the grill quickly reduces the temperature of the cooking grate surface, thus minimizing the great searing benefit of caramelization.
A large piece of meat that has been properly refrigerated will be very cold in the middle, where fats and juices will “gel up” or thicken.You’d rather have those precious resources flowing evenly throughout the meat, bringing flavor to every bite.
Third, allowing the temperature to even out means you won’t end up with a cut that’s too rare in the middle and overcooked on the outside. This is especially important for roasts and other thick cuts on the grill, where the outside can dry out “waiting” for the middle to reach the desired temperature.
And lastly because cold constricts beef fibers into a tougher texture, you’ll get more tender results grilling a warmed up and “relaxed” cut.
For maximum flavor and juiciness, allow grilled beef to rest after you remove it from the grill. Resting allows those delicious juices that were driven by heat to the meat’s surface to ease back into the center, where you can enjoy them bite by bite.
- When seasoning a steak, you can't go wrong with the classic freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Finishing salts such as flaky sea salt and can be applied at the end as a final touch.
- Add some chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary or sage to your salt to make a flavored salt for your steak.
- For restaurant-quality steaks, baste them in butter and herbs during the final few moments of cooking. This will impart the delicious buttery flavor you know and love from your favorite steakhouse.
- A quick and easy tip that packs a punch of flavor is rubbing your cooked steak with a clove of garlic. Simply slice your garlic in half and rub the cut side all over your resting steak.
- Try making a custom spice blend by mixing together any number of dried seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, cumin, chile powder and brown sugar. Store in an airtight mason jar to have ready whenever needed.