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Old 06-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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Broiling a steak - salt me now or later?

hey steak has gotten expen$ive since my last broiling experience!! so, i figure i can't afford to do much experimenting on my own, and i want to get it right. specifically, i need to know whether to salt and/or pepper - season - my steak before i cook it (and how long before i cook it) - or afterwards. does the salt enhance the juiciness and flavor of the steak, or leech it of its goodness? i have a one inch thick porterhouse waiting on your verdict. any other related cooking tips for this steak (and my old broiler) are welcome too, naturally. i've come to respect and trust this site for its generosity in sharing precious nuggets of food and cooking wisdom with others.

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Old 06-03-2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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for me, I sprinkle kosher salt on the steak about 5-10 minutes prior to cooking it. the salt draws out a little bit of the juice and the juice helps forming a tasty crust, but it won't season the inside. I don't put pepper on it before cooking because it'll burn. however after cooking I season the steak with garlic butter and balsamic vinegar.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Always salt meat before cooking it.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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"Ask Tom Colicchio his favorite food to grill and he’ll flash you a grin, then shoot back the culinary version of that famous triple-locution about the three most important factors in real estate (“location, location, location”) — “Meat, meat, meat!” A few breaths later he’ll tell you vegetables are definitely, above anything else, his favorite to grill. Soon you’ll discover he knows quite a few secrets about the tricky skill of grilling fish — not to mention that he keeps a charcoal kettle, ready to fire up at a moment’s notice, on the roof of his West Village home. and that his first cooking memory is of grilling:


“Once, when I was 10 years old, we went to our swim club, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where I grew up. My father had a bunch of club steaks in his cooler. There was a grill set up with a hot fire. So I put a steak on for myself. When I ate it, something told me it needed salt. I grabbed the salt shaker off the table, salted the steak, tasted it and said: ‘Wow!’ Then I added a little more salt and thought: ‘That is amazing, what that does.’ It didn’t make it salty; you just started tasting the meat. It was incredible: I had to try it again. So I put another steak on the grill. This time I tried salting the meat beforehand. It was great. I went through four steaks. My dad came back and said: ‘What happened to my steaks!?!?’ I got in a little bit of trouble, but, at a very young age I had learned a lesson about how to use salt.”
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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the amount of salt you use is also depending on how you cook the steak:

if you cook it on a grill, the salt will flow away with the juice/dripping, so you need more salt

if you cook it on a vessel, such as a cast iron skillet or a baking dish, the juice will not flow away and the salt will stay put. so you need less salt
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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If I am grilling a steak I always give it a good pinch of kosher salt, a little pinch of pepper and a little garlic, I grill to medium-well and enjoy a melt in your mouth steak with a ton of flavor!
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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As Jenny said, always salt before cooking. With steak in particular you want to do it early. There is a technique called dry brining and it is the only way I cook steaks now. What you do is liberally salt both sides of the steak and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. You can get away with just a few hours if you are pressed for time. Initially the salt draws moisture out, but then that moisture disolves the salt and that salty liquid is then reabsorbed by the meat. The result is that you end up seasoning the steak from the inside out instead of just seasoning the outside. Once you try this method you will be hooked.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Salt me now! Pepper me later........
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
As Jenny said, always salt before cooking. With steak in particular you want to do it early. There is a technique called dry brining and it is the only way I cook steaks now. What you do is liberally salt both sides of the steak and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. You can get away with just a few hours if you are pressed for time. Initially the salt draws moisture out, but then that moisture disolves the salt and that salty liquid is then reabsorbed by the meat. The result is that you end up seasoning the steak from the inside out instead of just seasoning the outside. Once you try this method you will be hooked.
I have been looking into that. I initally read that it was a method used to tenderize a tougher cut of beef. I just haven't tried it yet. Think I will soon.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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Salt me now! Pepper me later........
I'll bet that's what you say to all of the ladies!
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