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The Easiest Way to Make Steak Taste Even Better: Salt Twice

When—and how many times—you salt the meat can dramatically impact its taste.
By Published July 1, 2021

A great steak begins with a well-marbled, beefy cut such as rib eye or strip. And naturally, it must be cooked just right. But just as important is the seasoning: To enjoy your steak to its fullest, salt should be the first—and last thing—you add to the meat. Applied to the surface before cooking, the grains will travel into the meat, seasoning it deeply and altering its protein structure to make it more tender and juicy. Then, once the steak is cooked and sliced for serving, a sprinkle of salt enhances the seasoning and adds a delicate saline crunch. 

Here’s how we execute our two-phase salting regimen.

Before Cooking:

At least 45 minutes or up to 24 hours before cooking, pat the steaks dry to remove surface moisture that would inhibit browning; sprinkle them with 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt (easier to distribute than table salt) per pound of meat; and let them rest uncovered in the fridge (the cold, dry air helps even more moisture evaporate). Salting immediately before cooking is also fine, as long as the meat doesn’t sit long enough for salt to pull moisture to the surface.

After Cooking:

Evenly scatter flake sea salt (such as Maldon) over the sliced meat. It’s especially important to season the sliced steak if you didn’t have time to let the salted meat rest before cooking.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.