Good recipes always provide measured amounts of salt for seasoning large cuts such as roasts. However, recipes for smaller cuts, such as steaks, chops, and chicken parts, sometimes leave it up to the cook to determine how much salt to use. (And even if a specific amount is given, dividing it between two or more sides of a cut can be tricky.)
To avoid fussy measuring and to nail your seasoning every time, here’s a tip: Learn to identify the perfect amount of salt by sight, just as the pros do.
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What a Properly Seasoned Steak Looks Like
Each side of a small cut should be liberally and uniformly covered, but not buried, in salt. The photo at right shows what one side of an 8-ounce steak looks like when seasoned with the proper amount of salt. Note: We like kosher salt for seasoning, as its larger grain size is easier to control and see than fine-grained table salt.
A Tip to Ensure Even Salt Coverage
To make sure that the meat is seasoned from edge to edge, sprinkle it with salt from up high. We’ve found that starting 12 inches above the food seasons it more evenly than from closer distances.
How Much Salt to Use to Season Steaks and Chops
Our rule of thumb for seasoning steaks and chops is 5 grams of kosher salt per pound; using our favorite kosher salt, Diamond Crystal, that’s about 1½ teaspoons.
How Much Salt to Use to Season Chicken Parts
For chicken parts, our preferred seasoning amount is 2 grams of kosher salt per pound, or about ¾ teaspoon.