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Meat

Should You Wrap Meat That You’re Salting Overnight?

Sometimes unwrapped is best.
By Published Oct. 4, 2022

Salting meat and leaving it overnight in the refrigerator allows time for the salt to travel deep into the meat, thoroughly seasoning it and changing the protein structure so that it can hold on to more juices during cooking. And unlike brining, salting won’t thwart the goal of crispy skin on poultry or a well-browned crust on beef, pork, and lamb roasts.



But should you wrap the meat or leave it uncovered? The type of meat and how you plan to cook it are the determining factors.

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Don’t wrap poultry.

Leaving whole chickens and turkeys unwrapped encourages the skin to dry, which helps promote browning and crispness when the bird is roasted.

Don’t wrap roasts to be seared at the start of cooking.

As it does for poultry skin, a stint uncovered in the fridge dries the surface of beef, pork, and lamb roasts, allowing browning to happen faster and minimizing the risk of a gray band beneath the crust.

Do wrap lean roasts to be seared at the end of cooking.

In recipes that call for reverse-searing, where the meat is slowly roasted in a low oven and then seared before serving, the roast’s exterior is essentially dried twice. This can be beneficial for well-marbled cuts such as prime rib and brisket, but a lean roast such as Châteaubriand can dry out too much, resulting in a leathery crust.

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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.