When cooking a steak over an open flame, every grill master aims for a juicy, tender inside and a crispy outside. For many cooks, juggling the many grilling variables (type of grill, temperature of coals/grates, what you’re cooking, how you’re preparing it, how long before you flip, etc.) can make that crusty goodness hard to achieve. But if you salt your steak at the right time and for the right duration, you can be sure that every grilling session will be a flavorful, crispy success.
How to Salt a Steak
When you first add sea salt to a raw cut of beef, it initially starts drawing moisture out of the meat. (The science pros call this osmosis.) If you toss the steaks on hot grates right away and cook until done, the inside may have the color you want, but the outside will lack that satisfying crunch. Seasoning with sea salt and waiting gives the sea salt time to do its job of adding flavor and the meat time to reabsorb its juices drawn out by the sea salt. Patience pays off. So, how much time is enough?
1. Start your timer (or “Eat that appetizer!”)
To achieve a well-seasoned, perfectly crusted grilled steak, we think 40 minutes is a good rule of thumb to wait after salting. Try this easy formula: rub a generous amount of Classic Sea Salt onto both sides of your meat, cover and let rest on the counter for 40 minutes. (For extra ka-pow flavor, use our Autumn Blend!) Sit and enjoy a tasty cheese plate (or maybe something a bit fancier!) while you preheat the grill. When times up, grill away as usual.
2. If time is (or isn't) on your side
Some experts say that salting steaks ahead more than 40 minutes (and even as long as overnight, uncovered, on a rack) boosts the crunch and deepens the complexity of meat. But, if you don’t have at least 40 minutes, it’s better to simply season immediately before grilling. Shorter stints just won’t work.
3. One extra tip
For maximum juiciness, remember to let your meat rest after grilling. Five to seven minutes under tented aluminum foil will give your steak time to let any juices redistribute evenly in the meat, making every bite moist and flavorful. Voila! Juicy and crusty steak success!