Food / Drink TCG Grillers, smokers and red meat enthusiasts

Yaj Yak

Gladys
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May 24, 2007
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A wise very tall one here told me that we under season the hell out of beef here in the states. Since then I've been doubling my salt and pepper on steaks and they really do bring out better flavoring..
Truth of the matter is that you should salt your meat about 40 minutes before it hits the grill. When the salt first hits a steak, it sits on the surface. Through the process of osmosis, it'll slowly draw liquid out of the mat, which you'll see pool up in little droplets. As those droplets grow, the salt will dissolve in the meat juice, forming a concentrated brine. At this stage in the game—about 25 to 30 minutes in—your steak is in the absolute worst shape possible for grilling. That moisture will evaporate right off, leaving you with a tough, stringy crust.


Give it a bit more time, and eventually that brine will begin to break down some of the muscle tissue in the meat, allowing the juices to be re-absorbed, and taking the salt right along with it.

What does this lead to? Meat that is both better seasoned and more tender and moist when you cook it.

Personally I season my steaks at least a few days in advance, to give the salt maximum time to work its way into the meat. Why steakhouses don't do this is a mystery to me.

Do use kosher salt, not regular table salt. The larger grains of kosher salt (which should more accurately be called "koshering salt," as salt itself is always kosher—kosher salt is coarse salt used in the koshering process) are easier to sprinkle evenly with your fingers, and will also draw more initial moisture out of the meat to dissolve than table salt. You can read more about the differences between table salt and kosher salt here.



Q: I've heard people tell me to pull my steaks out and let them come to room temperature before cooking them. Is there any merit in that? [TOP]

You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. Letting it sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes will bring the steak up to room temperature. The warmer meat will brown better, the thinking goes, because you don't need to waste energy from the pan to take the chill off of its surface. This seems to make sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold up in testing.

I found that with a thick steak, even after two hours of sitting out at room temperature, the center of the steak had risen by a measly 19 degrees or so, not even 15% of the way to its final target temperature. Not only that, but when cooked side by side with a steak straight from the fridge, the end results were completely indistinguishable.

Here's the issue: Steak can't brown until most of the moisture has evaporated from the layers of meat closest to the surface, and it takes a hell of a lot of energy to evaporate moisture. To put it in perspective. It takes five times more energy to convert a single gram of water into steam than it does to raise the temperature of that water all the way from ice cold to boiling hot. So when searing a steak, the vast majority of energy that goes into it is used to evaporate moisture from its surface layers. Next to that energy requirement, a 20, 30, or even 40 degree difference in the temperature of the surface of the meat is a piddling affair.


The Takeaway: Don't bother letting your steaks rest at room temperature.


 

Yaj Yak

Gladys
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May 24, 2007
121,538
86,152
Niche score of 2,363
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frank

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I did this yesterday with the steaks, wire rack and salt, 30-40 min room temps, black peppered them and they turned out great.

Our old house we had a second fridge in the basement, would wire rack/ salt steaks and leave them in the fridge for 48hrs, the amount of moisture that came out of them. They were delicious with a quick dry age.
 
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Shawn1112

TCG Elite Member
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I did this yesterday with the steaks, wire rack and salt, 30-40 min room temps, black peppered them and they turned out great.

Our old house we had a second fridge in the basement, would wire rack/ salt steaks and leave them in the fridge for 48hrs, the amount of moisture that came out of them. They were delicious with a quick dry age.
We have accidently left them in the fridge salted on a wire rack for 2 days instead of our typical 1 day. We thought they might be ruined, nope it was the exact opposite, they were good AF
 
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Yaj Yak

Gladys
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May 24, 2007
121,538
86,152
Niche score of 2,363


serious eats has fantastic articles about all of this.



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Shawn1112

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dude he's stocked. STOCKED. multiple smokers now, kettles, etc.

i really think within a few years he may try to make this his fulltime gig.
I follow him on IG, I love that shed/smoker house thing he has. Yes he has a ton of shit.
I also follow another dude from down south, and read his story. He went from a drug addict to grilling/smoking on IG and Tik Tok as his full time gig.
He appears to be doing very well for himself. @southernvibin on IG
 
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Yaj Yak

Gladys
TCG Premium
May 24, 2007
121,538
86,152
Niche score of 2,363
I follow him on IG, I love that shed/smoker house thing he has. Yes he has a ton of shit.
I also follow another dude from down south, and read his story. He went from a drug addict to grilling/smoking on IG and Tik Tok as his full time gig.
He appears to be doing very well for himself. @southernvibin on IG


i used to be able to grill/smoke about equally with him like 5-6 years ago now it's not even fucking close i don't even bother to try :rofl:

the smokin' shed is so sick. he's a carpenter by trade so it's really dialed in.
 
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GLADIATOR

aka THREAD MAESTRO
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Mar 29, 2004
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New Lenox IL
We went meat shopping for Xmas eve dinner. The family all voted and decided to do bone in prime roast. At Costco they $15-$18/lb!!?? $200 for a nice sized one. We buying from the jewels. Need to buy $25 in grocery…pft!

Trying to decide if I should smoke or just cook it in oven. I am smoking baby back ribs too so the smoker will be smoking.

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