When you think about the perfect steak, the image that first comes into your mind is probably a slice of juicy, red meat swathed in a brown, savoury crust. Add to that a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, a bit of butter, and garlic here and there on top of a sizzling iron pan, and it’s just the complete definition of perfect. If you’ve ever had a taste of a steak like that, it’s obvious you’d want to replicate it as well.
Despite how simple a steakhouse chop looks, many people often find it so hard to do at home. If there’s anything you need to know, it’s that the secret to the perfect steak doesn’t lie in the cooking technique or ingredients used: it’s in the seasoning. It’s not the price or the complimentary wine you ordered at all. It’s because your chef is highly-skilled in seasoning your steak and does it incredibly well.
You need to know that salt is one of the most vital ingredients in seasoning a steak. Most home cooks are cautious with using it, but it significantly boosts flavour and texture at the same time. The difference is that you should know how and when to use it properly. With the right amount and technique, it can intensify the flavour of the steak, reduce bitterness and make contrast at the same time. It provides the perfect balance of taste – you don’t need to overuse it to feel its effect; you only have to know how to utilize salt better.
How to Season the Steak with Salt
People often make the typical mistake of not seasoning their steaks before cooking. There isn’t much impact to it, but you can say that it’s a vital step that you shouldn’t skimp on. The great thing about steaks is that it handles any flavour well, giving you the freedom to turn them into any dish you like. To do so, however, you’d need to do well on the seasoning.
Note that using Kosher salt as seasoning is more recommended than ordinary table salts like the iodized or super fine ones. Kosher salt is the best steak seasoning since its size optimizes absorption into the steak’s outer layer. This is even better if you top it off with ground black pepper, which is a common yet valuable step in preparing the steak.
Once this is done, sprinkle the kosher salt crystals onto the meat. Make sure that you coat the sides of the steak thoroughly, including the sides, with freshly ground paper and salt. Make sure that there’s a clear layer of seasoning on the meat’s surface. Also, the Kosher salt shouldn’t have to be placed in a way that it piles up, but just enough to envelop the meat. Think of it as the steak putting on an article of clothing made of pepper and salt.
Seasoning doesn’t stop there, though. Once you’re through the prepping and seasoning part, you still have enough work to be accomplished. After you’re done searing, letting the steak rest, and slicing across it, you’ll have to season it with salt again – only this time, it would be flaky and slightly larger sea salt such as Jacobsen or Maldon. At this time round, flaky sea salts are the better choice since crunchier flakes make for a more tender and tastier steak. You want to make sure that the interior remains rosy and juicy while still keeping that extra flavour and deliciousness on top of a crusty surface.
All you’ll need to do now is to fan your slices out however you want them to and then add a dash of large flakes on its exterior to get them ready for cooking.
Some Tips for Seasoning Your Steak
If you want to get the seasoning right before cooking and serving your steak, here are some essential
tips to keep in mind.
Season thoroughly. Don’t hold back with the salt; red meat can take as much seasoning as you know, so you don’t have to worry about being liberal with your seasoning. However, this still largely depends on how thick the steak is. You’d also want to season the inside of the meat, not just the outside.
Let the steak rest after cooking. Allocate a rest time after cooking the steak to let the juices distribute evenly across the meat. Rushing this process will only lose the juices meant to be on the steak once you cut a slice of it.
Utilize a thermometer. A thermometer may also come in handy as it’s the most convenient way that your steak is being cooked at your preferred temperature.