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Brining a steak woes

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I've been preparing my steaks without any brining, marinade, rubs or seasoning. I thought I'd try something new with brining, but after two tries haven't been successful: my brined steaks end up salty. Perhaps not surprising, but is this as designed?

I cover a high-quality prime steak in a thin layer of sea salt on both sides, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Afterwards the steak looks mostly gray and unappetizing - supposedly this is supposed to happen. There are no salt crystals left. I pat dry with paper towels.

After cooking the steak tastes very salty, almost bad enough to throw away. Is there something i'm doing wrong, am I too sensitive to salt (I use very little salt in cooking), or is brining not suited for prime steaks?

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on November 26, 2012
at 05:02 PM

What kind of salt are you using? And the overnight with salt, are you elevating it on a rack? That method only works with course salt and elevating it out of the juices.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 25, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I know a bit about steaks myself and anyone who tells ou to cure prime meat till its gray is a charlatan or worse.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 24, 2012
at 11:20 PM

That's exactly what happened to the poor steak. Lesson learned.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 24, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Thanks. Below where I got it from, he prefers overnight. And he seems to know his steaks; he has several thoroughly researched articles on the subject. But yeah, I've come to the conclusion that a prime steak is not to be messed with. http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/03/the-food-lab-more-tips-for-perfect-steaks.html

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4 Answers

6
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 24, 2012
at 08:47 PM

So first, this is not a brine, it's a salt cure.

Second, a salt cure usually only lasts about 2 hours.

Third, a salt cure is for a cheap cut of meat -- never a prime steak

Fourth, you have to wash the cut completely before you pat dry, then you wrap it in cheese cloth for 10 minutes or so.

My rule of thumb, the more I spend on the steak, the less I will treat it. For a nice grass-fed prime ribeye, 20 minutes in a cheese cloth and a light salt and pepper then on to the grill. I would not worry about brines or rubs or curing a high quality steak.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 24, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Thanks. Below where I got it from, he prefers overnight. And he seems to know his steaks; he has several thoroughly researched articles on the subject. But yeah, I've come to the conclusion that a prime steak is not to be messed with. http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/03/the-food-lab-more-tips-for-perfect-steaks.html

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on November 26, 2012
at 05:02 PM

What kind of salt are you using? And the overnight with salt, are you elevating it on a rack? That method only works with course salt and elevating it out of the juices.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 25, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I know a bit about steaks myself and anyone who tells ou to cure prime meat till its gray is a charlatan or worse.

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on November 24, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Yep. Brining is for roasting or smoking. It's primarily used to create an osmosis, the salt is used to draw moisture & flavors into the meat. A specific balance is necessary.

1
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on November 24, 2012
at 08:37 PM

I used to do this but not any more. Salt draws moisture out of the meat and you end up with a dried-out salty lump. A quick grind of sea salt just before grilling is perfect.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 24, 2012
at 11:20 PM

That's exactly what happened to the poor steak. Lesson learned.

0
A5127d60bca783084f191f38ffa357a6

on November 26, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Tips for steak:

  1. Rub a little bit of pepper and garlic powder (or salt)
  2. Let steak sit for 30 min to get to room temperature
  3. Eat at least medium

I usually eat NY strips, this should make it good and tasty

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