Yesterday we asked on Twitter what you’d like to see answered here on the beef blog. We got a great question from @sicklesmarket that I’m sure lots of others have as well….
Question: When do you put salt on a steak?
Answer: The practice of salting before cooking has long been debated, with concerns this would toughen and dry meat. We found that meat allowed to stand after salting did have increased loss in juices, however, we also noted benefits. Steaks salted shortly before cooking had lower cooking losses and scored higher for flavour, browning, juiciness and overall tenderness. An added bonus: you’ll likely find you need less salt for seasoning if done prior to cooking since more complex flavours develop, not just a salt flavour.
Want to know how to cook the perfect steak? Watch the video or check out the Step-by-Steps lessons.
And since we’re chatting about some of the common questions, here are two others we frequently get asked:
Question: Some recipes say “let beef stand at room temperature prior to cooking”…is this a good idea?
Answer: In a word – NO! We measured the internal temperature of roasts and steaks sitting on the counter and found this practice created food safety risks that far outweighed any small quality benefits – even with a standing time of just 15 minutes. So just say NO – keep meat refrigerated prior to cooking.
For more on this, check out what Marissa the Meat Maven has to say about Food TLC in your kitchen.
Question: In your instructions for grilling marinating steaks or medallions, you suggest piercing meat all over with a fork…won’t this cause the meat to be dry and tough?
Answer: Half myth, half truth. If you pierce meat while grilling juices are lost and flare ups can occur. However, we found that piercing Inside Round roasts before cooking and letting them rest for 24 hours (refrigerated of course) improved tenderness. So when done before cooking, piercing has a role to play in tenderizing beef – it’s not all bad.
What other questions do you have about cooking, buying or storing Canadian beef best?