No matter the cut of meat or the style you use to cook it, this simple, almost free method will elevate your steak's flavor into the stratosphere.
Using a simple scientific method known as diffusion (don't worry, it's way easier than it sounds), you're going to make the most flavorful steaks of your life.
The only thing you'll need besides a steak is some coarse ground kosher salt, and some time.
Salting your steak for the perfect amount of time before you cook it is known as dry-brining, and it will make your steak juicier, more tender, and deeply flavorful - and even make it more difficult to overcook.
Step 1 - Salt the Meat
Cover both sides of the meat with coarse kosher salt. When I say "cover", I mean that you shouldn't see any pink or white parts with0ut salt. However, every cut of meat is different, so use your judgement based on the shape and size of your piece. Is it thicker? Use a little more salt. Thinner? Use a little less. You can always add more later.
For this step, it doesn't matter if the meat is cold or room temperature, and the steak can be on the Styrofoam it came in, on a plate, or in a baking pan. (If you do use the Styrofoam, remove the absorbent pad under the meat.)
Step 2 - Let the Meat Sit in the Refrigerator
Now that your steak is salted, you have to let the salt do its work. The minimum amount of time I suggest for this method is an hour, but for best results I typically do this overnight (trust me, it's worth the wait).
All you need to do is set your steak, uncovered, in the refrigerator, and let the diffusion process do its work. What's happening here is the salt is dissolving into the meat, penetrating it.
You now have the king of flavor enhancers getting deep into your steak for a flavor explosion in every bite. Additionally, salt behaves in such a way that it naturally seeks a chemical balance with the muscle fibers of the steak, which means the seasoning is evenly distributed automatically.
Bonus Tip: If you want to go the extra mile on this step, place the steak on a cookie cooling rack when you set it in the fridge. This is so air can reach the top and the bottom, allowing more efficient diffusion.
Step 3 - Let the Steaks Get to Room Temperature
About thirty minutes before you're ready to cook your steaks, take them out of the refrigerator, and let them come to room temperature. This will make the muscle fibers more tender when you cook the steak, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
I wasn't always a firm believer in this step, until one day at a friend's house I accidentally left a pan of steak I had dry-brined in my car for about thirty minutes while I was preparing other food. The extra time in the back seat made those the most tender steaks I've ever had. (And remember: if you decide to make "leave pan of steaks in backseat of car for half an hour" your own unofficial step four, do so at thine own risk...)
Cook and Enjoy
Finally, I rub a thin layer of olive oil on both sides of the steak, add some pepper (freshly cracked is my suggestion), and cook. Whether you cook it in a pan, in the oven, or over an open flame, the flavor of this steak will be unsurpassed.
I prefer cooking my steak on my Weber charcoal grill, but if you need a simple method, here's one you can do in your home kitchen.
Need some help on choosing which method you should use to cook your steak? Keep an eye out for my upcoming beginner's guide.
Enjoy your meal.