When to Season Steak Before Grilling

Guide on When to Season Steak Before Grilling 

Prior to cooking your steak on the grill, it’s crucial to give it a proper seasoning. You might wonder about the ideal timing for seasoning a steak to achieve the best flavor. Actually, seasoning it well in advance is crucial for optimal flavor absorption and to ensure it’s deliciously savory. Moreover, when it comes to seasoning a steak before it hits the grill, using a generous quantity of Kosher salt is essential. Often, you’ll find you need more than initially anticipated.

A good steak does not need a lot of seasoning, so it is necessary to not overdo it. Salt and black pepper will increase the flavor and some amount of herbs and spices may go a long way. Note that some of these seasonings may come off during cooking or grilling so you have to season them early to let these flavors absorb into the meat.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the basic things about seasoning the steak and what is the best time for seasoning.

When to Season Steak Before Grilling Generously?

You may know that steak is often very thick. An ideal size that you may follow for choosing a perfect steak can be an inch and a half thick. The salt is only seasoning the surface, therefore a good portion of the meat (steak) has no salt on it. That’s the reason why it is important to season salt on steak generously.

You only have to apply the salt to the upper surface of the steak. If you only eat this surface it may be salty but you may not. As you are going to eat the whole steak so the seasoning on the surface has to be done properly for every tasty bite.

Seasoning the Steak with Salt and Pepper 

When you have to season a steak, you do not have any need to make it too complicated. You can use almost all kinds of spice rubs and season them by mixing them out there. But the best steak may not require much more than Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

As mentioned above, Kosher is the best kind of salt for seasoning a steak. Because its prickly crystals grab onto the steak. And when it comes to black pepper, everyone has a different taste for it. But you know that a little bit of ground black pepper will spice up your steak as well as give it a delicious crunch.

But for this, you have to use freshly ground pepper and not the powdery stuff available in the grocery stores. Because it will go in pepper shakers and do not add much flavor like the freshly grounded black pepper can.

When to Salt the Steak?

Most people ask this question when they have to apply the salt. Some chefs like to salt the steak well before some hours of cooking even up to 24 hours in advance. While others say that salting it right before cooking remains the best.

However, the main disadvantage of seasoning in advance is that salt applied to the surface of the steak tends to draw water from the center of the meat onto the surface. In case the same thing happens to your steak, it will be less juicy. Along with it, any of the steak you put in the refrigerator, salty or not, is going to be less juicy on cooking.

Another disadvantage is that it enlarges your preparation time. Seasoning the steaks before even 24 hours of cooking means that you are in the kitchen a day before supper working with your steaks. And aside from that, you also have to make space in the fridge for placing these steaks for 24 hours.

Seasoning the Steaks in Advance

In case you are fine with early starting the preparation and want to try this method, then here is the procedure:

  • Tap the meat dry with the help of paper towels and season both sides of it generously with the Kosher salt. Ensure that you have sprinkled the salt on the steak’s edges as well.
  • You have to cover one and a half inches of the surface with salt. Then press the crystals of salts into the steaks with the help of your hands.
  • Now transfer the steaks to the cooling racks with a cookie sheet underneath. And cover the entire tray with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
  • After that day, take them out about half an hour before cooking and pat them again with paper towels. Next season it with freshly ground black pepper and again press into the steek same as you did with the salt.
  • And then grill as normally do.

The reason behind patting the steak is that a dry one may form a browner layer when it is cooked.

Seasoning the Steaks Before Grilling 

If you are willing to season the steaks before cooking, let them place at normal temperature for about half an hour. Then sprinkle both sides along the edges with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Now press the salt and pepper granules gently into the meat. You can also brush it with the help of a little bit of refined high-heat oil or a mixture of various oils before grilling.

However, the debate when to season the salt is just a debate. Because the world’s best chefs do not agree on which method is the best. Although both will work well. The latter one is easier and even juicier, so do both of them and decide yourself which one you would prefer.

Final thoughts

We hope that you got an idea of when to season steak before grilling. There is nothing to worry about how much salt you are adding to the steak. Because everyone has different preferences for seasoning their steaks. You just have to season it until you find the right taste that makes your mouth watery and feel good after eating it.


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