June 7th, 2011

Steaks: Rinse well. Repeat.

There are so many cooking techniques out there.

None of them are “right” or “wrong” – but some leave me scratching my head and some are just, well, new to me.

This is one of those.

Here’s an ezine article about cooking “perfect steaks.” It suggests liberally salting the meat.


Then, RINSING off the salt before marinating.

Now THAT is a new one on me. But . . . that does not mean it isn’t a great thing to try. I just wasn’t ever taught to rinse beef.

Am I alone in this?

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I believe that. But I just don’t know how I feel about this one.

What are your thoughts????? Is this a killer technique I’ve been missing out on? Or does this miss the mark?

Photo courtesy of jade.shine12 via Flickr.com.

One Response to “Steaks: Rinse well. Repeat.”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Brining lower-quality steaks is a great technique to improve texture and tenderness. A steak has two primary times of proteins in it (Myosin and Actin), which can be visualized as a string of amino acids “clumped” up into a specific, functional configuration. These proteins can be unraveled or “denatured”. Normally when you cook a steak, each protein type has a temperature at which it denatures. Cooking it hot enough to denature the Myosin makes it more tender because it allows the muscle fibers to be more easily torn apart. (Cooking long enough to denature the Actin will reduce the steak’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, drying it out; so there’s definitely a sweet spot.)

    Where salting it comes in is that you can also denature proteins by depriving them of moisture. By coating a steak in salt, the moisture in the meat gets drawn out by osmosis, and once a lot of the Myosin has been denatured, the moisture is reabsorbed into the meat. The steak will be more tender before even touching a heat source. It works best with a noticeably thick layer of course salt, so it makes sense to wash it off before putting a rub or marinade on it.