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    Dry Brine Steak Recipe

    Published June 20, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This incredibly simple-to-prepare dry brine steak recipe creates a perfectly seasoned cut of beef that retains its juiciness and tenderness while attaining a brown crust when cooked. Once you start doing this technique, you will quickly be sold on this amazing process.

    There is nothing like a good cut of beef for dinner. While we don’t eat it often weekly, we love a good steak. If you want to expand your beef recipe repertoire, try my Steak au Poivre or Salisbury Steak.

    dry brine steak on a rack


     

    Dry Brine Steak

    Dry brine steak is a new technique for pre-seasoning meat several hours before cooking it. The process allows the seasoning to penetrate down into the steak, making sure every bite is seasoned properly and delicious. In addition, the process will help the steak retain an incredible amount of moisture as the natural liquid from the steak will come to the surface and then go back into the meat.

    You will instantly notice how much plumper and fuller your steak is when you cut into it once it’s done cooking. Dry brining will also help dry out the surface of the steak, which is crucial for creating a dark brown Maillard crust. I am fully bought into this procedure and have had incredible success. I try to do it on any protein I cook, and you should, too.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    dry brining ingredients
    • Steak – Any beef or individual steak cut will work for this procedure. 
    • Seasoning — I used only coarse salt during the dry brining process and added freshly cracked pepper right before the cooking process started. However, you can dry brine a steak or any cut of beef with your favorite seasoning or rub. 

    How to Dry Brine a Steak

    Pat the steak down on all sides with paper towels.

    patting a steak dry

    Place the steak on a rack over a sheet tray and generously season both sides with coarse salt or your favorite seasoning or rub.

    seasoning a steak

    Put the steak on the rack in the refrigerator uncovered for 4 to 24 hours. During this time, the salt will penetrate into the steak making every bite delicious. In addition, it will help dry out the outer surface for optimal searing.

    adding a steak to a refrigerator

    Remove the steak from the fridge, season with freshly cracked black pepper on both sides and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to help take the chill off.

    resting a steak

    Cook your steak in the desired fashion of your choice. Try using my Cold Sear Steak method.

    cooking a steak in a pan

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can season the steaks with salt up to 24 hours ahead.

    How to Store: It is best to leave the steak uncovered and in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • If you let the steak sit seasoned for more than 24 hours, it causes it to begin drying out.
    • Place the steak on a rack so that air can circulate over the bottom part of the steak, helping to dry out the surface, which is optimal for searing.
    • You can do this process with larger cuts of meat for up to 72 hours.
    • Maillard reaction, also known as the browning reaction, is an interaction between sugar and amino acids in the steak when heated to 285°and 350° over high heat, browning the meat to enhance the flavor and add more crispness. This is not the same as caramelizing.

    More Steak Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Dry Brine Steak Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    This dry brine steak recipe creates a perfectly seasoned steak that retains its juiciness while attaining a brown crust when cooked.
    Servings: 2
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 0 minutes
    Resting time: 4 hours

    Ingredients 

    • 2 12-16 ounce New York Strip Steaks at least 1 ½ inches thick
    • coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste, or your favorite steak rub

    Instructions

    • Pat the steak down on all sides with paper towels.
    • Place the steak on a rack over a sheet tray and generously season both sides with coarse salt or your favorite seasoning or rub. You'll use about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons per side.
    • Put the steak on the rack in the refrigerator uncovered for 4 to 24 hours. During this time, the salt penetrates the steak, making every bite delicious. In addition, it will help dry out the outer surface for optimal searing.
    • Remove the steak from the fridge, season it with freshly cracked black pepper on both sides, and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to help remove the chill.
    • Cook the steak using your favorite desired cooking process.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can season the steaks with salt up to 24 hours ahead.
    How to Store: It is best to leave the steak uncovered and in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
    If you let the steak sit seasoned for more than 24 hours, it causes it to begin drying out.
    Place the steak on a rack so that air can circulate over the bottom part of the steak, helping to dry out the surface, which is optimal for searing.
    You can do this process with larger cuts of meat for up to 72 hours.
    Maillard reaction, also known as the browning reaction, is an interaction between sugar and amino acids in the steak when heated to 285°and 350° over high heat, browning the meat to enhance the flavor and add more crispness. This is not the same as caramelizing.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 413kcalProtein: 40gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 103mgPotassium: 532mgVitamin A: 30IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 3mg
    Course: Cooking Preparation
    Cuisine: American, French