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Thread: Salting Proteins

  1. #1
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    Salting Proteins

    What are your preffered ways of seasoning proteins as far as timing before cooking? I hear contradicotry arguments. I always believed salting one mintue before cookery was ideal. Too much longer and you risk steaming. Someone recently tried to tell me that while water is brought to the surface, it is reabsorbed.

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    With some proteins (salmon comes to mind) the salt will draw other material to the surface (proteins?) and create a crust called a pellicle <sp?> that contributes strongly to crust formation.

    I think a similar thing happens with beef.

    for pork, lamb, and fowl, I would salt immediately before.

    but maybe I'm just about to learn something
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwiefel View Post
    With some proteins (salmon comes to mind) the salt will draw other material to the surface (proteins?) and create a crust called a pellicle <sp?> that contributes strongly to crust formation.

    I think a similar thing happens with beef.

    for pork, lamb, and fowl, I would salt immediately before.

    but maybe I'm just about to learn something
    I was tought with brines, is alway best to take them out to let the pellicle (yeah I don't know if I'm spelingl that right either ) form. A good amount of time. I'm not sure the same applied to unbrined meats though.

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    it really depends. i typically brine pork

    chicken, i salt them and wrap it in plastic, for about 8 hours. same with thick beef..like roast. especially the tougher cuts. i find salt tenderizes as well as seasons.

    steaks..i salt when i start the coals..so about 20 minutes. i always blot everything dry with a paper towel to remove moisture.

    salt has powerful juju.

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    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Salt tenderizes and develops flavor. The sooner you season the better. In my experience its best to give a light dusting as soon as you portion. With oily fish/tuna, give a heavy sprinkling for roughly 30-45 minutes, depending on the density, then soak in water for 15-20. Helps tighten the flesh. With all land animals, give it a light coat of neutral oil( to deter oxidation ), and season liberally. It both preserves and flavors. Ideally- you want to cook not long after portioning, but if you have a nice cold fridge, and the time to spare, meats benefit greatly from a light salt treatment, over the course of 12-24 hours. IMO...
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    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    I brine a lot too, (just brined 200# pork butt and 200# brisket), I just thought this thread was referring to fresh cuts...
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    I've only experimented with beef filet. 3 pieces and S&P at different times. 1 5 mins before, 1 1 min before and 1 right before hitting the pan. You can see the water form on the surface of the ones salted 1 and 5 mins before hitting the pan. But after cooking the same. (was medallions) There was no real noticeable difference in texture and 'juiciness'. It's an interesting and tasty experiment. You can see the water forming on the surface before your eyes. I'm sure there's other variables and things to look for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brainsausage View Post
    I brine a lot too... I just thought this thread was referring to fresh cuts...
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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    i brine chicken every once in a while, i couldn't wait to just stick the chicken in the chiller and dry up the skin and then roast them. so i always end up getting floppy skin on my chicken. lol.

    haven't tried brining pork yet. i do cure my own bacon though.

    i like salting my beef and other red meats right before frying them or before sticking them in the oven.

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    I really like salting beef early, up to 24 hours if I can. Salmon about 30 mins before. Chicken early if skin on, otherwise fairly close to cooking. Drying the surface right before cooking helps with a nice crust, in my experience. Does anyone else put a bit extra salt on fatty areas, I do this with beef especially, seems to help render and crisp the fat.

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