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Dry brining porterhouse question

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    Dry brining porterhouse question

    Hey everyone. Had a question. Bought an 1 1/4” porterhouse at my meat market today. Wanted to dry brine it. Never done it before, but I know what’s involved, wanted to be sure on times. From what I’ve seen is 1-3 days on a rack in the fridge, uncovered. Kosher salt. My question is, would 6 or 7 hours do any good? I might want to grill it tonight. Does have to be 24 hours or not at all? Also, should I pat the salt a little into the meat, or just shake on top? Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by Panhead John; September 12, 2020, 11:30 AM.

    #2
    I think the salt moves about 1" per 24 hours in the fridge, then takes up plenty notches once thing start heating up. "little" more here

    https://genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/diffusion.html

    Comment


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      That's one inch for top and bottom. So it should penetrate about 1/4" on the top an bottom - definitely worth doin'.

    #3
    Yes, 6-7 hours would do some good. Definitely worth doing.

    Comment


    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      Using Jerod Broussard 's numbers, a 1¼" steak would have full penetration (⅝" from reach side) in about 15 hours, so, again, 6-7 hours will definitely do something good.

    #4
    first off, anyone in the Houston area please go check on Panhead John because he's obviously been kidnapped or something....

    To answer Panhead John's captor, Kenji Alt did a ton of testing on this at serious eats. after all of his experimentation, he came up with the golden rule of 40 minutes.

    if there's less than 40 minutes between the time you salt and the time you cook, it's better to just salt right before it goes on the cooker, if you have 40 or more minutes it's better to pre-salt.

    I say you go for it today Saturday night steaks taste the best!

    Comment


    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Good news Schwyy I escaped! Now I have time to go shopping. Gotta get ingredients for my Sunday clam chowder!

    #5
    In my for what it’s worth opinion, I’d never brine a steak fer 1 to 3 days. The 6 to 7 hours sounds ok, but I normally do 45 minutes. That is just me. Now I would bathe it in butter or duck fat as I’m cookin or garlic butter, ooh, ooh, but that’s it. Just my lil opinion.

    Comment


    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Garlic butter! Like that idea. I will do!

    #6
    Thanks for all the help and great answers! I’ve decided to go for it tonight. Already salted it. It’ll be dry brined for 6 hours before I put it on the grill. Gonna do FireMan ‘s suggestion also. Garlic butter while grilling it. Will post pics and opinion of taste later tonight.

    Comment


    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      The key with a "quick" dry brine on a steak is to make sure you either 1) grill before the salt collects moisture on the surface (which it gets from the steak and surrounding air) or 2) wait until the moisture that has now collected on the surface has gone into the meat or evaporated from the surface. Moisture inhibits Maillard which means you won't get a good sear on the surface.

    #7
    Jerod Broussard Well, you and a couple others were correct sir! I’d always seasoned my steaks about 30-45 minutes before cooking. Usually Kosher salt and ground pepper. I’d never done a “true” dry brine before. After 6 hours of brining I took the steak out of the fridge. I could definitely see moisture collected on the surfaces, it was glistening. I did my usual reverse Sear. After about 15 minutes on the Kettle off the heat side, I removed the steak and noticed a weird type of blackening I’d never noticed before. Kind of a black smoke look. It wasn’t because of my coals or the hickory chips. Anyway, I had originally put my 2 charcoal baskets in the Kettle side by side, for the Sear on the steak, nothing out of the ordinary for me. I put the porterhouse on the grate above the baskets ready to char the steak. Didn’t happen. No charring at all. After roughly 3 minutes of flipping it I took it inside. It was a little too salty, even for me! I put the Kosher salt on both sides originally for the brine, not real heavy, but a decent amount. Anyway the steak was still decent, flavorful but too salty. And absolutely no blackened char for a crust, just like you said. No Maillard reaction. My conclusion, like some people said, either 45 minutes only or go the full 24 hours. No in between.

    In the picture of the steak on the grill, you can actually see the moisture still on the steak! The edges of the steak actually looked more charred than the top.Schwyy FireMan
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Panhead John; September 13, 2020, 07:13 AM.

    Comment


    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah. I thought about that, but just didn’t do it. Lesson learned. Thankfully it was a good cut of meat and still pretty decent, I ate the whole thing.

    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      They looked pretty good! When I saw Jerod’s post on pattin em dry I figgered A. I would be pilin on & B. I would be to late. Look good none the less.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      It actually would have been better if it just wasn’t so salty. And I love my salt. The char not there, wasn’t too bad. I was this close to patting it dry. Then a neurotransmitter misfired. And I don’t mind the pilin on. Wouldn’t have bothered me. It just reiterates what others say.

    #8
    Like FireMan I don't brine for 24 hours or more unless I'm dry aging for 10 days or more (as long as 30).

    I dry rub most steaks after salting in the morning for cooking in the evening. I prep the steak out of the fridge with EVOO then rub. I've taken to adding Irish Butter after searing the first side. Slow, then Sear...

    I usually use Mesquite briquettes, chunks, and a Mesquite rub for thick steaks, tomahawks, etc. I AM going to try neutral briquettes and pecan chunks soon, with a coffee rub maybe.

    Comment


      #9
      OK so I've read through this post a couple times and admit I am a little confused. It seems that the advice is to salt either about 30-45 minutes before cooking, or go the full 24 hours uncovered in the fridge. I have a huge, 2"+ porterhouse I want to do for dinner tomorrow evening. So what's the best advice here for salting/dry brining that? Thanks in advance folks.
      Last edited by Jfrosty27; March 19, 2021, 07:19 AM.

      Comment


      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        Personally Jfrosty27 I’d just season/salt it a little ahead of time. You’ve got quality meat there that probably doesn’t need any help. I’ve never dry brined my steaks before and they’ve always turned out great, with a good cut of steak.
        Last edited by Panhead John; March 19, 2021, 07:14 AM.

      • Polarbear777
        Polarbear777 commented
        Editing a comment
        Kenji study says that you can salt and cook immediately but better to wait at least 45 minutes.
        The salt forms a brine on the surface that takes 45 minutes to start to reabsorb. Cooking it between a few and 45 minutes, the brine just falls off.

        Longer in the fridge allows it to go deeper and dries the surface a bit for a better sear.

        I use the amount of salt measured that I like per lb of meat.

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