Why I Season My Cutting Board, NOT My Steak

Why I Season My Cutting Board, NOT My Steak


Everybody knows that cooking a piece of meat
is like wringing a wet sponge. Heat pushes out moisture. What is less known is that the same process,
to an extent, works in reverse. Meat sucks up moisture as it cools. This is one of the
many reasons why I usually don’t season or flavor my steak. I flavor my cutting board. I put nothing but oil on the steak before
it goes in the pan. You could put some salt and pepper on it before cooking if you want,
but I like my pepper raw, and the idea that salting meat immediately before cooking will
enhance browning is, a far as I can tell, a myth. If you wanna salt in advance, do it at least
40 minutes in advance, per Kenji’s authoritative article on the subject, linked in the description. What I’m doing here is a classic technique
called dressing the board, and one of the reasons I love it is that I can do all of
this prep while the steak is already cooking. Just chopping up some rosemary from my yard.
Rosemary and steak are mmm, *chef kiss.* Now I’m just finely grating a small clove of
garlic with my micro plane. This is gonna be virtually raw, so be very careful with
how much you use. I like garlic, and I like a little citrus on my steak. Not everybody
does. Just a bit, for me. I use lemon, sometimes I use lime, sometimes even grapefruit juice. And I like a ton of coarsely ground pepper.
I like it raw because it tends to burn on the steak, and cooking pepper takes away a
lot of its pungency. That’s why people in fancy restaurants offer you some “fresh
pepper” at the table. Just a few grains of salt go on the board, I’ll tell you why
so few in a minute. I’ll flip my steak. That’s a strip steak,
by the way. Brits would call it a sirloin. A couple little slivers of butter go on the
board. You could throw the butter in the pan for the last minute of cooking if you like
it brown. I like how the milky taste for fresh butter contrasts with the deep, dark flavor
of the steak, and I am not alone. Tons of classic American steakhouses finish with fresh
butter. I cooked this steak for nine minutes total
and rested it for five. Including the minute in which I preheated my pan, that is literally
15 minutes from start to dinner, because again, with this method, you can prep all of your
flavorings for the meat while it’s cooking, instead of before. Steak goes on top of all
that stuff. Its heat will soften the rosemary and melt the butter and take the edge off
of the raw garlic as it all just sits there and rests. Alright, look at that juice coming out. That’s
like the water we squeezed out of the sponge, and normally it would be lost in the ether,
but we’re going to reclaim it. I’ll cut my steak into thin slices, and because I’m
lazy, I’ll cut the slices in half so everything is bite-size now. And then, here’s the big
moment. We’ll just toss the pieces in our pool of flavor-augmented beef juice. This
is when the sponge starts to reabsorb, and it’ll absorb even more if you let it rest
a second time in a big heap like this to keep it warm. That said, with all this slicing
and resting, the meat will go cold the instant you put it on a cold plate, so I either eat
it straight off the board, or I warm my plate. Here is one way to warm a plate — run it
under hot water for a minute, both sides. It’ll be easy to dry off because hot water
evaporates. A hot plate can actually reheat a well-rested piece of meat, which is one
of many reasons why steakhouses generally heat their plates. Now, look at how little juice is left for
me to scrape off of that board. The meat has sucked in the rest. Hey, fun fact, even perfectly
pink steak will look gray or brown in natural sunlight. That’s why steakhouses don’t
have windows. I should have shot this video at night. And this is why I only put a little salt on
the cutting board to get evenly distributed through the steak. I like for most of my salt
to be in the form of a super-coarse finishing salt. Think of it like a pretzel. You could
just mix the salt into the dough before you bake the pretzel, and it would be uniformly
salty. But it’s much more interesting and delicious to have your salt concentrated in
big crunchy crystals on top. Little sparks of salt instead of blanket, low-level saltiness. So there is the method. If you try it, get
creative. Any flavors at all can go on the board, as can any tender cut of meat, for
that matter. Even if you add no flavoring at all, just tossing meat in its own juices
can be a great thing to do, because slurrrrrrp.

100 thoughts on “Why I Season My Cutting Board, NOT My Steak”

  1. Q: Is that steak raw inside?
    A: Nah. It is on the rare side, which is how I like it. One thing I've learned since I started making videos (I'm a radio guy) is that cameras lie, especially about color. You can't trust the colors you see in a video. I can make some tiny tweaks to a filter or a light, and a steak will go from pink to red to gray without actually changing. Keep watching my videos, though, and I'll be able to afford a nicer camera with better color reproduction. I'm shooting on a real cheap DSLR with a kit lens.

    Q: Is that steak burned on the outside?
    A: Nah, see the above answer. Cameras tend to make dark brown look black. That's one of the reasons why food stylists do crazy stuff like painting food with shoe polish or whatever to make it look brown.

    Q: Will this method work with other meats?
    A: Yeah, anything you would consider slicing thin before eating.

    Q: Why not season the outside of the meat before cooking? Won't that make it taste better?
    A: Seasoning the outside right before cooking will definitely result in a salty crust, which can be nice. But with this recipe, I'm going to toss the steak in its own juices, which would redistribute the salt from the crust to the entire surface area of the meat anyway, so there simply isn't any point. And seasoning right before cooking absolutely will not flavor the interior of the meat. Kenji's experiments showed that it takes at least 40 minutes for salt to draw moisture out of raw meat, dissolve into the moisture, and then be reabsorbed. You should try his method sometime, which basically involves seasoning the meat the day before.

    Q: Are you sure the pieces are really absorbing the surrounding liquid?
    A: I think so! The commercial meat industry refers to this phenomenon as "pick-up." At the same time, though, I'm sure what's also happening is the "sauce" is congealing as it cools and is simply sticking to the surface of each piece. That's a desirable result, too, right? So I figure, who cares how much of either factor is at play?

    Q: Didn't you already make a video about this?
    A: The first food video I ever made, about a year ago, was a more complicated version of this recipe. I wanted to do it again, now that I'm a little better at making videos. Gonna redo my old roast chicken one, too. June 6.

    Q: Will you ever cook any damn vegetables?
    A: Yes! I've been waiting for stuff in my garden to ripen before I do a bunch of vegetable recipes.

  2. I season the cow's embryo, salt the material used for the knife before it's made and alter the DNA of the sapling with spices before it grows into tree. With these, the best tasting steak ever.

  3. I season my steak with olive oil salt pepper let it sit covered with plastic tap for 5 hours then cook. In a skillet

  4. I absolutely love this the rosemary is so much more alive and prevalent when it's done this way there's so much more flavor

  5. I'm like angry but laughing as I read the comments

    Fucking dont just leave it there to prep some god damn rosemary you imbecile, baste that steak to get that flavor on the skin constantly, fucking important to NOT LET THE JUICE RUN OUT OF THE STEAK WHEN IT NEEDS TO REST

    Also, when you put it on the cutting board DONT JUST CUT IT WHEN IT SHOULD BE RESTING FOR THE FAT TO DISOLVE INSIDE THE STEAK, you just made it less fucking tender and more about looking like a pile of shit

    You let that cow die for a shitty steak and think you are so smart because you do what EVERY PROFFESIONAL DOESNT DO WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING THAT STEAK TASTE GOOD

    Imma go make myself a proper steak with some potatoes and just keep reading these good content comments

  6. Amateurs, real amateurs. I first season the seeds that make the seasoning. I then season the building materials and build the factory from scratch. I then open up a multi-million dollar company that hires workers. Every day, I feed them season telling them they will get paid for it. They then season the machines that process the seasoning. I pre-make the cutting board with basic tree seasoning. I then open up a farming business and make it focus on steak productions. After ten to nineteen years, I Finish up my business along with the growth of my tree and hire skilled wood makers to carve the perfect, seasoned cutting board. To make sure, I take the finest seasonings from my company and pour 1-2 kilos of seasoning. I let it sit for over a millennium,(to prevent rot which is really important later on, package it in an air proof container.) and when the wood finishes soaking up all the seasoning, I normally take high-quality steak from my steak producers and cook it. The seasoning for the steak is simple, I sprinkle some air onto it. I prefer rare, but you can turn it into ash. After done cooking the steak, I throw it into the trash. For the cutting board, I let it rot for nine hundred years. After that time alone in a dark chamber, it becomes soft and soaks up all the delicious air. After those boring nine hundred years, I can finally enjoy my life's work, and truly, have the meal of a man's life.

  7. Jokes aside, I actually tried this after the very first time I watched the video and it was probably one of the best homemade steaks i've ever cooked, so people are missing out. 😛

  8. I tried this and I still think it sucks. I've tried stainless searing, I've tried cast iron searing, I've tried sous vide with a torch finish, I've tried reverse sear. I've seasoned it every which way. As someone who eats a steak for lunch and dinner every day (mostly carnivore diet) and has for years. I still maintain let come to room temp, season 45min before cooking with a little less than desired salt level, put in freezer on a rack 35 min before cooking (seems dry out the surface a little and make the sear better), cook over raging wood fire IN the flames for a couple minutes so the outside is black and the inside is rare. Flip and move a lot, will give it a sous vide like interior (only works over raging wood flames though, on gas grills I think you're better off moving it very little). melt some butter over the top and finish with very course or flaked salt. Sorry but this is the best way to cook a steak period and nothing will ever beat it. And I like the bitter burnt pepper and everyone I make steaks for that tells me my steaks are the best they've ever had seem to like the burnt pepper as well. To each their own though!

  9. If you season the meat in the middle of the process, you can still taste the flavour of the seasoning, just that you don't taste it as much as it does if you use ur technique/method. The method/technique that you use is better if you want more taste from the seasoning. But if you are like me, and don't like it when there's too much seasoning, you should instead start season it in the middle of the process. One more tip, if you are grilling the meat, use a lot of pepper. It will increase the flavour of the meat.

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