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How to Season a Great Steak for the Grill at

How to Season a Great Steak for the Grill

Reluctant for school to start, I’m savoring these last weeks of summer. I love the lazy mornings on the porch, afternoons at the lake and evenings of simple meals cooked outdoors.

And suddenly, it’s Labor Day. What to eat?

Something grilled and served with an herb sauce, sliced fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob {or off the cob}. This meal feels like a breeze to make and everyone’s happy and well fed.

Then, maybe a treat like these giant ice cream cookie sandwiches for a summertime grand finale.

The Secret to Grilled Steak is Salt

When it comes to grilled meats, you can have your marinades and rubs and elaborate treatments. I simply reach for the salt.

Because good meat–and by that I mean grass-fed T-bone steak, pastured pork chop or locally raised leg of lamb– doesn’t much at all. But it does need a generous hand with the salt.

I use an array of sea salts for before, during and after cooking.

Professionals call it “seasoning,” and it’s the place where most home cooks are too tentative: adding just the right amount of salt to season the food to highlight its flavors without tipping over into overly salty.

It’s a balancing act.

And you may even have to go overboard once or twice to get it right. But it’s a key skill that anyone can learn.

I promise that it will immediately make you a better griller of everything, especially meats.

How to Season a STeak for the Grill

Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill–or even cooking over live fire–the steak or meat preparation is the same. Practice this and all your meats will taste better with no other seasoning, sauce or gravy at all.

What type of salt:

Once you have a great cut of meat, it’s time to choose your salt. Just make sure it’s pure sea salt for the best flavors. {I adore Jacobsen Salt Co.’s pure kosher salt for seasoning all meats. And I use their pure flake finishing salt after slicing and before serving.}

I use real kosher salt for seasoning meats before grilling and flake salt for finishing.

How much salt:

Using my fingers, I sprinkle it on so that the meat looks like it has a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar. This will seem like a lot of salt if you’re not used to it. Give it a try and you will taste the difference in how it markedly enhances the flavors of the meat.

When to salt:

Better yet is to salt the meat at least 1 hour before grilling. Why? Read Judy Rodgers treatise “The Practice of Salting Early” in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook and you’ll become a convert like me.

As I mentioned above, I season the meat before grilling and then sprinkle on flake finishing salt after slicing. And I always slice meats before serving because, really, who needs to eat a whole steak, and I support eating less meat.

I love that crunch of the sea salt with bites of meat.

And why haven’t I mentioned pepper? Pepper is great on steak, but it’s optional. I prefer to add a grind of pepper from the mill at the table. But that’s me, and if you’re a pepper lover, by all means, go ahead and season your steak with salt before grilling, too.

Whether you’re grilling a ribeye, sirloin, T-bone, New York, skirt steak, hangar, flatiron or flank, the objective is the same. Well-seasoned meats!

{It’s also true whether you’re grilling or searing it in a pan on the stove top in fall and winter.}

Now, the next step toward cooking like a professional is grilling the steak just to the doneness you–and your guests–want. But that’s a whole different story.

So, here’s my how-to guide for grilling grassfed steak, including what not to do–along with temperature and timing guidelines in the recipe.

Whatever you’re eating, enjoy this last hit of summer living!


and become a forager

What are you grilling this Labor Day weekend? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.


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