The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Sunday, 14 February 2010]

The salting of the meat

Nic goes all Mythbusters on the idea that salting meat tenderizes it.
Meat being salted.
Click for larger version.

The other day I came across an article about the wonders of curing meat in salt. The idea is that covering a cut of meat with sea salt or kosher salt for a short period of time will allow … well, chemistry to happen and the meat will become more tender and flavorful. The salt is then rinsed off, and doesn’t affect the taste.

So, being a cheapskate and an aficionado of eating carcasses I decided this needed to be tested. And being a huge nerd, I decided to test it scientifically. So I bought two flat iron steaks and covered one of them in sea salt for 40 minutes, while leaving the other one untouched. After grilling them both well done—no pink—it was time to taste test. Both of my blind test panelists (a.k.a. my wife and daughter) failed to pick out the meat that had gone through the process. For myself, I thought the salted meat was a teeny bit more tender, but that could just be observer bias.

So, sadly, it looks like this myth is busted. But it did provide an opportunity to put my daughter on the path of the scientific way, which is a Good Thing.

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