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Dry Brining

When you think of brining, if you think of it at all, you probably think of letting a piece of meat soak in a liquid for an extended period of time to help add flavor to the meat. This method, called wet brining, is the traditional method and definitely works, but there is an even more effective method called dry brining. Dry brining uses only salt sprinkled on the meat, with no liquid, to help make the meat more flavorful and juicy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a piece of meat. Any old piece of meat will do, but dry brining works especially well on cuts of meat that will be put on the grill or in a sauté pan, like a pork chop, beef steak or chicken breast. Lay the meat out on a cutting board and pat it dry with paper towel. You are now ready to dry brine.
  2. Get kosher salt. Put the kosher salt between your thumb and fingers, and starting about 8″ above the steak, sprinkle the salt onto the surface of the steak. The surface should be coated, but not covered when you’re done. Flip and repeat. You should need about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 1″ thick steak. (Note, you can also do this with a salt based seasoning blend like our Ultimate Steak and Roast Rub)
  3. Let the meat sit at room temperature for 15 minutes – an hour, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour – 2 hours. The salt will be sucked into the meat, and moisture will be drawn to the surface of the meat. You will see the salt disappear and moisture appear on the surface. When you go to cook the meat, the moisture towards the surface will help insulate the meat from overcooking and be driven back into the middle of the meat, keeping your meat juicier. Plus, the salt adds great flavor.
  4. Cook your meat as you normally would! In the end you’ll have a juicy, flavorful piece of meat that only required a little bit of preparation.

For more information on dry brining, we recommend checking out Serious Eats or Amazing Ribs. They both have great articles on the subject. Or, you can stop in the store and ask Nick what he thinks of dry brining, he’ll be happy to discuss with you. Enjoy a delicious dry brined meal and we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!