Wolfgang Puck's Tip For When To Season Your Meat For The Grill

You may have heard mixed reviews about when to season meat for the grill. Some reviews swear by seasoning meat beforehand with a marinade or dry rub. Others recommend seasoning during grilling, while some say to season afterward. So, which is it? If you take the time to handle the grill, you want to ensure the meat will turn out the best that it can, right?

My Chicago Steak says that seasoning steak also tenderizes the meat. They mention that there is much science behind seasoning that cut of steak. For instance, salt draws out moisture, so when you cook a salt-seasoned steak, that salt actually gets reabsorbed back into the steak and tenderizes the meat.

While you don't have to be Einstein to grill the perfect steak, there are a few seasoning tips to follow to help you get the job done. So, get that flame ready; Here is Wolfgang Puck's advice for seasoning your meat for the grill.

Pre-season and rest

Wolfgang Puck, who has a couple of Michelin stars to his name, has a few grilling rules he follows. According to Michelin Guide, the celebrity chef recommends lighting the grill a minimum of one hour before show time. He says to be patient and always grill over glowing, hot coals, and never a direct flame. While the coals heat up, season the meat. He says that seasonings need time to penetrate the meat, so season your steak one hour before grilling. Puck also says to rub the meat with oil to prevent sticking.

McCormick agrees with the famous chef. Since salt dehydrates the meat, it draws out the steak's natural juices. You must allow the steak time to reabsorb this moisture after salting the outside. Doing this will create a juicy and flavorful steak. If you cook it too soon after seasoning, the steak will not have sufficient time to regain its juices. This will result in a dry and dull steak. McCormick also recommends placing the steak on a rack after seasoning. This allows for airflow and prevents the steak from sitting in a pool of moisture, which gives it a nice crispy, and even, sear. 

Puck says to allow the steak to come to room temperature before throwing it on the grill.

Go for the grill

Wolfgang Puck says to cook the outside of the steak on high heat until all sides are seared, then move the meat to medium heat. Food Network chef Bobby Flay agrees. His Perfectly Grilled Steak recipe calls for the same searing and temperature techniques. He also recommends allowing the steaks to rest for several minutes before slicing.

Always check the temperature of cooked meat with a food thermometer before consuming. The USDA tells us that the safe temperature for beef is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. They added a three-minute rest time as part of the cooking recommendation. The USDA also says that leftover meat can be kept safely in the fridge for three to four days and must be kept cold: at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid illness and harmful bacterial growth by consuming leftover foods before they spoil. 

If you follow the chef's advice for grilling steak though, we doubt you'll have leftovers.