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Salting, Brining, Curing, And Injecting

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If you like your meat juicy, tender, and flavorful, there is one simple ingredient that can improve all three: Salt.
 
Salt, which is another name for the mineral sodium chloride (NaCl), is probably the oldest way to flavor food and essential to all living things. Our bodies require salt, and the only way to get it is to ingest it. All our bodily fluids, blood and tears, contain salt. Our nervous system requires salt to conduct electricity.
 
Salting and brining can significantly improve your cooking. Salt is unlike any spice and herb in the house physically and chemically, and it behaves in strange and wonderful ways when applied properly to food. Don’t overdo it and you have nothing to fear from salt. And when used judiciously it can seriously amplify flavor without changing it, and it can help protein hold onto moisture.

The Science Of Salt

By:

Meathead

Here's what you need to know about table salt, kosher salt, pickling salt, sea salt, seasoned salt, curing salts, and how to use them. Learn also about brines, measuring different salts, and the health aspects of salt.
Brining a turkey

Salting And Wet Brining: Flavorize, Moisturize, Tenderize

By:

Meathead

Achieve juicy, tender, and flavorful meat every time you hit the grill thanks to one simple ingredient: salt. Sprinkling salt on finished meats helps amplify the flavor on the surface but brining helps bring the benefits of salt to every bite. Here's how salting and brining can significantly improve your cooking.

Wet Brining vs. Dry Brining

By:

Dave Joachim

Salt helps protein hang onto water during cooking so brining is a great technique to make food moist. But which is better, wet brining or dry brining? It all depends on which meat you're cooking and the results you want. Get the details.

Dry Brining, Easier And Less Wasteful Than Wet Brining

By:

Meathead

Dry brining is a quick and easy way to flavor and moisturize meat before cooking.
Seasoned salt in a bowl

Seasoned Salt Recipe

By:

Meathead

Seasoned salt is easy to make and the large grains really add a spark to potatoes, pastas, pizza, veggies, and just about everything else that needs salt. By adding a variety of herbs, spices, and dried citrus you can create your own signature seasoned salt blend for adding a new depth of flavor to countless dishes.

Cooking On Salt Blocks

By:

Meathead

Cooking on a salt block amps up flavor and makes a great presentation. You can put the salt block right on your grill, heat it up, and then cook on the salt block like a griddle. You can also bring a hot salt block to the table and sear meats tableside! Here's everything you need to know about cooking on salt blocks.
Reuben sandwich

The Science Of Curing Meats Safely

By:

Meathead

Curing meat is not like any other recipe. You must be pretty precise about some ingredients.

The New Data About Nitrites, Nitrates And Cured Meats

By:

Meathead

Nitrites and nitrites appear naturally in foods, and are added to many foods. Are they dangerous? Recent research is enlightening.
Meat injector

Inject Maximum Flavor Into Your Meat With A Trio Of Brines

By:

Meathead

Injecting is a great way to get flavor down into the meat. It is faster, cheaper, and more efficient than brining. Here's how to do it.

Get Flavor Deep Into The Meat With An Injector

By:

Meathead

There are a number of meat injection gizmos on the market ranging from simple hypodermics to pumps. They all work, but some work better than others. Here are our reviews.

How To Cure Meats: Bacon, Ham, Corned Beef, Pastrami, More

By:

Meathead

Here are some wonderful meats you can cure at home, from bacon to pastrami.

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Published On: 5/6/2019 Last Modified: 4/21/2021

 

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