To Salt or Not Salt?
To salt or not salt! Prince Hamlet, I feel your anguish. To live in a world without flavor is like standing in a Field of Tulips with Sunglasses on. Yeah its nice, but things could be so much better. I hate that awkward moment when someone proudly hands you a plate of badly seasoned food. Of course you don't know this fact until the first, second, or even third bite. Then the thoughts start to run through your head and expressions are on your face. Its so unfair suffer through a dish that should have been seasoned before it was cooked. I know some temperamental chefs that feel like they have been disrespected if someone adds additional seasoning to a dish they cooked. These chefs feel a level of disrespect that is only understood by a Mafia gangster. I can't help thinking if they seasoned their proteins or paired ingredients better I would not have to do emergency triage on my dinner plate. Do I dare reach for the salt and pepper now? This is a complicated question.
I think it is better to preseason with a dryrub that has salt (not too much don't want to ruin the flavor profile of the dish) and this will help the meat reach its full potential. A good dry rub will seal in juices and impart serious flavor. However, there are those that believe that putting salt on meat before cooking will draw the juices out and make your meat dry prematuraly. I do not agree with that theory. I like to preseason my meat with salt, pepper, and few other things (Southern Heat) before I cook. It gives the Dry Rub time to mingle with the protein and they become friends and they work together with Mr. Heat and Mr. Internal temperature to create a masterpiece. That masterpiece is a steak with crusty goodness caked on the outside that makes a good cut of meat taste great! Heat does lock the seasonings, salt, and juices in. I dont care what the cynics think. My steaks turn out pretty darn awesome and yours can also.
Salt and pepper are the foundations of every great rub at-least in my kitchen. I am not gonna worry about an immeasurable amount of fluid escaping before a meat is cooked. I know the finished product of pre-seasoning with a Chef Cecil Dry Rub is crusty steak that will make you a grilling hero to the neighborhood kids and gain street credibility with grill masters around the world!