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Cooking Tips

Here’s What Properly Seasoned Steak Looks Like

Pros learn to identify the perfect amount of salt by sight.
By Published Aug. 4, 2022

Good recipes always provide measured amounts of salt for seasoning large cuts such as roasts. However, recipes for smaller cuts, such as steaks, chops, and chicken parts, sometimes leave it up to the cook to determine how much salt to use. (And even if a specific amount is given, dividing it between two or more sides of a cut can be tricky.)

To avoid fussy measuring and to nail your seasoning every time, here’s a tip: Learn to identify the perfect amount of salt by sight, just as the pros do. 

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What a Properly Seasoned Steak Looks Like

Each side of a small cut should be liberally and uniformly covered, but not buried, in salt. The photo at right shows what one side of an 8-ounce steak looks like when seasoned with the proper amount of salt. Note: We like kosher salt for seasoning, as its larger grain size is easier to control and see than fine-grained table salt. 

A Tip to Ensure Even Salt Coverage  

To make sure that the meat is seasoned from edge to edge, sprinkle it with salt from up high. We’ve found that starting 12 inches above the food seasons it more evenly than from closer distances.  

How Much Salt to Use to Season Steaks and Chops

Our rule of thumb for seasoning steaks and chops is 5 grams of kosher salt per pound; using our favorite kosher salt, Diamond Crystal, that’s about 1½ teaspoons. 

How Much Salt to Use to Season Chicken Parts

For chicken parts, our preferred seasoning amount is 2 grams of kosher salt per pound, or about ¾ teaspoon. 

Favorite Steak Recipes

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.