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Author Topic: Does salt make meat tough?  (Read 9883 times)

Offline Geezer

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Does salt make meat tough?
« on: 13/11/2009 23:17:32 »
I've heard that putting salt on steak before cooking tends to make it tough. But I've also seen a lot of chefs on the telly salting steaks before they cook them. I suppose the same would also apply to roast beef etc.

Is there any science to suggest that salting steaks prior to cooking will make them less tender?
« Last Edit: 14/11/2009 04:45:24 by Geezer »


 

Offline Nizzle

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #1 on: 17/11/2009 14:35:12 »
I have no clue, but maybe the salt on the surface draws fluid out of the meat cells (by osmosis like effect) and therefore, the fluids evaporate more easily?

Less fluid is more tough.
 

Offline Jonathan Madriaga

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #2 on: 26/11/2009 01:17:37 »
Salt is essentially a preservative due to its chemical nature (NaCl), so it actually draws moisture out of the steak and then the salt is absorbed back into the meat through osmosis. In turn, this will 'tenderize' the proteins in the steak. But after you brine the meat, you are supposed to wash the meat after because residual salt molecules that hasn't absorbed back into the meat will linger on the surface of the meat, which will make it salty.

 

Offline Geezer

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #3 on: 26/11/2009 20:44:17 »
I have no clue, but maybe the salt on the surface draws fluid out of the meat cells (by osmosis like effect) and therefore, the fluids evaporate more easily?

Less fluid is more tough.

My wife stayed with a pen pal in Belgium when she was in her teens. One night, the family had steak.

"Mmmm. What kind of steak is this?" she asked.

"Le chevaux."

I don't think she was able to eat any more of it.
 

Offline neilep

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #4 on: 26/11/2009 20:56:10 »
I have no clue, but maybe the salt on the surface draws fluid out of the meat cells (by osmosis like effect) and therefore, the fluids evaporate more easily?

Less fluid is more tough.

My wife stayed with a pen pal in Belgium when she was in her teens. One night, the family had steak.

"Mmmm. What kind of steak is this?" she asked.

"Le chevaux."

I don't think she was able to eat any more of it.

I don't think I even need to use a translator to know what chevaux is......Tally Ho !!


Salt will also help to make a nice crispy crust on a bacon join, the ' crackling '...or on a nice ..dare I say...a nice lamb joint !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #5 on: 26/11/2009 21:34:51 »
LOL..yes it dries the meat out and shrinks it down thus making it drier and tougher.. you should reserve salt until the final steps and the last 15 or so minutes of cooking basting etc... You just have to be careful.. I generally salt very little at the start but doall the other seasonings ahead then reserve the salt if needed for the end stages of cooking.
 

Offline Geezer

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #6 on: 28/11/2009 19:17:06 »
Yes! I think that makes sense. I usually hold off the salt till the end. Also, it's a lot easier to add more than it is to remove it if you put in too much! If you add too much salt to soup though, you can reduce it by adding potatoes. They seeem to be "salt magnets". Sounds like another thread.
 

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Does salt make meat tough?
« Reply #6 on: 28/11/2009 19:17:06 »

 

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