Aside from people who don’t eat meat, who doesn’t like a delicious Dry Brined then Grilled Rib Eye Steak? Well, up until about a year ago, I actually had never cooked a steak on a flat top griddle before. Now mind you, living in the South, I have been grilling outside for years. As far as using a flat top though (otherwise known as a griddle), the first time I ever cooked on one was at a restaurant I managed, and I never cooked a steak on one.
Fortunately, I started following a man by the name of Cary Kelly on social media and he opened an entire new way of cooking meat for me. I learned about dry brining and also how to cook steak on a flat top. You can read Cary’s directions for dry brining at ketocarnivore9.wordpress.com. Thank you, Carey, you opened my eyes to a delicious new world!
What is Dry Brining?
Briefly, I am going to describe the beauty of dry brining a rib eye steak, and why I believe anyone who cooks on a grill or flat top should use this technique. It requires only one ingredient, Maldon Sea Salt, and whichever piece of meat you want to dry brine. Maldon Sea Salt is gourmet sea salt, harvested from the small town of Maldon in Essex, Great Britain. You can also use any type of Kosher Salt you prefer or have available. The key is to use salt that comes in large grains which are easy to see and distribute over the skin or cut of meat you are brining. Along with your salted meat, you will need to leave the meat on a rack in a pan in your refrigerator for 24-48 hours. This allows the salt to “do its thing” to the meat without being inhibited by paper wrapping or plastic wrap. Let the air in the fridge work with the salt to create an extremely rare piece of poultry or meat. Your taste buds will appreciate the extra effort!
The process of dry brining has become very poplar over recent years compared to wet brining. A decade ago, brining a turkey (immersing the turkey into salted water and letting it sit for hours before cooking) at Thanksgiving was all the rage. In recent years dry brining has replaced wet brining and personally, I am glad it did.
To make this short and sweet, you just need to understand the why behind dry brining. When your meat or poultry is covered in salt, moisture from inside the meat is drawn to the surface. That moisture then mixes with the salt and is absorbed back into the meat. The salt then does something called denaturing, which means it breaks down the knotty protein in the meat causing it to become very tender. I know this doesn’t sound as scientific as it could but when you explain to your friends that you dry brined your meat to break down the protein and denature it you will sound like a rocket scientist to them!
Preparing The Steak After It Is Brined
After brining for a day or two, I remove the steak from the fridge and let it sit for at least an hour or two to get to room temperature. I always cook my meat and poultry at room temperature because this will cause the meat to cook more evenly once it hits the heat. Also, prior to cooking you want to use a paper towel and wipe the excess salt off the meat.
Back to the griddle. I don’t personally own a griddle, but my gas stove did come with a small flat top griddle to be used for pancakes, French Toast or whatever else I might want to use it for. If you don’t have a flat top griddle, you can always use a cast iron frying pan. I decided one day to put my small griddle top on the racks of my propane grill and voila! My own personal flat top was born!
How To Cook On A Flat Top Grill
To prepare the flat top, I place it on my grill and shut the lid while I wait for the interior temperature to hit 425 degrees. Once the grill reaches that temperature, I drop abut 2 tablespoons of butter on the griddle. Once melted, which should only take about 5 seconds, I put the steak right on the griddle and shut the lid.
Normally I prefer a steak that is around 2″ thick which is the size I used for this blog and recipe. Obviously if the steak you are using is smaller the cooking time will be less than what I discuss. To cook the steak rare, I recommend cooking each side of the steak for 4 minutes. When you flip the steak, the temperature of the grill will temporarily drop. As soon as you close the lid the temperature will work its way back up to 425 degrees. If you want your steak medium increase the cooking time to 5 minutes a side and 6 minutes a side for well done.
Once the steak has finished cooking immediately remove it to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes. As with any type of meat you don’t want to cut into it immediately. By letting it what we call “sit,” you are allowing the juices in the meat to be absorbed back into the meat thereby keeping it juicy. If you cut it right away the meat will be swimming in a bath of its own juice.
This is the time where I add my own seasoning. Personally, I like to top my steak off with a tablespoon or two of Kerry Gold Garlic Herb Butter mixed with a teaspoon of minced garlic and heated in the microwave. I also sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning on top right before eating. If you want nothing more than salt and pepper this is where you can dress your steak up with your personal preference. Enjoy!
Dry Brined then Grilled Rib Eye Steak
- 2-3 Tbsp Maldon Sea Salt Sprinkle on steak 24-48 hours before grilling
- 1 1.10-1.25 Lb Rib Eye Steak
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Kerry Gold Garlic Herb Butter
- Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste
- The day before you want to cook the steak remove it from its packaging and place on a wire rack on a cookie sheet or pan.
- Sprinkle both sides of the steak with a generous amount of Maldon or Kosher Sea Salt, pressing the salt into both sides with your fingers.
- Place the steak in your refrigerator, uncovered, for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours.
- Two hours before you are ready to grill remove the steak from the refrigerator and gently wipe any excess salt off of the steak. You want to bring the steak up to room temperature before cooking.
- When you are ready to cook, turn on your flat top or grill to high and keep the lid closed while waiting for the griddle to get up to a temperature of 425 degrees. If you are using a small flat top griddle (like I have) place it on the grates of your propane grill and again close the lid and wait for the temperature to get to 425.
- When the temperature reaches 425 degrees drop 2 tablespoons of butter onto the griddle. As soon as the butter melts (just a matter of seconds) place the steak on the griddle and shut the lid. Cook for 4 minutes for a medium rare steak.
- At the four-minute mark, open the grill and turn the steak over. Again, shut the lid and cook for an additional four minutes. I like to press the steak down onto the flat top to make sure it browns evenly while cooking.
- When the four minutes is up, remove the steak from the griddle and place it on a plate to let it rest for five minutes. At this time, you can melt the butter and minced garlic in a small bowl or cup. You can also place the butter and garlic directly on the steak while it sits. Sprinkle on any seasoning you want and after the steak sits you are ready to eat it. Enjoy!
- If you don't have a grill or flat top griddle you can make this in a cast iron pan. To do this heat the pan on medium high heat until it is very hot. DO Not put butter in the pan at this time because it will burn while the steak is cooking. Instead wipe some bacon fat or butter onto the top and bottom of the steak itself. When the pan is hot place the steak into the pan and turn on the vent, the steak will smoke a bit while cooking.
- At the four-minute mark turn your steak over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes depending on how you prefer your steak (rare, medium rare or well done). Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. At this time you can add the butter and garlic to the frying pan, stir for a minute and cover your steak with the melted butter mixture. If you don't want the butter and garlic add the seasoning of your choice. Serve and enjoy!