Dry brining steak is a great way to make sure your steak is super flavorful. Use this method on anything from ribeye to flank to filet cuts – in fact, this will work well on any beef cut! A good dry brine takes anywhere from 24-48 hours but you can short cut it if you need to.

Dry brining may sound time consuming and unnecessary, but it’s a simple step that takes just a bit of forethought for some of the tastiest steak you’ve ever had.

So, what is dry brining? It’s pretty simple: simply liberally seasoning meat with salt or a salt blend.

So what does dry brining achieve? The longer raw meat is exposed to salt, the deeper it can penetrate. Here’s the thing: cooked meat can’t soak up all that salty goodness as well as raw meat does, so it’s important to give it as much time as possible while it’s raw.

How long should I dry brine?

As much time as you can allow for this process is what’s important, but in order to really take advantage and for it to be considered a “dry brine”, you should aim for at least 3 hours, up to 2 days. Yes, that does mean planning ahead!

How to Dry Brine a Steak

Dry brining is crazy easy. All you need is salt or a seasoned salt in addition to your steak. When it comes to salt, you want the grains to be bigger than table salt. Kosher salt or bigger. I typically use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.

Start by patting the steak dry before seasoning it. This will let the salt better adhere to the meat. I usually use paper towels or a clean dish towel will work, too.

Steak being dried with paper towels on yellow surface.

Then generously season your steak with the kosher salt. You don’t need to go crazy, but you should season it well.

Steak being seasoned with salt on white plate.

Then pop the steak in the fridge, uncovered, for 3-48 hours. The longer you can wait, the more the salt will be able to penetrate into the meat. Ideally, when you remove the meat from the fridge to cook it, you should see few salt granules on the meat and the meat should be darker.

Dry brined steak on white plate on yellow surface.

Now, it’s time to cook! I, of course, recommend you sous vide these steaks you’ve taken such care to prepare. I’ve also got sous vide instructions for several different cuts of beef to help you out:

Common Questions

How long do I need to dry brine?

Dry brine anywhere from 3 hours to 48 hours. I like a 24 hour dry brined steak.

Can I dry brine frozen steak?

You’ll want to defrost the steak at least a bit first so the salt can adhere to the steak, but it doesn’t need to be entirely defrosted.

Do I need to rinse the steak before cooking?

Nope! If there’s still quite a bit of grains of salt visible on the steak and you dry brined for 12 hours or longer, you can wipe these off, but you do not need to (and shouldn’t) rinse the steak.

Dry brined steak on white plate on yellow surface.
5 from 1 review

Get the Recipe:

How to Dry Brine Steak

Prep Time: 5 mins
Brining Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 5 mins
Dry brining steak is a great way to make sure your steak is super flavorful. Use this method on anything from ribeye to flank to filet cuts – in fact, this will work well on any beef cut! A good dry brine takes anywhere from 24-48 hours but you can short cut it if you need to.

Ingredients
 

  • Paper towels or clean dish towel
  • Steak of choice
  • Kosher salt or seasoned salt

Equipment

  • Plate
  • Refrigerator

Instructions
 

  • Pat the steak completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
  • Season the steak well with kosher salt or seasoned salt. The steak should be completely coated.
  • Place on a plate and in the fridge, uncovered. Let sit in the fridge for 3-48 hours.
  • Cook the steak using your favorite cooking method. I recommend sous vide.

Notes

Salt granules should be bigger than table salt. I recommend kosher salt.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dinner
Author: Chelsea Cole
Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.