Curtis Stone's 'Pro Tip' For Seasoning Steak Isn't Much Of A Tip At All

We will never stop our pursuit to learn the best tips for making the perfect steak. And despite having read dozens, many still surprise and delight, like Jamie Oliver's pro steak tip to flip a steak almost constantly throughout cooking to get a perfect sear. But when Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone threw out his top tip in a celebrity chef advice roundup for People, it neither surprised nor delighted. The chef simply advised to season the steak well, saying, "Since you can't add flavor to the center of the meat, the outside of the steak has to do all the work. Sprinkle salt and pepper from high up over the meat — it'll fall in an even layer — and use more than you think you should. Then add a pinch more."

This "tip" basically boils down to taking salt and pepper, perhaps the most common seasoning combination of all time, and generously covering the steak for good flavor. This is almost universally understood as an essential step to getting the most out of a steak's flavor, and the only slightly unique aspect is the height to hold your hand while seasoning. The tip lacks other useful information such as when in the process should you season the meat, how long to let it sit on the steak before cooking, and whether other seasonings could or should be included, making this recommendation a bit of a dud. 

Stone's advice isn't all that accurate either

Stone's advice stresses that the seasoning's power is restricted to the outer layer of the steak. While it does make a huge difference in a steak's flavor, the idea that the middle of the steak is unaffected by seasoning is factually inaccurate where salt is concerned. Adding salt to a steak will draw the moisture out from the center of the cut to the surface. This creates a brine solution made up of the meat's natural moisture and added salt, which is then reabsorbed back into the meat over time. This not only adds flavor to the meat, but interacts with the proteins of the steak, leaving it more tender than before. 

The key to this tip? Time. You can't just sprinkle salt onto your steak cut and immediately throw it into the pan, you need to give the salt time to work its way into the meat. This process takes a while and varies by the fat, protein, and thickness of each cut, but in general, season in advance by at least an hour, though some steaks can be salted a whole 24 hours in advance.