Why a Well-Salted Steak is a Juicy Steak

The science of sodium chloride and the grill

A great steak needs nothing more than salt, but when you add that salt matters. We partnered with Popular Science to show you exactly why.

Salt does more than flavor a piece of meat; it also functions like a magnet for water. So when you salt a steak, it draws water to the surface of the meat, which in turn brings along proteins that help in developing a well-browned crust. Over time, the salt also works its way into meat, and where salt goes, water follows. The result? A well-salted steak doesn't just taste better; it also retains more moisture.

The simple key to all of this: give your salt time to do its thing. At least an hour, but preferably overnight, for maximum penetration and juiciness insurance. And go heavy with it; the meat can take it.