Shifty's Seasoning

room temp steaks

Why So Much Talk About Room Temperature For Steaks?


Venison moose, elk, deer and more

Conversational Points

  1. Temperature of precooked meat. Since I’m in my mid 50’s, I can honestly say that I have been to hundreds, if not thousands of cookouts in several countries and a variety of cultures. I often hear discussions about bringing steaks up to room temperature. This seems like a relative term, but it is considered by many to be about 70 degrees F. Some say for 20-30 minutes, others say 2 hours. The recommended storage of steaks (or once removed from a freezer) should be between 33 and 40 degrees F for about 3 days. So why room temperature at all? In my research steak temperature is more important at the end of the cooking process than at the beginning. If you don’t agree, send me a comment and argue your point, I’m open to thoughts.
  2. Moisture level of precooked meat. Dry steaks cook faster than moist steaks. Which just makes sense. The more moisture in and around the meat the longer it takes to heat up the meat. Which is why steaks cut in the grocery stores include absorption pads when they wrap them in cellophane. A butcher wraps up a semi dried and select cuts in butcher paper and when I open those steaks to prep they seem to lack any extra liquids. They season well and cook at a faster rate and I can control the rare to medium cooking process with better success. I have never been a fan of liquid marinades for cooking meats, this does not include rubbing down a roast, or larger pieces with a little olive oil to help the herbs cling to it. This may be just an illusion I need for the presentation at the table. Any thoughts on this topic are greatly appreciated. Send a comment.
  3. Seasoning of precooked meat. Salting steaks a day or two ahead is not unheard of in many fine dining establishments. Of course we know this is the standard in BBQ pits, smoke houses, sausage companies and more. But what about seasonings used that include other spices, herbs and or sugars? With curing all sorts of spices are used, however the sugars are typically added during or after the cooking process. Do you agree? Send me a comment.
  4. Why do many rubs include sugars? Sugar is a flavor enhancer, it tastes good, so good it’s added to just about every type of food or beverage we make, sell and eat. Many meat rubs in the south contain brown or cane sugars because it will cover the flavor of meat and allows for a more consistent flavor. I have been to BBQ joints throughout the south and often cannot tell the difference in the taste of meats even if they are from different animals. This is why so many meals already come with dipping sauces, coatings and dressings. I am simply tasting the rub or sauce, or more clearly stated the sugar flavored meal. And to be totally honest I only add sugar based sauces or glazes if I have an inferior piece of meat to work with or in some cases completely overcooked or misjudged the quality of meat I selected.