Hi everyone, I’ve noticed that when I season my food, it tends to be rather hit-and-miss. Sometimes it’s bland, other times it’s too salty, and it’s only rarely ever “perfect”. Does anyone have tips and tricks for seasoning that work consistently? For reference, I usually cook steaks (approx an inch thick) and pork tenderloins (whole). My seasonings are salt, pepper, garlic powder.
A pinch is the amount that you can hold between thumb and forefinger. This varies greatly depending on the size of the granule. Always buying the same salt will give you the ability to ensure that this is always the same amount.
Also, if you salt prior to sous vide, it is a good idea to wait 45 minutes. This will give a chance for the meat to weep and then reabsorb the moisture.
Salt is the seasoning that will have the most impact when it’s in the bag. Pepper is actually quite fragile. It is likely to burn off during searing, unless it is quite heavily applied.
Can’t help on the garlic powder as I don’t use it.
Well, if you want to go about it scientifically, precisely measure out or weigh the amount of seasoning, write it down, and compare results. If you are using dried herbs/spices, how old they are might affect the outcome. As will your mood on the day, whether you have a cold or not, whether you are relaxed and ready to enjoy a meal, whether you are really hungry or only moderately hungry, etc…
In the end, the best you can do is record/remember what you did and replicate. Eventually, you’ll home in on a sweet spot that works more often than not.
Hm, I usually a bit heavy-handed with garlic salt prior to sous vide. I also add a tiny bit more before the sear. This usually works for me.
@AlyssaWOAH, are you using garlic salt or garlic powder? If @kl005 is using garlic salt as well as regular salt some of the time and garlic powder at other times that might explain variation a bit too.
@kl005, I’d just suggest that you be light handed with what you put in the bag for seasoning. You can always add more when it comes out, but too much is not easily corrected.
I use garlic salt if I’m not using regular salt.
Everybody’s taste is different. I know people that use NO salt while cooking but salt heavily before they eat. I think it is because they like the taste of salt. I prefer to salt while cooking to enhance the taste of the food. I agree with all of the suggestions here. Try all of them but keep a record of what tastes best to you. Eventually you will gain enough experience to cook intuitively rather than following a recipe.
My take so far is to salt after sous vide, but before any searing, and apply garlic, pepper, or whatever after the sear. Iv’e come to the conclusion that there is no wrong way, you just need to see what works for you through experience. Measure and record, noting what works, will eventually provide what you want.
Couldn’t help chuckling when I ready Ember’s mentioning that a pinch is the amount you can hold between thumb and forefinger (which is correct btw!) as I’ve a friend who is 6 foot 10 inches tall, and I just instantly envisioned him saying to himself “I keep following the directions and it’s still too salty!”.
You’d be surprised how many people I’ve seen grab the better part of a handful when the recipe they’re following says a pinch. Then complain about saltiness.
I salt my food three times hahaha
Before sous vide: medium coarse grind salt
Before searing: coarse grind salt
On the plate (*if not salted enough): with fine-medium coarse grind
I cannot speak to the amount of garlic powder or pepper. Salt, however, I find the ratio that works best for me is 0.7%-1.0% by weight. All other seasonings I use, unless I’m using a recipe, are by eye.
Brian, that could result in a lot of salt consumed during a day.
It’s been my observation that restaurant cooks are usually (to me) habitual over-salters. For those of us who often eat in restaurants our taste threshold of acceptability rises in response causing us to also aggressively salt the food we prepare for ourselves. It becomes a trap.
Processed and prepared food in the grocery stores also mimic that level of salt so it will taste good. Or so we are told. It’s unfortunate salt is such an inexpensive flavour enhancer considering the potential over consumption has for the heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
That would really depend on how much meat you consume every day. Salt will enhance flavor, but too much, and it will get unpleasant. We all have to make our own choices about how we cook, and what we put in our diet.
To enhance the flavor of the food, I prefer to salt it as I cook. All of the ideas presented here have my full support. Try them all, but keep track of which ones you like the most. With time and practice, you’ll be able to cook more intuitively rather than by strictly following a recipe.