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What's the point of salting meat before you cook it?

Salting a beef filet by Cookthink

When to salt meat is a controversial topic in cooking circles. 

Some claim that salting early in the cooking process dries out the meat and inhibits a crust from forming. But we agree with the early salting advocates who believe that the salt has time to penetrate the meat, tenderizing it and improving flavor, and that salt (particularly coarse salt) help form for a crisper crust. 

Those concerned about their salt consumption should note that if you wait until a steak is cooked to add flavor-boosting salt, you will probably end up adding more salt than if you'd salted before cooking. 

An old chef's trick is to salt meat early, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for up to a few days before cooking. When you cook the meat, its texture will be improved by the tenderizing action of the salt.

Also, note that pork can take about the double amount of salt that you would use for other meats. If you have a mediocre pork loin, for example, double salt it, let it rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it, then rinse off the excess salt and pat dry before cooking. It works like a charm.

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