How To Dry Brine A Steak (And For How Long)

Written by Mike Futia | Updated August 28, 2023

  • Dry brining your steak will result in a more flavorful and tender steak.
  • To dry brine your steak, simply season it liberally with salt over all sides.
  • Dry brine your steak for at least one hour, and up to 3 days.

One of the best ways to get the most flavor out of your steak is to dry brine it ahead of time.

Dry brining simply means to season your steak with salt before cooking it.

The salt will break down the muscle fibers in the steak, and enhance its overall flavor.

How To Dry Brine Your Steak

dry brine filet and ribeye

Dry brining your steak couldn't be any easier.

1) Dry The Steak With Paper Towels

Begin by patting your steaks dry with a paper towel.

This will remove any extra moisture from the steak, and allow the salt to be distributed more evenly on the steak.

2) Season The Steak With Salt

brined filet mignon

Next, you'll want to apply salt all over your steak. Don't be shy with the salt.

Apply liberally, and be sure to hit all four sides of the steak. About a a quarter to half teaspoon of salt per steak.

You should use a corse salt for the brining process, such as kosher salt or sea salt. 

3. Refrigerate Your Steak

Next, pop your steak in the refrigerator on a wire rack or elevated baking sheet.

By giving the steak room to breathe on the bottom, it allows even air circulation to help dry out the steak.

Allow your steak to rest in the fridge for at least one hour, and up to three days. During this time, the salt will help to break down the proteins in the steak and enhance the flavor.

Once your dry brine period is over, it's time to cook your steak. Check out a few of our smoked steak recipes:

How Long Should I Dry Brine?

ribeye dry brine

You should dry brine your steak for at least one hour, and up to 3 days. Personally, I prefer to dry brine for 24 hours if I have enough time.

What Is Dry Brining? Dry Brining Benefits

smoked filet mignon

Dry brining adds both flavor and moisture to your steak.

To dry brine your steak, you simply season it liberally with coarse salt, and let it rest in your fridge for up to three days.

This helps draw moisture out of the meat, and the salt dissolves and forms a brine that is reabsorbed back into the steak, seasoning it from the inside out.

Dry brining makes the meat more tender, juicier, and flavorful. It also helps to create a nice crust on the outside when it's time to sear.

Cooking Techniques

With your steak dry brined, you have a couple of different options when cooking it.

  • Smoking. Our preferred method of cooking our dry-brined steaks. Low-and-slow, enhanced by delightful smoky flavors.
  • Grilling. The classic way to cook a steak. You can develop a nice crust and you can cook it fast—just be careful not to overcook it!
  • Reverse-Sear. If you need to cook inside, you can reverse-sear your steak, which involves cooking it low in your oven first, and then finishing it off in a hot cast iron pan.

Best Steaks For Dry Brining

smoked ribeye

Which steaks get the most benefit out of dry brining? Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Ribeye steak. Known for its rich flavor and supreme marbling.
  • New York Strip. A steakhouse classic. 
  • Filet Mignon. Leaner and more tender than the ribeye and New York Strip.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Do You Dry Brine A Steak?

You should dry brine your steak for at least one hour, and up to 3 days.

Do I Rinse The Steak After Dry Brining?

There's no need to rinse your steak after dry brining it. If there are too many bits of salt on top after you take it out of the fridge, then you can remove these with a dry paper towel.

How Much Salt Do You Need To Dry Brine Steak?

We recommend using a half teaspoon of salt for every pound of steak.


Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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