Jaw-dropping centerpiece dishes require two essentials: salt and time. Preseasoning is the simplest thing you can do to make a good piece of meat great. Given enough time to penetrate tissue, salt works flavor magic: It denatures proteins, breaking up their molecular strands into shorter amino acids—among them an abundance of glutamic acid, the essence of umami—to release a complex symphony of savory flavors. Rich cuts of meat, like a bone-in rib eye, benefit from a dry brine and air dry, which concentrates flavor. Seasoning ahead of time increases iron-y notes in prime-graded cuts of meat and breaks down the connective tissue, resulting in an especially juicy steak.