As far as I understand, meat contains various enzymes that can, given sufficient time and suitable temperature, tenderize the meat by breaking down various proteins. So, logically, meat kept for a while at room temperature ought to be more tender than meat kept in the fridge, right?
But the problem is of course spoilage. So, for how long whould you think it would be safe to keep, say, a steak on the counter, before grilling it? Would it in any way be safe to keep it long enough for the enzymes to do their work? I was thinking, after all, I'm going to grill the meat afterwards, so even though the bacteria multiply massively when sitting on the counter, they'll all be killed by the heat on the grill. But will the meat still be risky to eat?
Alternatively, how about first searing the meat quickly to kill any germs on the surface, and then keeping it at room temperature? Will this allow me to keep the meat at room temperature longer, and, most importantly, long enough for the enzymes in the meat to do their job?