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Tips on Tenderizing Meat

Mastering the skill of tenderizing meat can mean the difference between an enjoyable meal and a tough-to-chew hunk of meat. From wagyu beef to pork loin, the best cuts of meat are those that have been tenderized. If you go to any of the best restaurants and order a meat dish it will be easy to chew and full of flavor because they make the effort to tenderize the meat.

However, this is not always the case when you purchase inexpensive cuts from supermarkets, which is why it is important to tenderize the meat. The same goes for when it comes to meal kits. Read meal kit reviews to ensure the meat provided is tenderized, if indeed included. If not, it’s your job to do this! Let’s take a look at the different ways you can do this…

Tips On Tenderizing Meat

Tenderizing Meat with Enzymes

The first method involves using foods that contain enzymes that will break down the muscle tissue in the meat. This includes enzyme-rich foods, such as kiwi, pineapple and ginger, as well as acidic foods, for example, wine, yogurt and vinegar, and also citrus fruits, like limes and lemons.

If you follow this approach you will need to create a marinade, using either one or several of the ingredients that have been mentioned. You should then marinate the meat for anything from two to 24 hours, depending on the strength of the marinade. Another option is to purchase a meat tenderizer to sprinkle on top. These tend to be enzyme based and therefore they have a similar effect.

Of course, be careful with this technique. I once cooked chicken in a pineapple and when I pulled the dish out of the oven, the chicken was mush!

Tenderize Your Meat with Muscle

If you don’t want to follow this process, then you could tenderize the meat by pounding it instead. This works really well with skirt steak, round steak, and flank steak. You should begin by getting rid of the excess fat. Don’t cut it all off, as you will need to leave some for flavor. Once you have done this, pop the meat in the freezer for approximately half an hour. You don’t want the meat to freeze, but you want it to get cold.

After half an hour has passed, take the meat out of the freezer and place it on a chopping board. This is vital to protect your kitchen counter. The last thing you want is to whack your worktop with a steel mallet. Now you can use the mallet to tenderize the meat. Simply pound the meat on both sides until it is nice and tender. This approach is effective because it breaks down the fibers, which will make it much easier to chew.

Tenderizing meat is one of the most important processes for cooking steak effectively, empowering you to enjoy the best, most flavorful meat. These two processes mentioned above are highly effective and you will immediately notice the difference if you do not usually tenderize meat before cooking it.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.