How to Tenderize Meat Quickly
- Maurice E. Terry
Tough meats like brisket, chuck roast, flank steak, and hanger steak are less expensive than other counterparts but provide a great taste when cooked perfectly. However, you will not get that flavor without a little hard work. To get the awesome and delicious flavor, meats might be required in particular conditions. With the right procedure and technique, you will be able to tenderize any meat.
To tenderize means to soften the meat texture and to make it tastier and easier to break and chew. To do this, you need to break down the strong muscle fiber of the meat. Tenderize can be done in different ways. There are different meat tenderizer tools and machines available which you can use to tenderize your meat.
However, using a meat tenderizer machine cannot produce promising results, especially for the meats with tougher connective tissues and muscle fibers. You may also lose the juicy flavor if the meat is too much tenderized with a machine. Moreover, meat tenderizer tools and machines can be really expensive. From a slow cook to use of the brine, we have shown some quick ways about how to tenderize meat successfully without the use of a machine.
Step 1: Pound the Meat (Beat It)
Pounding the meat with a kitchen mallet or a meat tenderizer is one of the most popular ways. It will soften the meat to cut and eat easily. To do the pounding effectively sandwich the meat, then wrap the meat with wax paper or plastic wrap and start bating it. When the meat becomes soft, you can stop beating. To pound the meat, you can also use a weighted mallet, saucepans, rolling pins or skillets. Keep in mind that, over pounding may mush your meat making it disgusting to it.
Step 2: Use Acid Marinade
Acid is a strong material that can break down strong muscles of tough meat. To break down the strong muscle fibers, soak your meat in vinegar, lemon juice or yogurt marinade. Marinating will also produce a different surface flavor. However, do not marinate meat for too long as the acidic property can break down the protein structure of your meat making it too mushy. Based on the type of meats, soak it for 30 minutes to 120 minutes. The better option here is to check periodically if the meat is over soaked or not. Look for the edges and check if it looks like cooked meat or not. It is a sign that your meat is over soaked.
Step 3: Tender Your Meat with Kiwi
It might seem not worthy to use this technique, but this method works just fine. Kiwi and some other fruits like pineapple, Asian pears, and papaya have strong enzyme that can tenderize tough meat. Kiwi is the most considerable fruit here as it has most tenderizing effect with a neutral taste. Use two tablespoons of Kiwi juice for one full cup marinade. One hour to two hours is the good time to marinate your meat. This kiwi marinade works best with thinly cut hanger steaks, chicken thighs, and flank.
Step 4: Use Salt
Do you have any other ideas on how to tenderize meat apart from pounding and marinating? The use of salt has two benefits; it increases flavor and softens tough meats. Salts works in a similar way like meat tenderizer powders. With tougher meats like choice roasts and steaks, use salts to break down the tough proteins and muscle fiber. Instead of using an acidic marinade, give a salt coating over the tough meat before cooking and keep it that way for an hour or two. Then, you have to rinse with cold water and pat dry before start cooking. You will have softer and tender meat with a delicate taste.
Step 5: Knife Work
To make the meat tenderer you can use some knife tricks as well. One effective technique is scoring. Scoring involves in swallow cuts on the surface. You do not have to cut all the way through the meat. Just cut across over the surface of thinly cut meat like flank or steak. This method is highly effective to absorb marinades and salts. It will also cut down tough proteins from the surface area. So, if your meat is too tough to tender, give some knife work before marinating or salting.
Another technique is to cut the meat into slices across the grain. It is highly helpful to cut through the tough fibers and making shorter sizes so that they are easier to cook and chew.
Step 6: Slow Cook Your Meat
Meats with connective tissues and strong muscle fibers are tougher than ever. So, How to tenderize meats of this type? Another good way to tenderize meat is slow cook with low temperature for a very long time. A long slow cook with a slow cooker will break down connective tissues, collagen and tough fibers leaving more juicy and tender meat. Slow cook is particularly useful for chuck roast, bottom round and brisket if you want to remove the connective tissues.
These are the six easy and quick ways you can apply to tenderize tough meats. So, from now on, you can buy those inexpensive tough cut and make it more juicy and tender.
Tough meats are less expensive but offer a great taste if tenderized perfectly. After reading this article, we believe you have learned how to tenderize meat successfully. Although, you can use meat grinders to make tender ground meat, this not an option for a lot of people and ground meat is not always a requirement.
For tender, soft meat follow our guideline and we believe you will be able to make softer, juicier, and tenderer meat in the shortest time. For any queries, please write to us. You can also follow our website for more tips and tricks, amazing products lists and accessories.