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10 Ways to Tenderize Meat

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There’s nothing more frustrating as digging your teeth into a sturdy piece of meat. It can take the air out of the fun outdoor grilling moments. This unfortunate experience can happen to any of us, but it does not mean you have to suffer the experience.

It does not suggest splurging on a tender cut every time you are at the meat store. They can sometimes be quite expensive. What if I said that there were several ways that you could make that tough meat tender and sweet? Unbelievable?

Well, you understand the implications that would have on your wallet, and of course, your poor teeth.

You no longer have to seek assurance from the meat vendor because you will know how to make any piece of meat palatable.

Using Acid

Marinating tough meat in acid can make it tender. That means you don’t always have to get the electric meat grinder because you are not sure whether the meat is soft or not.

The most effective marinade to soften the proteins includes lime juice, yogurt, lemon juice, buttermilk, or vinegar. Make sure not to leave the meat too long in the marinade, or it will be too marshy and unenjoyable. The key is to aim for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. You can keep on checking to make sure that it does not get too soft.

If it looks cooked around the edges, then the meat is ready for cooking, and it is going to be enjoyable for everyone.

Mush it with a Mallet

To many people, this method may seem crude, and even surprising. Yes, few would have expected the meat to get tender after mushing it with a mallet. But it works.

The downside of pounding the meat is that it can get too soft. There’s no way of knowing whether the pounding is enough or not. If you are not cool with this method, there are other ways of making the meat tender before you make the meat sauces that you love so much.

Using the mallet is only applicable if you want to fly or sautee the meat quickly. Don’t use this technique if you’re going to grill the beef as it will have lost its integrity, and may not cook as efficiently as you would like.


You can also choose the more traditional method of using salt. The trick is to salt the meat heavily and leaving it for about an hour or so. The salt will breakdown the dense and tight muscles that make the meat so hard for the kids.

When ready to prepare the dish, wash off the salt, and then it will be soft as you want to be. The method is easy and saves you from dipping into the wallet too deep to afford better cuts.

Using Enzymes

Certain fruits such as the Asian pear, kiwi, pineapple, and papaya contain enzymes, and that can be quite effective in tenderizing the meat. Just concoct a marinade with any of the fruits, and add your favorite spices to it to gift the beef with a particular kick of flavor that everybody will applaud. But try not to leave the meat too long in the pineapple marinade as it can work a bit too well.

Slow Cooking

Slow cooking the meat can be quite useful if you have the patience, and you don’t mind the amount of energy it is going to cost you. But really, it would not be quite significant not to make the exercise worthwhile.

The heat will break down the tough collagen, muscles, and fibers to leave you with soft meat that even small babies will enjoy. For this method, you can use a slow cooker and the best Bluetooth meat thermometer to make sure that the temperatures are right. The wireless meat smoker thermometer will also be applicable if smoking the meat.


You can make that meat bend to your chewing will with clever slicing tricks. For example, making shallow cuts on the surface of the meat helps with the marinating process.

Also, you can use the knife tricks by cutting thin pieces of meat across the grain when cooked. This trick makes it easy to chew by making the tendons or collagen short, and easy to break with your teeth.

Dry aging

This method uses the meat’s enzymes to tenderize it. The process requires wrapping the meat with a layer of cheesecloth and putting it close to the fan of the refrigerator. Keep turning the meat, and it will be soft after cooking. Unfortunately, you will need to trim the outer layer, and together with moisture loss, it can reduce the meat by up to 30%. The method is not appropriate for small pieces.

Aging works well with large pieces of pork or beef.

Using baking soda

 Baking soda is also useful in breaking the protein bonds, but the method is not for everyone. A solution of baking soda – tablespoon in a container of water will do the trick. Dip the meat inside it.

Let the beef or pork sit for about 20 minutes, and wash it to remove the baking soda. Make sure to rinse thoroughly as traces of baking soda can interfere with the flavor and the texture of the meat.

Allowing the Meat to Rest

Some experts argue that allowing the meat some time to rest after removing it from the heat allows it time to absorb its juices and enzymes and that further tenderize it. Don’t be quick to slice it into pieces after getting it from the oven.

Letting the meat sit in room temperature

The method works best with lean meat cuts such as grass-fed beef. In most cases, overcooking this kind of meat may not be applicable. Allow the beef to sit in room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking, and it will do it better and more evenly. Sometimes you don’t have to use complicated marinating processes to force a piece of meat into submission. It can be as modest as letting the meat sit for some time before cooking.

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10 Ways to Tenderize Meat

About Faisal Khan

Hi, I am Faisal Khan from California. I am a shop owner and blogger. Blogging is my hobby actually. I usually love to do camping at different places. In this blog, I will write about some kitchen appliances.

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