Tips on Making Tough Meat Tender

beef slices


You probably have experienced a situation where you tried a new recipe or bought an unfamiliar cut of meat, and you ended up with a tough, chewy meal. It is such a big embarrassment if you had hosted guests for a meal, and feels wasteful too. The truth is that tenderizing meat is not as hard as you might think, and with a little extra effort, you can have super tender meat from unfamiliar cuts. Besides, you can check out how to cook a beef steak to learn an excellent method of cooking beef and other kinds of meat that undoubtedly leaves them so tender.

So what are some of the ways that you can use to tenderize tough meat?

Using Marinade

meat in marinadeSome cuts such as flank and skirt steak are tough that you wouldn’t want to eat them except with a bit of marinade action. The two cuts are also great for grilling, so it would only mean you have to tenderize them to enjoy them grilled. You can use acidic additives such as vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk to break the tough proteins and make them have a ‘pre-cook’ before placing them on the grill.

Additionally, the acidic ingredient will add flavor to the meat, so if it were a cheap, tough, and flavorless cut, it would be flavorful and easy to eat. However, you must be careful not to keep the meat in the acidic marinade for long, or else it will become so soft and mushy. Marinating it for 30 minutes to 2 hours should be enough.

Cooking it Low-and-Slow

You can sear the pricey cuts rapidly over high temperatures. However, most of the cheap cuts, such as the chuck roast or pork shoulder, need low and slow cooking methods. With braising of these tough cuts, you must allow the collagen to break down in the cooking liquid to let the tough fiber muscles separate. The tough cuts will need four of five times more than the costly ones to be well cooked.

Using Salt

using salt to tenderizeYou might not be aware that salt can help to tenderize tough meat. It would help to salt the meat before cooking regardless of whether you are marinating it or not. The use of salt is because it draws moisture from within the meat and concentrates the flavors, thus making a natural brine.

The evidence for the meat getting tender is that it starts getting a more deep, red color. And the beauty of salt is that you can apply it for up to 24 hours before cooking, which is unlike the case with marinades.