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How To Tenderize Beef?

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Pounding the beef with a meat tenderizer is a good technique to tenderize tough cuts of beef Tender cuts of Beef can at times be very expensive; at such times, knowing how to tenderize the tougher cuts of beef can be very useful. Tenderizing beef not only saves money but also allows one to use high temperature cooking techniques like grilling and broiling on tougher cuts of beef. There are many methods used to tenderize beef, some traditional and others innovative, I have explained each of these methods here, so read on and find out more about beef tenderization.


Mechanical methods: Beef maybe tenderized using mechanical means like pounding, cutting, or slicing. These actions result in breaking the meat protein fibers that make the beef tough, thus tenderizing the beef. To tenderize beef using this method, lay the meat piece on a cutting board and pound it with a meat tenderizer or a meat mallet. 


Enzymatic methods: Many naturally occurring enzymes like bromelin from pineapples, ficcin from figs, papain from papaya, or trypsin from pancreas, are known to breakdown the tough connective tissues of the meat and thus tenderize the meat. Marinating the beef in fresh pineapple juice and wrapping the meat in papaya leaves are examples of traditional methods of tenderizing beef. You can also purchase dry enzyme extracts and use it as a dry rub to tenderize the meat. Enzyme injections prove to be most effective in tenderizing particularly large cuts of tough beef.


Marinating: Certain ingredients used in the marinades, like wine, vinegar, and mop sauce have a tenderizing effect on the beef. When marinating a tough cut of beef, you need to allow the beef to sit in the marinade for at least 12 hrs (to ensure the marinade effectively penetrates the beef and tenderizes it). Due to the long time taken, it is a good idea to marinate the beef in refrigerator. Also, do not be tempted to reuse the marinade liquid, either just discard it or boil it well and use it as a basting liquid or part of the gravy.


Salt/Baking soda: Both salt and baking soda have a tenderizing effect on meat. For this sprinkle 1 tsp of baking soda or salt for every pound of beef and rub it in using your fingers. Let the beef soak in the baking soda or salt for 2 hr to 3 hrs (depending on the size of the cut) and rinse the meat. Rinsing is necessary to prevent a salty or soda like taste in your cooked meat. 


So these are just some of the ways to tenderize beef. However, to get best results it is advisable to cook the beef quickly using a high heat cooking technique soon after tenderizing the meat. For some great tender beef recipes visit

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shahid's picture
frutilady's picture
How To Tenderize Beef?