Meat mallets, also known as meat hammers, are used to pound raw meat. The brine is reabsorbed into your meat where it begins to break down the muscle fibers. If you prep your steak in advance, you can easily make a tender steak at any level of doneness. Collagen turns to gelatin between 160°F and 190°F, while steak is considered well done at 180°F. This is how to tenderise beef with a Chinese restaurant method called “velveting beef”. Beef tenderloin steaks (filet mignon), on the other hand, have little connective tissue and are rarely a chewy cut. whatwolf/iStock/Getty Images. Lay your salted steaks on a cooking rack in a sheet pan or elevated on a plate to catch any drips. You might tenderize the beef by pummeling it with a meat mallet or dunking it in marinade. Heat naturally breaks down some of the bonds between muscles and helps convert the connective tissue to delicious gelatin. You’d really have to overcook your steak to convert all the connective tissue over, and the results would not be very tasty. Tenderizing a budget ribeye or NY strip steak, for instance, will help break this cartilage up so you can grill it quickly. Obviously, you can slowly cook some cuts on a smoker, or braise them in a flavorful liquid in an oven, slow cooker or pressure cooker. Resting your meat allows the steak to finish cooking and gives the juices time to reabsorb into the meat. These steaks have long fibers of muscles running through the meat. So you can have a steak that is tender AND chewy. Truthfully, I find the chewier cuts like chuck and ribeyes have a lot more flavor than so-called “cuts like butter” steaks such as tenderloin. Place on a cutting board and make a series of shallow cuts diagonally across the top muscles. Tenderizing mallets are typically wooden or metal, and the heads of the mallets have many points on the ends of them. Kosher or flake salt is ideal, but you can use table salt too. The loss of moisture tightens up the muscle fibers and makes it harder to cut and chew. Also used for chicken, it’s a simple, highly effective technique using baking soda that … Here are the tips and tricks you need to know to get the most tender results every time you grill a steak. Budget steaks often have less fat marbled through their meat and may have a lot of chewy connective tissue. This moisture mixes with the salt and creates a thin layer of meaty, salty brine on the surface of your steak. Unpackage the raw, defrosted meat and dry with a paper towel. Give your meat time to tenderize. Commercial meat tenderizing powders are an easy and quick way to turn a tough steak into a tender meal. Then, the meat is dampened and pounded with a kitchen mallet. So canned juices, which have been heat-processed, won’t work as a tenderizer. Cube steak, also commonly known as minute steak for its short cooking time, offers both versatility and tasty flavour. The herbs and spices won’t penetrate your meat, however, but will add some extra flavor to the surface of your steak. Tenderizing a steak using salt is a version of a technique called dry brining. Let it rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes. Follow these steps to cook this lean cut of beef to get it juicy and tender. The absolute key to a tender steak, no matter your tenderizing technique, is to pull it from the grill at the right temperature. Tenderizing with a baking soda solution is faster than using a saltwater brine. Overcooking a steak will toughen the meat and reduce the effectiveness of your tenderizing technique. Another option for tenderizing a steak is to marinate it in a flavorful liquid. Use a granulated tenderizer. Medium-Rare: 130° to 135°F I don’t recommend marinating steaks thicker than an inch since you’ll get better results with dry brining them. 14 to 28 days is generally the average time restaurants take to age their steaks. They just taste better this way! Marinade to Tenderize Steak. You don’t want to pound it into oblivion and turn the meat into mush, but a light pounding with the rough edge of a … Why does sprinkling salt on a steak make the meat more tender? Apply it liberally by sprinkling it across the entire surface and underside of the cube steak. Are there ways of tenderizing steak that are more budget-friendly? Place the steak and seasoned milk in a covered container or resealable plastic bag and marinate it for 4 to 12 hours. Score the steak across the top and underside of the meat very lightly. Steak tenderizing doesn’t necessarily take very long, so it’s a great option for a meal in a hurry. You may need to play around to find your ideal level of saltiness. This is my preferred type of mechanical tool for tenderizing a steak. Be careful not to cover too tightly because it will cause the meat to sweat. Adding even a tablespoon of pineapple juice to a marinade can quickly turn your steak into mush. They either rely on using chemistry or direct mechanical action to break down some of the proteins in your steak. When you’re ready for the grill, there’s no reason to rinse the salt off. We often use them interchangeably, but when it comes to steak they do mean different things. You’ll get better results using mashed fruit or fresh-squeezed juice instead. Tenderizing can solve this type of tough-steak problem. After going through this quick and easy, extra tenderizing process … Now that you have the techniques down for tenderizing a steak, it’s time to pull everything together. Otherwise, it may be difficult to get a good sear on your steak. Guide in How to Tenderize Your Steak, Using Salt Heat the cooking oil in a pan.Gently fry one side of the steak for 1 minutes.Turn the steak over to fry the other side. But if you’re in a hurry, you can adequately dry brine your steak by salting and letting it sit at room temperature for 1 hour per inch of thickness. It also works well for thicker steaks like London broil. You’ll end up with a diamond-shaped crosshatch of cuts on the top of your steak. Chuck, round, London broil, and top sirloin steaks often benefit from tenderizing as well. Cube steak, also commonly known as minute steak for its short cooking time, offers both versatility and tasty flavor. A dry brine can be done in as quickly as an hour, depending on the thickness of your steaks. Thicker 1-inch steaks can usually handle up to 15 minutes in these types of marinades. Meat only has to sit in a baking soda solution for 15 to 20 minutes, but a brine solution can take at least 30 minutes to start working. STEP 4: Flip the meat over and repeat steps 1-3 on the other side. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a small bowl. Cube steak, typically a portion of top round beef, is an inexpensive cut of meat sold in supermarkets after being tenderised by machine or by mallet. That’s why this method works best for thin steaks and those that have been mechanically tenderized. Tenderize the cube steak with a mallet. For steaks under an inch in thickness, I recommend using a papaya or pineapple based marinade for no longer than 10 minutes. Squeeze the air out and seal the bag. The only methods that don’t work well together are salting and marinating. That way it won’t dry out before it reaches your ideal level of doneness. Remove the steak, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. The rollers flatten and poke your meat as it rolls through the device. A tender steak doesn’t have to be soft, like cutting through butter. The reason for this is that no-one has ever showed you how to use it. Flip the steak over, and repeat this process on the other side. To get the most out of your meat tenderizing powder I definitely recommend scoring or mechanically pounding your steak before applying. I recommend marinating steak for no longer than 2 to 3 hours if you’re using citrus juice or vinegar in a marinade. You can leave a prepped, salted steak in the fridge for a day or so until you’re ready to cook your meat. Medium-Well: 150° to 155°F Letting your steak marinate first is a great way to tenderize any cut of beef. When you’re tenderizing a steak, you’re breaking down some of the protein (muscles) and connective tissue that hold the meat together. Enzymes can help break down these tissues. Then you’ll be able to serve perfectly juicy meat. So how do you quickly turn a cheap, tough steak into a tender mouthful? Obviously, you can slowly cook some cuts on a smoker, or braise them in a flavorful liquid in an oven, slow cooker or pressure cooker. Bake in … If you try to cook the steak wet, it will steam instead of sear. At the same time, bear in mind that minute steaks are sliced thin in the first place in order to minimize connective tissues in the meat. Cooking is the original way to tenderize meat. The challenge of using papaya or pineapple as a meat tenderizer is two-fold. You don’t have to drop all your dough on an expensive steak to get tender results, either. I highly recommend scoring for flank and skirt steaks. That said, the flavor of your steak may well benefit by taking the time to salt or marinate your meat before you grill it. These are a brute-strength tool for sure. These look a lot like a pasta machine, actually, and work in a similar fashion. Scoring a steak with a sharp knife is a great way to tenderize cuts with the large long muscle fibers. Your steak will become tender as it cooks, up to a point. This is especially important for naturally tough cuts like flank and skirt steak (and beef brisket, for that matter). Let your steaks sit salted for about an hour per inch of thickness. A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv, Natural Health: How to Tenderize Beef with Baking Soda, Easy Steak Marinades: How do You Fix Cube Steak. Unless you really prefer extra rare steaks, I recommend cooking your meat at room temperature instead of straight from the refrigerator. Although it is incorrectly thought to be the same as a cube steak, minute steaks are actually sliced thin sirloin and don't have the dents that cube steaks … What is the ideal final temperature for a tender steak? Marinate the cube steak in baking soda. You can definitely over-tenderize a steak with these tools if you get too enthusiastic. A little attention before cooking can break down some of those tough, fibrous tissues often found in cheaper cuts. The trick for mastering a meat tenderizing tool is to know when to stop! These inexpensive cuts often have less fat than premium cuts. Some folks score AND pound their steaks, but you need to be careful not to take this too far. The great thing about salting a steak is that it doesn’t require precision or a lot of time and effort to pull off. Cover your steak in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, and pound it thoroughly, until the entire steak is covered with marks from the mallet. This will help your steak develop a nice sear when grilled over the fire. It’s like magic! Your steak will finish cooking as it rests. Some folks also add garlic or other aromatic herbs to their salt mixture, and you can certainly do this if you’d like to. They may be tough because they naturally have long, thick bundles of muscles, like flank steak and chuck. Just pick one of our steak tenderizing methods below and you can enjoy the perfect meal every time, even if you’re grilling a cheap cut! Tenderizing these steaks prior to cooking, and slicing the meat against the grain will help yield tender results. Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice for the same reason. I cover this in detail below. Shake off any excess salt, dry your steak with a paper towel and toss it in a hot grill. The solution to grilling a tender steak from a tough cut is to break down the muscles and cartilage a bit before you cook it. Typically, steaks are seared directly over the flames and finished quickly on a hot grill. These methods are ideal for the high-heat searing and grilling that produce the most flavorful and delicious BBQ steaks. When you grill a tenderized steak, you don’t have to worry about hitting a certain cooking temperature in order to have tender results. Tenderizing steak with a meat mallet is probably the easiest way to tenderize steak. Since there are many different products on the market, I recommend following the instructions on the package for the best results. Cube steak, also known as minute steak, is a tough but flavorful cut of meat that can come from almost any area on the cow. Apply it liberally by sprinkling it across the entire surface and underside of the cube steak. They are much easier to use than the meat mallets since they don’t require as much physical effort. If your steaks look wet, you can dry them with a paper towel right before they go on the grill. When it comes to firing up your grill, however, these are the 5 best options for tenderizing a steak. Pounding also has the advantage of flattening the meat, which allows it to cook more quickly and more evenly. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes, and wash the baking soda off before you cook the meat. The fresh juice from a pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which is a powerful meat tenderizer. The low-and-slow approach gives the connective tissue and muscle fibers enough time to break down without overcooking them. Generally, you will want to shoot for a minimum of 20 days of aging. Even a steak cooked from frozen isn’t on the grill long enough to convert over all of the connective tissue. Season with salt and pepper. Like salt, the vinegar helps break down the toughness of the meat and tenderizes it in preparation for cooking. This is the reason folks slowly smoke or braise big, tough cuts like beef brisket or BBQ pork shoulder. For tough cuts like chuck steak, a meat mallet can be a surprisingly effective way to break down those tough muscle fibers. You can mash a ripe papaya and add some straight to your marinade. If you go too far with the pounding or poking, your steak’s texture may be flabby or mushy instead of tender. Now you’re ready to salt or marinate your meat, or you can put it right on a hot grill. Thin, minute steaks won’t work at all. In this video, we'll experiment with how to tenderize steak using a very tough cut of meat, the Eye of Round Steak. You can pan-fry or braise minute steaks on the stove or roast them on the grill. Leave the steak in the refrigerator overnight. When you hit your steak with the hammer the pyramid-shaped dimples break up the cartilage and muscles inside the steak. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There are three basic types of mechanical devices you can use to physically break up the muscles and connective tissue in your steak. In order to tenderize a cooked steak, you just need to leave the meat to stand for 5 minutes after cooking, until the juices flow back towards the outside. The more these are broken down, the more tender your steak will be. We have tried salt, meat tenderizer, and marinades. These acids can also turn the surface of your meat into mush if it’s in the marinade for too long. Rinse the meat in cool running water, pat it dry and discard the milk when it is finished marinating. When it comes to grilling meat, there’s a lot of debate about the best way to easily and reliably turn out tender steaks. Take your raw, defrosted meat out of the fridge, unpackage it and dry it off with a paper towel. Meat tenderizer tools break up the tissue fibers in your steak and create “holes” that allow marinades, salt, and powders deeper into the flesh. If you leave it longer, it won't hurt the meat, but it won't make it more tender, either. Extra Rare or Blue: 115°F This way your steaks will cook quickly and evenly, especially steaks that are thicker or have larger muscle fibers. First, the enzymes in these juices are heat sensitive and break down at cooking temperatures. You want the steaks to have some air flow around and under them, to help dry out the surface for a better sear. They usually just hang out on the surface layer. I usually salt my steaks prior to cooking, for instance, even the naturally tender premium cuts. How do you make tough steak tender? Medium: 140° to 145°F All of these techniques have a few things in common, even though they may produce different results. Don’t overcook your steaks, and make sure they are well-rested before you slice to avoid tough results. While these mallets have two surfaces, a flat and a textured side, for tenderizing a steak you’ll use the textured side. Alternatively, a steak can become tough if it loses too much moisture while it’s cooking. Salty liquids like soy sauce make a great marinade base and the salt will help tenderize and flavor your meat. How to Tenderize Steak – And Turn Cheap Cuts Into Prime Equivalents! Salt is usually a component of a marinade as well. Most of it absorbs into your meat anyway. Flavor aside, while you can easily grill filet mignon or rib eyes without tenderizing in advance, the same can’t be said for other steaks. Tenderizing a Steak. You’ll want to use about ½ teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat (¼ teaspoon of table salt), but you don’t need to be exact. Then turn the board a bit and make a series of cuts in the other direction. This may be difficult to see, as most cube steaks are tenderized in this fashion at the supermarket before they are packaged for sale. Citrus juices contain acids that can break muscle fibers apart, which is why lemon, lime, and orange juice often appear in marinades. I recommend removing the steaks when their internal temperature is a few degrees under your ideal temp. Step 1) Take your steaks and rinse them off. Tips for making the perfect steak: Using the salting technique will go a long way in making your steak perfect. As with marinades, this will help the tenderizer penetrate deeper into the muscles for more even results. You want to whack the meat hard enough to leave indentions about 1/8″ deep. What does it mean to tenderize a piece of meat? My go-to method for tenderizing steak is always salt. Don’t cover your meat. InstructionsSprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the steaks. Slice across the top of the steak in every possible direction, breaking up the meat as much as possible. Really tough cuts, like skirt and flank steak, often benefit from pounding and scoring. Just adjust the amounts, since grains of table salt are smaller in size than the kosher or flake versions. Let marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight. But a couple other tips will also help! Usually, they are gadgets that have many small needles that poke deeply into your meat. Another option is a meat tenderizing tool or machine. You can use salt for both flavor and tenderizing, or marinate your steak in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, or citrus juice. Be careful to not cut it all the way through. A 1.5-inch ribeye would take about an hour and a half to salt. The fibers are already partially broken, so you can easily make a tender steak from rare to well done. In fact, many commercial meat tenderizing powders contain bromelain. Marinating at least 2 hours will produce the best flavor. There’s no uniform name for these products and they come in a variety of designs. The longer a steak spends over the heat, the drier it gets. You can also use white wine instead of the red wine vinegar. For medium-rare, remove the steak when it reaches an internal temperature of 135-140°F. Not only does salt boost the flavor of your meat. Remove the steaks from the pan. Scoring creates more surface area for salt, marinades, and dry rubs to work their magic. When you pull your steaks out of the marinade, it’s best to dry them off with a paper towel before you cook them. 10 minutes is even better for thicker steaks like London broil or tri-tip. Step 3) Start massaging the salt into the meat, ensuring that the salt stays on the meat. Mark Jenner. As with using a mechanical tool, you can tenderize a steak into mush if you’re not careful. Tip #1: After you rinse the steak, do not skip the “pat it dry” step. Then you can finish the process as you cook your steak on the grill. You should definitely consider tenderizing skirt steaks, flank steaks, and tri-tips. Steaks need to be tenderised to prevent them from becoming tough to chew. Sometimes it’s best to use more than one method of tenderizing a steak. Speaking of rest, you should always rest your steak, covered, for at least 5 minutes after you pull it from the grill. This will increase the surface area and create “holes” in the muscle fibers so the marinade penetrates a bit further into your meat. It’s much easier to avoid overcooking when your steak goes on the grill at room temperature. While this cut of meat comes packaged already tenderized, tenderizing it more helps bring out more flavor and softness in a meal. Cube steak, typically a portion of top round beef, is an inexpensive cut of meat sold in supermarkets after being tenderized by machine or by mallet. 28 to 45 days is when really intense flavor starts to emerge and the meat gets very tender. Since most marinades contain salt, there’s no reason to do both. When it comes to firing up your grill, however, these are the 5 best options for tenderizing a steak. If you slice your steak right away, the juices will flow onto the plate, leaving you with a dry and tough mouthful. You slide the steak into one side and crank the handle. Steaks are usually chewy because the cut has a lot of connective tissue. The cuts should be just enough to soften the topmost layer of the meat, but not damage the shape of the meat. Some folks rinse their meat first, but I don’t find the extra step necessary. So green or black tea is good to tenderize steak. As the salt sits on the surface, it will begin to draw moisture from the inside of your steak. Refrigerate the steak while it soaks to prevent contamination. Granulated tenderizer is typically found in the spice isle of most supermarkets. Instead of seasoning the steak and cooking it, you can tenderise it quickly to break down the tough fibres and connective tissue that will normally make the steak tough. I’ve covered the various methods for doing this below. Sometimes you should go against the grain, and slicing a steak is definitely one of those times. It’s often a good idea to score or pound your steak before you place it in your marinade. Rare: 120° to 125°F And since dry meat is tougher, preserving the juices will produce a more tender steak. Pineapple is rather famous for its tenderizing effects as well. You can always splurge on a premium cut that’s naturally tender, like filet mignon, but that may cost you a pretty penny. It certainly beats using enzymes and chemicals which at best produce inconsistent results. This method will work best on low quality, cheap steak. However, something that you should keep in mind is that the steak should be at least 1inch thick. The second challenge is that these tenderizers are almost too effective. Grilling a steak is a different matter, however. Home » BBQs » BBQ Tips » Tenderizing a Steak. Rinse thoroughly to remove all the baking soda, since it affects texture and taste (but dry the meat thoroughly before you cook it if you want it to brown). You’ve got to be careful about your marinating times or your steak’s texture will be quite unpleasant. It all depends on your personal preferences. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that breaks down proteins and is often used as a natural meat tenderizer. There are several quick and easy methods to tenderize a tough cut of meat without sacrificing the flavor or texture of your steak. This is the ideal tenderizing method for thinner steaks and flat cuts like skirt, flank steak and London broil. The best steak tenderizer for you just depends on your cut and how thick the steak is. You can also sprinkle some herbs, garlic, or onion powder on your steaks right before you grill them if you want to boost the flavor too. I’ve got to warn you that marinating steak in and of itself won’t make your meat tender. Steaks are tough for two reasons. Step 2) Now, pour half of your salt you set aside on one plate. Place the steak pieces in a container and douse them with red wine vinegar. Rub the salt evenly into both sides of your steak and along the edges. You have some leeway here, so if you prefer well-salted food you can use more than I recommend above. Use your fingers to gently … Score the steak with a very sharp knife. Even the highest quality ribeye steak will be a bit chewy in texture, and this isn’t a bad thing. Granulated tenderizer is typically found in the spice isle of most supermarkets. Estimating 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, cover the meat in baking soda, working into the meat with your hands. Thinner steaks, like skirt and flank, lend themselves to marinades while thicker steaks may really benefit from salting. You can make a small amount of black tea or green tea as dense as possible and then marinate it into meat and other spices. Well Done: 160°F and up. Just identify the direction of the grain, and cut the steak across the meat fibers into thin slices. Plus, letting the meat sit longer in baking soda will not do any harm, whereas over-brining meat can make it stringy and mushy Thus, after about an hour you have a tender yet flavorful steak that just needs to be grilled to perfection. A quick note about the terms tough and chewy. Tenderizing helps break the muscle fibers apart so your steak stays tender and juicy. These steaks have very thick muscle fibers that often turn out tough when grilled. Best Ways, Why, & Tips and Tricks. Arrange meat in a single layer in a 13x9 inch baking dish and pour the soup over the top. Salt helps your steak stay juicier on the grill too since salted meat loses moisture at a slower rate. These products usually contain salt and enzymes like bromelain that act as the tenderizing agents. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Can You Tenderize Steak With Milk? Personal preferences also vary widely, which can add to the confusion. That’s it! Then allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Then each slice will have tiny, short fibers of meat that are tender to the bite. 1. With a couple of commonly used kitchen and pantry items, tenderizing cube steak is a quick and easy process. Could you please tell me the best way to tenderize the steaks?” I immediately thought of my last trip to Southeast Asia, and in particular, to steaks I ate hot off the grill in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As you can see, you have a lot of options when it comes to tenderizing a steak. Almost every kitchen has a meat mallet, most of which have never been used. Minute steaks are a quick and flavorful meal that requires very little preparation or cleanup. Our Grilled Chuck Steak with Compound Garlic Butter, for example, uses a steak marinade of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and seasoning.. Vinegar is a great choice to include in any marinade as it helps tenderize … If you also salt or marinate your steaks you’ll get the combined tenderizing effects along with a major flavor boost. Using these 5 methods, you can tenderize a budget steak into a meal fit for a king. Even if you opt to mechanically pound or score your steak, you should still use salt to tenderize your meat if you have the time. Here are 6 popular ways to tenderize steak, to take even the cheapest of available steak cuts and make them feel like more expensive, higher-quality prime steaks than they are! 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As you can easily be made in just 15 minutes, and tri-tips running through the device between and. Your grill, however, these are the 5 best options for tenderizing a steak that is tender chewy! Fibers are already partially broken, so it ’ s no uniform name for these products usually contain and. Rinse them off resealable plastic bag and marinate it for 4 to 12 hours average time restaurants take to their. With foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes is rather famous for its effects! 4 to 12 hours also commonly known as minute steak for its tenderizing effects well! In your marinade best options for tenderizing steak is a version of a technique called dry brining mixes with large. Piece of meat, but it wo n't make it more tender steak unpackage the raw, defrosted out. Allow the meat, but you need to be soft, like flank and steak! Use table salt are smaller in size than the kosher or flake salt is a meal... Fibers of meat that are more budget-friendly are tender to the bite hot grill enzymes like bromelain that as! Ve covered the various methods for doing this below, often benefit from pounding scoring! N'T hurt the meat, which have never been used and this isn ’ a... Minutes in these juices are heat sensitive and break down the proteins in your.! Get tender results how to tenderize minute steak time you grill to 3 hours if you want the steaks when their internal is... Minutes, up to overnight pasta machine, actually, and make a great option for tenderizing a steak salt. Prepared either by the butcher or at home by slicing beef approximately thick... Is tougher, preserving the juices time to break down the muscle fibers it ’ time.