6 Ways to Tenderize a Tough Cut of Meat

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Slow cooker roast beef successful nan slow cooker.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Tough cuts of meat, for illustration chuck roast, brisket, hanger steak, and flank steak, aren’t conscionable cheaper than their leaner counterparts — erstwhile cooked conscionable right, they present moreover much flavor. But you won’t get immoderate of that spirit without adding a fewer cardinal steps to their preparation. From a long, slow cook to nan power of a brine, present are six ways to get nan occupation done.

How to Tenderize a Tough Cut of Meat

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Pounding softens and tenderizes meat, making it easier to trim and eat. One of nan easiest — and cleanest — ways to do this is to sandwich nan nutrient betwixt a mates pieces of integrative wrap aliases wax insubstantial and lb it earlier cooking. A weighty room mallet is typically nan instrumentality of choice, but location are plentifulness of different items, for illustration rolling pins, saucepans, and skillets, that tin get nan occupation done.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

We season nutrient pinch salt for much than conscionable spirit — pinch tougher cuts, for illustration prime steaks and roasts, it helps break down nan proteins for a much tender texture. Instead of seasoning nutrient conscionable earlier cooking, springiness it a generous coating of brackish astir an hr earlier you’re fresh to get started. Then rinse nan nutrient nether cool water, pat dry, and get cooking.

3. Use an acidic marinade.

For tough, thinner cuts of steak for illustration skirt, hanger, and flank, and London broil, see an acidic marinade for much tender results (and much aboveground flavor!). For a marinade to activity its magic, it needs to incorporate acidic ingredients for illustration vinegar, citrus juice, wine, yogurt, buttermilk, aliases moreover soda to break down nan thin musculus fibers connected nan aboveground meat. This is champion reserved for thinner cuts of nutrient since only brackish has nan expertise to afloat penetrate meat. To forestall nan nutrient from becoming excessively mushy, do not marinate for much than 2 hours.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

4. Use kiwi, papaya, aliases pineapple

This conscionable mightiness sound a small retired there, but it works. Kiwi (along pinch papaya, pineapple, and Asian pears) incorporate enzymes that person a tenderizing effect connected reliable meat. Kiwi successful peculiar is simply a bully prime since it has nan astir neutral taste. A small goes a agelong way, truthful scheme connected up to 2 tablespoons per cup of marinade, and don’t marinate for excessively agelong aliases you’ll extremity up pinch mushy meat. Just for illustration immoderate different marinade, this useful champion pinch thinner cuts for illustration hanger steaks aliases thinly sliced chickenhearted thighs.

Just arsenic you’d score a duck breast aliases your holiday ham, do nan aforesaid pinch reliable flank and hanger steak. By making shallow cuts against nan atom successful 1 direction, past different group of cuts nan different way, immoderate of nan agelong musculus fibers are severed, leaving nan nutrient pinch a much tender bite. But support your expectations successful check, because scoring a reliable trim of steak surely isn’t going to move it into filet mignon.

Tough cuts of nutrient pinch tons of connective tissue, for illustration brisket, chuck roast, and bottommost round, are immoderate of nan champion choices for nan slow cooker. Cooked debased and slow for galore hours, nan collagen successful these reliable cuts yet breaks, leaving you pinch shreds of tender, juicy meat.

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