According to our trusty “Food Lover’s Companion,” there are three ways you can tenderize meat chemically: long, slow cooking; use of a commercial meat tenderizer (Ac’cent is perhaps the best-known brand); or marinating in an acid-based marinade that contains enzymes, which break down connective tissue.
Salt as Natural Meat Tenderizer
Salt and its alkaline cousin, baking soda, both break down proteins in beef. A thick coating of kosher salt, sea salt or baking soda applied one hour before cooking will draw water from the meat, allowing some of the salt or soda to sink into the beef. This improves the meat’s texture.
Acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt and wine weaken collagen and protein in meat. Once the proteins are broken by acid, one loose protein can bond with another and trap liquid in the meat, making it juicy and tender.
You may need some sweetness and acidity to bring up the tough meat. Simmer in liquid. Just like for burnt meat, if your meat gets tough and dry then you can simmer it in a little bit of broth for a couple minutes. Don’t allow it to overcook again but just allow the liquid to penetrate the meat.
How to Make It. Just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to your cooking liquids and your roasts, stew meats, and steaks will come out tender and juicy every time. Another option is to pierce your meat all over with a fork and then soak it in vinegar for 1 to 2 hours before you cook it.
Instead of buying processed tenderizer, fruit juice can be used to tenderize the meat. Marinating the meat in pineapple juice or papaya juice will break down the meat fibers, and the flavor normally cooks off during grilling.
Acidic ingredients in marinades like vinegar, wine and lemon juice will tenderise meat by denaturing or unwinding the long protein in the muscle. In fact, if you leave an acidic marinade on a piece of meat for a long time, it will eventually break down all the proteins – leaving behind a mushy mess.
Basically, salting a steak is a form of “dry brining”. Salt will draw the water out of the meat. The water dissolves the salt and then some gets reabsorbed back into the meat, ala osmosis. … When the salt is absorbed into the meat, it breaks down the protein cells and helps tenderize the meat.
This may sound weird, but stay with us. As Cook’s Illustrated explains, baking soda alkalizes the meat’s surface, making it harder for the proteins to bond and thereby keeping the meat tenderer when cooked. ④ Cook as desired, then bite into a seriously tender piece of meat. …
You can also use baking soda to tenderize chicken and pork. But baking powder has an effect on poultry skin (more on this later). … The general rule is 1 teaspoon baking soda per pound of meat when using it as a tenderizer. For individual tender steaks, like a rib-eye, stick to a marinade or a commercial meat tenderizer.
Marinating your BBQ dishes with olive oil can help tenderize meat, as well as make the meat juicy and full of flavor.
Marinating your meats in apple cider vinegar can work to tenderize them, as long as you don’t add too much vinegar and don’t marinate them too long (it’s very acidic, so prolonged exposure can break down the fibers in the meat and turn it to mush).
Onions contain proteolytic enzymes, just like honey and certian fruits, which makes them ideal to help tenderize meat. They are a very common type of vegetable that’s low in calories, and have a place in nearly every cuisine around the world.
If you are including a few teaspoons or tablespoons of vinegar in an overall marinade that also has olive oil and other less acidic liquids, and the steak is not completely submerged, the standard 24 hours should be safe. White vinegar is usually recommended for this length of margination though.
Velveting meat is a Chinese cooking technique used in Chinese restaurants. The process of velveting is one where you marinate raw meat in cornstarch and egg white or bicarbonate of soda to give it a soft, slippery, velvety texture.
Yes, Worcestershire sauce is a great meat tenderizer. It has vinegar in it, which breaks down the meat fibers. It’s highly concentrated, so it penetrates deep into the steak for more flavor.
When boiling beef, simmer the liquid rather than cooking at a full boil. Your meat will cook more slowly and may take longer, but will be tender, tastier and retain more nutrients.
Once a protein source reaches your stomach, hydrochloric acid and enzymes called proteases break it down into smaller chains of amino acids. Amino acids are joined together by peptides, which are broken by proteases. From your stomach, these smaller chains of amino acids move into your small intestine.
It brings out meat’s natural flavors and also tenderizes it by breaking down myosin, a tough protein found in meat, just like in a good brine. … Just like salt, soy sauce is a flavor enhancer and builder. It is rich in glutamates, which makes meat taste more savory and improves juiciness.
Any acidic liquid will help tenderize meat and also infuse flavor. … You can also add other flavors like minced garlic, rosemary, basil, or sliced onions. Just cover the meat with the marinade and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to overnight. The tougher the cut, the longer it needs to marinate.
Some of the most popular cuts of beef (skirt steak, flank steak) are tough and chewy unless exposed to sugar, which is a natural tenderizer.
As a marinade for meat, fish or seafood, it tenderizes. … Used in place of water as the simmering liquid, beer brings out all the richness of the meat and vegetables. The alcohol evaporates in the cooking, leaving only the delicate flavors to intrigue the diner.
If you don’t even have that kind of time to spare, your best route is to just salt the meat directly before cooking. The logic here is that 40 minutes gives your meat the time to reabsorb its liquid and any amount of time before that just makes your steak wetter.
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