How To Tenderize A Steak Before Grilling

My favorite method for tenderizing a steak to get that restaurant tender steak is with a meat mallet. It helps break down the tough fibers in the steak and makes it more tender.

There are, however, many other ways to tenderize steak.

Ways of Tenderizing

Tenderizing raw steak before grilling
  1. Pound it with a meat mallet.
  2. Marinate it in acidic liquids like vinegar or lemon juice.
  3. Use a commercial meat tenderizer powder.
  4. Score the surface with a sharp knife.
  5. Use a meat tenderizing tool with small blades.
  6. Tenderize it with a fork by piercing it all over.
  7. Utilize a natural enzyme tenderizer like papaya or kiwi.
  8. Opt for cuts with more marbling or fat content.
  9. Cook it low and slow with moist heat methods.
  10. Let it rest after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.

Tenderizing Marinades

Tenderizing Steak with Marinade

Marinating your steak is a classic and effective method for tenderization. Choose a marinade that includes acidic elements like vinegar, citrus, or yogurt. The acid helps break down tough muscle fibers, infusing the meat with flavor.

Marination Tips:

  • Time Matters: Allow your steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours, or even overnight for optimal results.
  • Add Depth: Enhance your marinade with herbs, spices, and garlic for an extra flavor boost.

To tenderize a tough steak before grilling, pound it with a meat mallet, marinate it in acidic liquids, or use a commercial meat tenderizer powder.

Scoring the surface with a knife of form helps marinades penetrate steak. Opt for marbled cuts and let the steak rest before grilling.


The Meat Tenderizer

Tenderizing Steak with a Meat Mallet

A meat tenderizer is a handy tool to physically break down muscle fibers and improve the steak's texture. It resembles a hammer or mallet and physically softens meats like steak.

Tenderizing Steps:

  • Pound Both Sides: Lay the steak on a flat surface and use the textured side of the meat tenderizer to pound both sides evenly.
  • Be Gentle: Avoid excessive force; a gentle touch is sufficient to tenderize.
  • Wrap it First: Use wax paper or a cloth and place it over the steak so as not to pound the steak directly.

Salt Brines

Tenderizing Salt Brine on Steak

Dry brining with salt is a straightforward yet effective method for tenderizing steak.

Dry Brining Steps:

  • Salt Application: Generously sprinkle coarse salt on both sides of the steak.
  • Resting Time: Let the steak rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, allowing the salt to work its magic.

Best Tenderizing Ingredients

Acidic liquids like vinegar, citrus juice, or yogurt work best for tenderizing steak. They contain enzymes and acids that break down tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender texture.

These ingredients also add flavor to the steak while tenderizing it, enhancing its overall taste.