How To Tenderize T-Bone Steak

The T-bone steak is a flavorful but sometimes challenging cut to tenderize, featuring both the tenderloin and strip loin.

To tenderize a T-bone steak:

  1. Use a meat mallet to pound it gently.
  2. Apply a marinade with acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice.
  3. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Consider using a commercial meat tenderizer.
  5. Score the steak lightly with a sharp knife.
  6. Cook it to the desired doneness, being careful not to overcook.
  7. Slice against the grain before serving.

Tip: Don't hit the bone with your meat mallet. If you find it hard to avoid it's best you cut the meat from the bone first.

Marinating Magic

Marinating Steaks in a Bowl

Marinating your T-bone steak is a tried-and-true method for tenderization. Opt for a marinade containing acidic elements like vinegar, citrus, or yogurt. These ingredients break down tough fibers and infuse the meat with flavor.

Marination Tips:

  • Time Matters: Allow the T-bone to marinate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours in the refrigerator.
  • Pierce the Surface: Use a fork to create tiny punctures on the steak's surface, allowing the marinade to penetrate deeper.

Salt it Right

Salt Preparing Steak

Using salt to tenderize works by drawing out moisture and then reabsorbing it, breaking down muscle fibers in the process. This dry brining technique enhances both tenderness and flavor.

Dry Brining Steps:

  • Sprinkle Salt: Generously sprinkle coarse salt on both sides of the T-bone steak.
  • Let it Rest: Allow the steak to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or preferably overnight.

Pounding for Perfection

Steak and Meat Mallet

Tenderize your T-bone steak by pounding it gently. This method helps break down muscle fibers and even out thickness for consistent cooking.

Pounding Tips:

  • Use a Meat Mallet: Pound the steak with a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
  • Even Thickness: Aim for an even thickness to ensure uniform grilling.


"Tenderizing a T-bone steak is like sculpting – each method shapes the steak into a masterpiece ready for the grill."