How Does Tenderizing Meat Work?

Featured Latest Stories Lifestyle
How Does Tenderizing Meat Work?

Each piece of meat is made of muscle fibers, which is stick together with protein filaments. Tenderizing meat means breaking these durable fibers into the softening part so that you can chew it easily.

Though You can find many customized special knives in the market by which you can piece your meat, and it will be easier for you to tenderize the meat. This process helps to break down the tough protein of the flesh, and this will help to marinate your meat better for tenderizing. Let us know, “How does tenderizing meat work?”

How Does Tenderizing Meat Work?

If you follow the right techniques while tenderizing will make your meat more delicious. Even if the meat is cut into the right size and roast it with perfect techniques, it can be turned into delicious meals.

One can tenderize meat in many ways – from using a chemical to using handmade tools, some mentioned techniques you need to use in tenderizing your meat.

But we want to mention some steps for tenderizing meat;

Marinate With Acid

If you’re going to break tough meat, then you can try acid to marinade. Acid means I want to mention lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, or yogurt. For this, you can soak your meat for a long time then marinate it with lime juice so that the toughness can be marinated well.

But you should be careful that you cannot marinate the meat for too long, you know why? The acid which has been used for the meat can make it too soft, and the protein of the flesh will decrease. Around 30 minutes to one hour, you can marinate your meat with acid, then it will be cook-able.

Marinate With Enzymes

Enzymes help to molecules the flesh in more natural ways. We can get enzymes in many fruits like kiwi, papaya, pineapple, which helps to tenderize tough meat. If you leave your meat with these fruits with some seasoning, it will make the meat juicier. Just to give you a hint, don’t keep your meat for too long with pineapple.

Using Salt

Sprinkle some salt over the piece of meat and keep it in average temperature for one or two hours before cooking. This will help to break down tough meat fibers, so in that sense there is not needed any marinade. When you start your cooking, please rinse off the salt. Otherwise, after cooking the meat will not taste good, it will have a tough and dry taste.

Baking Soda

Like salt, you can use baking soda for tenderizing meat to break down tough protein. There are two different tips for using it; one is, sprinkle it all over the meat and another one is, you can rub the soda over the meat and need to fridge it for some hours.

Some more tips…

To tenderize the flesh, we want to provide some more tips to help you. Here are:

Tenderize Meat By Using Tools

  • Beating meat to tenderize is considered most traditional one which is practiced in almost every kitchen. Pounding meat with a massive tool is an effective way to tenderize it. For tenderizing many people use special tools with sharp needle which will soft the meat. As in this method, no chemical is not used so it does less damage the meat fibers and is considered most effective one.
  • Place your piece of meat on a cutting board; even you can use wax paper. But please don’t put the wax paper on top of the meat; otherwise, you can not use the knife smoothly. As we all know, the knife is made of the metal tool, and these metal tools will help to break down the meat’s connective tissue and the tough fibers.
  • Then you have to choose your tenderizing tools. You have two options to select these mechanical tools. You can choose meat tenderizing tools that can be found in the market, or there is a special kind of knife to cut the meat in actual size. So, this choice is yours.
  • Do you know the process of tenderizing the meat? No, right? Well!!! If you are going to use the meat tenderizing, then hold the meat tightly with one hand on the cutting board and by hammer bang on the meat forcibly. After some hits, you will find it soft, and then it is ready to cook. And if you are going to use a knife, then cut the meat with necessarily deep so that the muscle fibers go across. Remember, your cut should be extended.

Tenderizing The Meat With Heat

  • First, you need to understand how heat works with this tenderizing meat. If the connective tissue is heated up to 140º F, then the tissue will shrink and will get loose. Though tenderizing is best methods only best for brisket, ribs but it does not work well on pork.
  • Then you have to choose the type of heat tenderizer. There are dry heat method or wet heat method. You are wondering about these methods, right? For your understanding, grilling can be an excellent example of dry heat, which is simmered, and, on the hand, braising is considered as wet heat, which is cooked in flavored liquid.
  • After cutting your meat in pieces, it is better to prepare this into low-temperature for an extended period. Though it may have time-consuming, the tough fibers and the connective tissue will break down quickly. So, try to simmer it where liquids will be covered around your cooking pan.
  • The primary method of tendering meat by using heat is to cook slowly; otherwise, the outer part will burn, but the inner part will not be well-cooked.


That’s how tenderizing meat mainly works. So, it’s your choice which method you are comfortable to use in the kitchen. Hopefully, you have got better ideas about How does tenderizing meat work?” Enjoy your meal.

Ajiya Sohail is a student and a blogger by passion. She is a keen learner and passionate to pen down her thoughts, and share her life experiences with the world. Apart from that, she is also a talkative person who always has the potential to become the center of attraction. She loves to travel, watch cooking shows and hang out with friends any time of the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>