If you’re looking to grill this summer, you know that soft, tender, juicy meat is critical. But believe it or not, it’s possible to make any kind of meat juicy and tender. Here are the top ways to tenderize meat for your summer cookout so that you can impress your guests no matter what you cook.
Marinate With Acidic Ingredients
Because food scientists can’t agree on whether salt makes your meat tougher or more tender, the safest bet is to marinate it. Thin and tough cuts of meat like flank work best for this trick. Your marinade should contain vinegar, citrus juice, or soda to help break down the muscle fibers.
Thin meat is a must because you don’t want to marinate it for more than two to three hours. Otherwise, you run the risk of having mushy meat. Thick cuts won’t break down within this time frame, but thin cuts will.
Use Fruit Enzymes
If you’re into the sweet and salty meat and fruit combo, you’re in luck. If you’ve ever eaten pineapple and felt your mouth get a little tingly, that’s because pineapple has a large amount of flesh-eating enzymes. So cooking your steak with pineapple or even fruit like kiwi and papaya will soften its fibers due to these enzymes.
However, much like a marinade, you don’t want to keep the meat cooking for too long with the fruit, or it’ll break down the cut too much and make it mushy.
Cook It Low and Slow
The moisture in a slow cooker softens that connective tissue that keeps the muscle fibers together and helps the meat fall apart easier. Additionally, the low heat prevents the meat from overcooking and becoming tough, so it stays soft and retains its moisture. This moisture and tenderness also come from collagen melting inside the connective tissue, turning into soft gelatin.
Much like these other methods, good old-fashioned tenderizing will soften up the muscle fibers in the meat. However, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. First, the pointed side is mainly for tough cuts of beef.
Use the flat side for everything else, unless you want your meat to fall apart before you get to cook it. When using the flat side, place your meat in a plastic sandwich bag between two pieces of plastic to prevent juices from splattering all over your kitchen. Next, use the mallet in a circular motion until you get half the desired thickness. Then turn it over and repeat your circles until you reach your desired thinness.
It’s important to recognize that with prime meats, there’s less of a need to get fancy with your marinades. The more marbled fat is in a cut, the less processing you have to do to get it soft and juicy. Choosing higher-quality meat means that whatever you cook will naturally be more tender. So remember not to over-marinate high-quality meat, as it could quickly turn mushy and lose its naturally tender texture.
With these top ways to tenderize meat for your summer cookout, you can be sure that any cut you cook will be perfect. If you’re looking for an easy-to-cook, high-quality cut, you should try our tomahawk steak for sale. There’s no better day than today to start perfecting your summer grilling menu.