In many cultures, chefs take pride in buying a cheap piece of meat that is tough and tenderizing it properly with skill. Today, you can invest in a professional meat tenderizer machine or you can get your meat tender and tasty through other methods. These will work well on hanger steak, brisket, flank steak, and chuck roast. These cuts of meat can be a bit on the tough side. On the plus side, they are less expensive but can pack a lot of flavor.
- Hammer out the toughness. This is one of the cleanest and easiest ways to make the meat tender and tasty. The way you do this is to wrap the meat in wax paper or plastic wrap. Pound it with all of your might. Most chefs rely on heavy kitchen mallets, which can often get the same result as a meat tenderizer machine. If your kitchen is not home to a kitchen mallet you can also use skillets, saucepans, or rolling pins. If you have other heavy items, you can also use them. This is another way that is similar to the work done by a meat tenderizer machine.
- Get out your salt. There is a reason people around the world use salt to crust fish to get it moist and tasty. It also works on meat. Salt is not just a flavoring. If you have a tough piece of meat, say you have a roast or a tough steak, salt can work to break down the elements in the meat that make it tough, such as the proteins. It can also change the texture of the meat. The way you use this is to put a thick coating of salt on your meat and let it sit for about an hour. More time can work well, too. Before you are ready to cook, get rid of all of the salt on the meat by running it under cold water. Dry the meat and put it in the oven, skillet or on the grill.
- Acidic marinades work well, too. This is a process that can mimic the results from an electric meat tenderizer machine. If you are cooking tough meat such as a flank steak, hanger steak, or skirt steak, this works really well. This is because those meats typically come in thinner cuts. Acidic marinades also can break down the proteins in the meat. Salt can get all the way through the meat. Acidic marinades only work well on thinner cuts of meat. You should not leave your meat in the marinade for more than two hours or it can get mushy. You should make a marinade using any of these ingredients:
- Citrus juice
- Use some fruit. There are a number of fruits that work well to tenderize a tough piece of meat. Some good options are Asian pears, kiwis, pineapples, and papayas. Kiwis are surprisingly good at tenderizing pieces of meat. Not only that buy kiwi can tenderize a piece of meat without changing its flavor. You do not need to use a lot of whatever fruit you have picked. You should use up to two tablespoons for every eight ounces of marinade. These fruits contain enzymes that work to tenderize meat naturally. Fruits work a lot like other kinds of marinades and you should use it on thinner cuts of meat and not let it all sit for more than two hours.
- Work it with your knife. People are often used to scoring hams or ducks, you can do the same thing to meat. This will not tenderize your meat all of the way but it can make it taste better.
- Use a slow cooker. The reasons meats can be tough is that it has a lot of connective tissue. This is true for chuck roast, brisket, and bottom round. A slow cooker can work on the proteins that are making it tough. When you cook your meat at a lower temperature for a long time, the result is tender and delicious meats. This is why people use a smoker to make great brisket.
You do not need a meat tenderizer machine to get great tasting and tender cuts of meat. These tips can make it happen.