You have cooked all through the pandemic, and now that the restrictions are no more, you want to continue the tradition of eating healthy home-cooked meals. A beginner cook knows very well the importance of prepping; a good prep can make the actual job of cooking effortless. For example, if you want a beautifully cooked steak, you must know how to prep the meat before it goes onto the hot skillet. One must tenderize the meat well to cook faster while retaining all that tasty juice intact. The process of tenderizing softens the meat by breaking down the interior fibers of the protein, making it easier to digest. Of course, a steak needs tenderizing before cooking, but it is not exclusive to beef alone, as any piece of meat such as lamb, pork even chicken requires tenderizing.
Marinade The Meat
One of the most common ways to tenderize the meat while adding more flavors is to marinate the same for an amount of time. Now, different types of meat require different times for marination, depending on the type of marinade you are using. Lime juice, baking soda, yogurt, and oil are some examples of marinade.
- Pineapple, pawpaw, kiwis, and figs are options for marination if you want to break down the tough exterior of the meat. These fruits contain papain, an enzyme used in dried tenderizing powders. Therefore, when you have real fruits in your kitchen, why use commercial tenderizing powder?
- People often use ginger paste and buttermilk or yogurt to marinate the meat. There’s a reason why this combo is so popular; it is because the acidity of buttermilk or yogurt activates enzymes that break down the meat protein. Ginger does the same for tenderizing meat as it contains a proteolytic enzyme.
- Vinegar is essentially an acid that helps break down the fiber without adding additional flavor. You may also add a pinch of baking soda in the mix to tenderize the meat even faster. Don’t soak the meat for long in a vinegar mixture, and rinse the meat well before cooking.
Many people don’t know this, but a cold brew of black coffee or strong tea will help tenderize a steak. You may also keep the meat dipped into beer or wine. Who knew that the most common ingredients would do the job?
Use Smart Tools
when you don’t have time to marinate your beef for hours, you can take a meat tenderizer and use it to your advantage. It is a tool that helps soften the meat while retaining the flavors packed inside. You will find the meat tenderizer used by many professional chefs to cook the perfect meat dishes. All one has to do is pound the meat properly with the meat tenderizer.
Many amateur cooks don’t realize that salt helps tenderize meat. Moreover, how one cooks affects the outcome. For example, when looking for soft, evenly cooked steak, one must slow cook the food since slow cooking is the surest way to tenderize the meat.