One of the important things while cooking meat is to make the tough meat softer to cook properly. Otherwise, you end up serving some tough meat to your family or guests. This makes it difficult to chop through your cooked meat and also eating the meat is difficult. For this purpose, you need to make the meat tender. This process is called tenderizing. When you start tenderizing the meat, it breaks the meat fibers which make the meat softer, easier and tastier for you. There are some variety of tools available in the market for making your meat tender. They are called meat tenderizers. Some of the types of these tenderizers are mallet, blades, or which looks like a potato masher. They can be made with metal or wood. You can choose whichever is more suitable for your style. You can even tenderize your meat without these specially made tenderizers. You can make your natural tenderizer using heat or fruit. This is more natural. However, when you use the tools, it takes significantly less time for the process may be 5 mins. In this article, let us see how a meat can be tenderized using tenderizer.
=> For using the tenderizer, place your meat on the clean cutting board with wax paper on it. You can even place this wax paper on top of the meat. This ensures not form a mess when tenderizing. You can choose any of the tools for the tenderizing process.
=> If you are using mallet or a pounder, you need to start hitting the meat just like a hammer and nail. Once you are done with one side, flip it to start with the other side. The whole meat should be hit evenly so that it is at same level.
=> If you choose knife or blade like tenderizer, the cuts need to be clean, thin and long. They should be deep enough to actually tender the meat. Expert chefs perform this seamlessly with simple knife.
=> The other method that we were talking about is heat. Using heat, you can magically tenderize your meat. However, for this to work perfectly, a meat with more collagen is suitable like brisket, ribs. When you heat meat with collagen layers, say with a temperature of 140F, then the collagen reacts to the heat, gets shrunk and release juices. For perfectly tenderizing the meat, you need to increase the temperatures to 160F or more which makes the collagen layer to form like a gelatin and thus gives tendered look.
=> As we have seen heat is a good method to tenderize the meat, you can either wet or dry heat your meat. Dry heat is nothing but grilling the meat on grill and it does the work. For wet heat, you need to place the meat in flavored liquid and start heating it. However, you need to be careful for doing this process really slowly. Else, there is a danger that the collagen gets burnt instead of getting gelatin form.
=> Another method that you can use to tenderize your meat is using natural enzymes from fruits. These enzymes break down the meat pretty well hence making it tender. Acidic fruits like lemon or some of the famous fruits for this purpose are kiwi, pineapple or papaya. However, you need to be careful with pineapple, over using it might make the meat over tenderized. Kiwi is said to have neutral flavors. So, when you use it, the flavors of kiwi less affect the meat.
=> When you use fruits, you need to take some quantity, marinade the meat with this fruit paste. Marinade the meat in a tightly fit bowl or sealed bag for at least a day.
=> Another most natural way of tenderizing your meat is dry-aging. This method allows enzymes in the meat to do the job of tenderization. However, for this to happen, it takes around 20 days or more. Some of the suitable meats for this process are strip steak, porterhouse steak, rib steak.
=> For the dry-aging method, you need to use a rack, place the meat on the rack and store it in a mini fridge or refrigerator. After 20 days, you need to remove it, cut the meat to trim it and then cook.
These are the methods that you can follow to tenderize the meat.