The best & fastest way to tenderise meat

Updated February 21, 2017

There are three popular methods of tenderising tough cuts of meat. They are mechanical, marinades and tenderizers, and cooking methods. Popular mechanical tenderizers are tools that smash, cut, and misshape the meat into something unrecognisable. Marinades work on the meat chemically to break down the collagen that makes the meat tough in the first place but take a while to work, while tenderizers change the look and feel of the cooked product. Cooking methods apply low heat levels for a long time to break collagen down using heat and time. Only one method works the best.

The Worst Method

The worst way to tenderise meat is using chemical tenderizers to do the job. While tenderizers work, they only affect the outer layer of the meat, leaving the centre of the meat unchanged. And if you use too much tenderizer it makes the outer part of the meat mushy. So tenderizers combine the textures of mushy meat with still tough meat, and they also alter the flavour of the meat. The toughest cuts of meat are usually the most flavourful, and tenderizers ruin the flavour all together.

At Least it Tastes Good

Marinades are great for tenderising tough cuts of meat. But only marinades that are acidic work to break collagen fibres down. Non-acidic marinades that only add flavour do nothing to make the meat easier to eat. So it is possible to marinade a cut of meat for hours before cooking it and have it land on the dinner table still tough. But at least it tastes good.

The Best Method

There is a mechanical tenderising tool out there that can tenderise the best and the toughest cuts of meat without altering the original shape of the meat. And it is the secret weapon of many five-star restaurants against tough meat dishes. The tool is called the Jaccard Meat Tenderizer. It is a patented hand tool that allows you to insert 624 thin surgical steel blades into the meat at a time. These blades cut the collagen fibres that make meat tough, and also act to shorten the length of the muscle fibres in the meat itself. So the Jaccard acts in two ways to tenderise the meat. Then the Jaccard can be washed in your dishwasher on the top shelf for easy cleaning.

Another side benefit of using the Jaccard is that it allows marinades to penetrate deeper into the meat, if you would like to alter the flavour of a prime cut. While cooking, because there are so many small pores in the meat, the meat will also pick up smoky flavouring from a barbecue; will be even more fall-apart perfect after a slow cooking or roasting; and will help you make the tenderest meat possible with just one tool.

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About the Author

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.