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How to quickly tenderise steak

Steaks need to be tenderised to prevent them from becoming tough to chew. Instead of seasoning the steak and cooking it, you can tenderise it quickly to break down the tough fibres and connective tissue that will normally make the steak tough. Enzymes can help break down these tissues. Tenderising the steak properly will make the meat tender and juicy -- and prevent a sore jaw!

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  1. Pound both sides of the steak with the meat mallet on a cutting board. This will break the connecting tissue and fibres, and will thin out the meat.

  2. Cover the steak with a powdered meat tenderiser. Meat tenderisers typically contain papaya and pineapple extracts that help break down the tough fibres.

  3. Marinate the steak in a liquid marinade. Poke holes in the steak with a fork to ensure that the marinade soaks into the meat. Place the steak in a container and pour the marinade over the steak to cover it completely. Marinades that contain wine, vinegar, oil or citrus will help to tenderise the steak more and they will add flavour to the steak.

  4. Place the marinated steak in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 12 hours, depending on the toughness of the steak. Remove the steak from the container and discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry with paper towels before you cook the steak.

  5. Tip

    Use 125 ml (1/2 cup) of marinade for 900 g (2 lbs) of steak.


    Never reuse marinade that was used on raw meat; it can contain bacteria that can result in illness.

    Do not use metal dishes to marinade steak, because the acidic ingredients in the marinade can react with the metal.

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Things You'll Need

  • Meat mallet
  • Powdered meat tenderiser
  • Liquid marinade
  • Fork
  • Container with lid
  • Paper towels

About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.

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