Everyone has been with a new recipe or an unaccustomed cut of meat that leaves a fibrous and tough meal. Sometimes you are on a budget, and you buy cheap meat, which is usually tough. There are numerous ways to tenderise tough meat; however, every cook has their own desired ways of converting cheap, tough meat into delicious tender forkfuls.
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6 Guaranteed Ways to Make Tough Meat Tender
This is the oldest and the most common way to tenderize meat; ponding it to compliance. You will need a mallet or cover the meat in a saran wrap and thump it using a rolling pin or a heavy skillet. You may use a meat mallet if you plan to fry or to sauté the meat. Since beating the meat can damage its fibers and turn it into mush, you should use specialised tenderising tools. This should be the case, especially when you want to grill the meat on BBQ smoker trailers.
Marinate using acid
Marinates can be great for flavor; however, they don’t work to tenderize meat. Acid marinades take some time to penetrate the tough meat and adding oils and sugar just slows down the process even more, which won’t be helpful if you have a big chick of meat. The best thing to do is to go straight for the acid mix. Don’t leave it for long because over marinated meat can get too mushy.
Acidic ingredients that can be used to tenderise meat include lemon juice, vinegar, or buttermilk, which not only adds flavor but also break down tough meat.
Let the meat rest
It doesn’t matter how well you are ready and cook your meat; it will turn out dry and chewy if you don’t allow it to rest. Resting the meat after cooking allows the juice to redistribute within the meat rather than spilling out when cutting it. Resting meat after cooking is the ultimate key to making it tender and juicy. The general rule of thumb is the larger the cut of meat, the lengthier the resting period needed.
Salting the cut of meat pulls out moisture from inside the meat, directing the flavors and creating a natural brine. You will know that the salt is working when the meat takes a deeper red color. The good part about using salt is that you can use salt for up to twenty-four hours, unlike other marinates. When the meat is ready to grill, just rinse off the salt, pat it dry and add it to the smoker.
Slice it right
Various knives tricks can make cheap and tough meat tender. It is a good idea to soak the raw surface to allow it to absorb the enzymes or the marinade more deeply. Scoring is a good way to tenderize the meat. Use a knife to make slices of shallow incisions on both sides. Apart from allowing the meat to absorb the marinades, scoring prevents the steak from coiling when grilling.
Hit the appropriate temperature
Thick cuts of meat require lower heat, while thinner ones need hotter heat. Overcooking meat can make it dry and quite chewy. For best results, use a thermometer and pull the meat whenever it is ready. Naturally tender cuts of meat can be as rare as 125ºF, while tougher meats should be grilled at 195ºF.
Another way to cook tougher, cheaper cuts of meat on the BBQ is to cook it low and slow. Oxtails are a great option for this, as they are cheap and tough with lots of connective tissue and gelatin that means they fall apart after being cooked for a long period of time.
If you want to try this method, then search for oxtails near me, and you’re sure to discover some quality pieces of oxtail to use for your stew. You want to find oxtails that are generously sized, so you have a great ratio of meat, bone, and that wonderful gelatin that makes the soup so delicious.
Other cuts of meat also work well with this method, so feel free to experiment with cheaper meats and give them plenty of time on the BBQ.
There are many other ways to tenderise tough meat. All of the above ways will help improve your BBQ skills. All the meat tenderising methods have the same goal; break down the massive muscle, tough protein, and fibers that bind them.
This is a contributed post