Are you tired of tough and chewy beef? Do you want to make your steaks more tender and juicy?
Look no further than meat tenderizer powder! This simple ingredient can work wonders on even the toughest cuts of beef, breaking down proteins and collagen to create a more tender and flavorful result.
But how exactly do you use meat tenderizer powder on beef? In this article, we’ll explore the best techniques for using this powerful ingredient to transform your beef dishes.
From sprinkling it on before cooking to incorporating it into marinades, we’ll cover all the tips and tricks you need to know. So grab your cutting board and mallet tenderizer, and let’s get started!
How To Use Meat Tenderizer Powder On Beef?
There are a few different ways to use meat tenderizer powder on beef, depending on your preferences and the cut of meat you’re working with. Here are some of the most effective techniques:
1. Sprinkle it on before cooking: One of the simplest ways to use meat tenderizer powder is to sprinkle it evenly over your beef before cooking. Be sure to pierce the surface of the meat a few times with a fork so that the enzyme can penetrate, and then start cooking. Heat activates the enzyme and begins to break down the proteins immediately. If you wish, you can incorporate a bit of tenderizer powder into a dry spice rub or a liquid marinade. This helps distribute the enzyme evenly, so you don’t get random patches of tender and not-tender. Don’t let the enzyme sit on the meat for more than a few minutes, or up to 30 minutes for a really thick steak.
2. Use it in a marinade: Another effective way to use meat tenderizer powder is to incorporate it into a marinade. Wet your meat with a quick rinse, then apply the seasoned meat tenderizer to both sides of your meat right before cooking. A tablespoon per pound is the general rule of thumb. Poke your meat with a fork, making holes 1/4 inch apart. This helps with penetration. Note: Larger pieces of meats like roasts will require the tenderizer to sit on them longer. Do not let it sit for more than one hour.
3. Combine it with other ingredients: Meat tenderizer powder can also be combined with other ingredients to create a flavorful and effective tenderizing mixture. For example, you can rub baking soda on your meat, making sure to cover all sides, and use about 1 percent of the meat’s weight in baking soda ounces (e.g., 10 lbs. of steak = 1.6 ounces or about 3 tablespoons of baking soda). This will help to loosen up tough muscle fibers and make your beef more tender.
What Is Meat Tenderizer Powder?
Meat tenderizer powder is a food ingredient that contains enzymes, usually derived from papaya or pineapple, which act as catalysts to speed up a chemical reaction. When applied to meat, the enzymes break down the proteins and tight muscle fibers, making the meat more tender. This is especially useful for tougher cuts of meat, which can be made more palatable with the use of meat tenderizer powder. The powder is typically sprinkled over the surface of the meat and then massaged in, or incorporated into a marinade or dry rub. It can also be combined with other ingredients such as baking soda to create a flavorful and effective tenderizing mixture. It is important to note that meat tenderizer powder should not be left on the meat for too long, as it can lead to over-tenderization and a mushy texture.
The Science Behind Meat Tenderizer Powder
Meat tenderizer powder is a popular and effective way to soften even the toughest cuts of beef. The science behind meat tenderizer powder lies in its enzymatic action. The two main ingredients found in most powdered tenderizers are papain, derived from papayas, and bromelain, derived from pineapples. These enzymes attack the muscle fibers and the collagen webs that hold them together. This softens the meat and makes it more tender.
The enzymes in meat tenderizer powder work much like the enzymes in the human body that help us digest food. The enzymes act enzymatically to break down the rubber-like elastic fibers that make less tender cuts of meat hard to swallow. These elastic fibers, which hold the strands of muscle tissue in meat together, are made up of a protein called collagen, which is also the same protein from which gelatin is derived.
The enzymatic action of meat tenderizer powder breaks down these collagen fibers, resulting in a softer and more tender texture. It is important to note that this method of meat tenderizing breaks the physical bonds of the meat through force, not through any chemical change.
In addition to papain and bromelain, baking soda can also act as a meat tenderizer by changing the physical composition of meat fibers. It raises the pH levels on the surface and makes it tougher for the proteins in the meat to bond. This then velvets your cuts of steak and chicken before they’re thrown on the grill, in the oven or your favorite stir fry.
Sprinkling Meat Tenderizer Powder On Beef
One of the easiest ways to use meat tenderizer powder on beef is to sprinkle it directly onto the meat. Start by moistening the surface of the beef with a bit of water, which helps the tenderizer absorb into the meat. Then, sprinkle the powder lightly over the meat, making sure to cover all sides. Use about 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat, or adjust according to your taste preferences. Next, pierce the surface of the meat all over with a fork or a meat tenderizing piercer. This helps to break down the fibers and also provides a way for the tenderizer to get into the meat. Finally, start cooking your beef as you normally would. The heat from cooking activates the enzymes in the tenderizer powder and begins to break down the proteins, resulting in a more tender and flavorful piece of beef. Remember not to let the enzyme sit on the meat for more than a few minutes, or up to 30 minutes for a really thick steak.
Using Meat Tenderizer Powder In Marinades
Using meat tenderizer powder in a marinade is a great way to ensure that the enzyme penetrates the meat and tenderizes it evenly. To make a marinade with meat tenderizer powder, start by mixing the powder with other ingredients like oil, vinegar, herbs, and spices. You can also add salt and sugar to enhance the flavor of your marinade.
Once you’ve mixed your marinade, place your beef in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over it. Be sure to coat the meat evenly so that all parts of it are exposed to the enzyme. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours for more flavor.
When you’re ready to cook your beef, remove it from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. You can then grill, broil, or bake your beef as desired. Keep in mind that because the enzyme in meat tenderizer powder continues to work until the meat is cooked, you should avoid marinating your beef for too long. Over-marinating can result in overly tenderized and mushy meat.
Precautions When Using Meat Tenderizer Powder
While meat tenderizer powder can be a great tool for making tough cuts of beef more tender and flavorful, there are some precautions you should take when using it:
1. Use unseasoned meat tenderizer: When using meat tenderizer powder for cooking or stain removal purposes, make sure to use unseasoned meat tenderizer. Seasoned meat tenderizers may contain additional ingredients that could alter the flavor of your dish.
2. Don’t overuse it: While meat tenderizer powder is generally safe to use, it’s important not to overdo it. If you leave the enzyme on your meat for too long before cooking, you can end up with too much tenderization, resulting in a mushy texture. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully and don’t exceed the recommended amount or time.
3. Be careful with acidic ingredients: Acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar can also help to tenderize meat, but they should not be used in combination with meat tenderizer powder. The acid can react with the enzyme and affect the flavor or color of your meat.
4. Avoid using metal cookware: If you’re using an enzymatic or acidic tenderizer, avoid using metal cookware as it can react with the ingredients and affect the flavor of your dish. Use glass or ceramic instead.
5. Store it properly: Meat tenderizer powder should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
By following these precautions, you can safely and effectively use meat tenderizer powder to make your beef dishes more delicious and enjoyable.
Other Ways To Tenderize Beef
While meat tenderizer powder is a great option for tenderizing beef, there are other methods you can use as well. Here are a few additional ways to tenderize beef:
1. Pound it out: If you’re working with a tougher cut of beef, consider pounding it out with a meat mallet. This helps to break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender. Just be sure to do this gently, so you don’t end up with shredded beef.
2. Slow-cook it: Another effective way to tenderize beef is to slow-cook it. This method involves cooking the meat at a low temperature for an extended period of time, which helps to break down the connective tissue and make the meat more tender. This is a great option for cuts like brisket or chuck roast.
3. Brine it: Brining involves soaking your beef in a saltwater solution before cooking. This helps to break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender and flavorful. To make a brine, dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in 4 cups of water, and then add any other seasonings or flavorings you like (such as garlic or herbs). Soak your beef in the brine for at least an hour before cooking.
4. Use acidic ingredients: As mentioned above, acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, and wine can help to tenderize beef by breaking down the proteins. Consider incorporating these ingredients into your marinade or spice rub.
By using one or more of these techniques, you can help to ensure that your beef is tender and delicious every time you cook it.