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Replacement for Meat Tenderizer

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Tenderizing is the technique of softening a piece of meat by breaking down its internal fibers to make it more tender and easier to chew and digest. For preparing difficult slices of steak or recipes that call for a thin slice of meat, such as chicken cutlets for chicken Parmesan or veal Milanese, this method comes in handy. Slow cooking, marinating, and pounding are all methods for tenderizing meat. Although you may tenderize meat at home with a meat mallet or rolling pin, some manufacturers perform the procedure mechanically, which entails breaking down the connective tissue of the flesh using sharp blades.


A powdered naturally generated enzyme is referred to as meat tenderizer. The most often utilized enzymes are papain (from papayas) and bromelain (from pineapples). The powder is dusted over meat, and the enzymes aid to break down the flesh fibers. Marinating meat in papaya or pineapple juice has the same results. Tenderizer products are available with or without seasoning. Any unseasoned meat tenderizer is referred to as simple meat tenderizer.

The phrase meat tenderizer is sometimes used to describe a meat mallet, which is used to pound and flatten meat to make it tenderer. You may also use the edge of a tiny dish or saucer, which works great. Meat should not be marinated in an acidic liquid for more than a few hours, such as apple cider vinegar, wine, or lemon juice, since the acidity can toughen it. If the marination period is prolonged to add taste, the marinade should include oil rather than an acidic liquid.

throbbing in the throat, tingling or burning sensations in the face, neck, or other places, facial tightness, fast pulse, numbness, and so on. High salt consumption may result in heart attacks, strokes, and renal illness due to high blood pressure. As a result, it is always preferable to use natural food items as meat tenderizers. Several harmful food additives, such as preservatives, salt, and monosodium glutamate, are included in commercially made meat tenderizer powders (MSG). High MSG intake may cause headaches and facial edema.

Meat Tenderizer Substitutes

If you run out of typical meat tenderizers or just prefer a replacement with less dangerous chemicals and all-natural components, the alternatives listed below will suffice.

Good Ol’ Meat Mallet

To pound the meat, use a convenient tenderizer such as a meat mallet (wooden or metallic tool). Before using the mallet, cut the meat into thin pieces and cover each with a plastic sheet. The hammering process flattens the meat and separates its fibers and connective tissues.

Pineapple juice

Bromelain is another frequent enzyme found in commercially made meat tenderizers. It’s made from pineapples. Therefore, cut a pineapple in half, remove the skin, mix the wedges, and spread the pulp over the surface of the meat. Depending on the kind of meat, you may pour pineapple juice over it and refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours. Do not use canned or cooked pineapple since the enzymes included in the fruit are rendered inactive after processing (heating).

All of these fruits contain papain, an enzyme used in commercial tenderizing preparations. This enzyme, like acids and salt, degrades strong muscle fibers. Method: Cover the steak with fruit pieces or mashed potatoes and let aside for a few hours. Fruit is most effective when applied to thin meat slices.

Dairy-Based Marinades

These are the most effective meat tenderizers. They tenderize more than fruit juices or other acidic marinades. In Indian cuisine, yogurt is traditionally used to marinade meat. Buttermilk is often used to tenderize chicken before frying it. Milk-braised meats are more tender than those prepared with wine or tomatoes in Italian cuisine. They have some acidity, but they are also dairy products with calcium content, which stimulates enzymes inside the meat and aids in protein breakdown.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a wonder product. It may be used to clean the home, wash your teeth, bake with, and even tenderize meat! As it is absorbed, baking soda degrades animal proteins. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the meat, massage it in, and let aside for several hours (in the fridge). Alternatively, prepare a paste of soda and water, cover the beef with it, and marinade it for several hours. Be careful to rinse the beef before cooking it so it doesn’t taste like baking soda!

Slather the product with the water paste. Let it to sit for many hours. Before cooking, thoroughly rinse to remove all of the baking soda. Baking soda, like salt, will break down proteins as it is absorbed in. There are two approaches to this: Sprinkle baking soda on top, massage it in, and let aside (refrigerated) for several hours. You may also produce a baking soda solution.


Vinegar’s acetic acid breaks down meat fibers, making them more soft and flavorful. A tablespoon of white vinegar may be added to your cooking liquids, or you can soak your meat in vinegar before cooking it. Cook the beef in a glass dish or a nonstick pan, since cast iron and other metals may react negatively with the acid. They are acidic solutions that relax the muscles (and add flavor too) Vinegar might be apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or normal household vinegar. Just adding a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to your cooking liquids will ensure that your roasts, stew meats, and steaks are tender and juicy every time. Another alternative is to puncture the meat with a fork all over and then soak it in vinegar for an hour or two before cooking.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is a meat tenderizer made of?

Meat tenderizer is a powder made from naturally occurring enzymes. The most often utilized enzymes are papain (derived from papayas) and bromelain (derived from pineapples) (a tropical fruit in the bromeliad family). The powder is dusted over meat, and the enzymes aid to break down the flesh fibers.

What enzyme tenderizes meat?

Bromelain is clearly the primary component. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme derived from pineapple that is often used in meat tenderizers. A proteolytic enzyme (also known as a protease) is a protein that breaks down other proteins into smaller fragments.

What enzyme in pineapple can tenderize meat?

Bromelain is one of them. It is really a combination of two proteases, which are enzymes that break down proteins. These proteases primarily target big protein molecules in meats, the connective proteins known as collagen, and break them down into small pieces.


Use glass dishes when making a strong acid-based recipe since stainless steel might react with the acid, affecting the final result. When using a direct acid liquid (such as apple cider vinegar, wine, or lemon juice), meat should not be left in it for more than two hours since the acidity can toughen it. If you wish to marinate for a longer amount of time, utilize an oil-based recipe instead of a pure acidic liquid.


How do you make homemade meat tenderizer?

How to Do It. Just adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to your cooking liquids will ensure that your roasts, stew meats, and steaks are tender and juicy every time. Another alternative is to puncture your meat with a fork all over and then marinate it in vinegar for 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

What are 3 ways to tenderize meat?

To further comprehend this, consider the three basic types of beef tenderization: mechanical, thermal, and enzymatic.

How can I tenderize meat quickly?


Pounding steaks with a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet) softens and tenderizes the flesh. Just pound the meat between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper before cooking. If you don’t have a meat mallet, a hefty kitchen instrument like a skillet, saucepan, or rolling pin will suffice.

Is meat tenderizer just baking soda?

Baking soda tenderizes meat by altering the physical makeup of the fibers. It elevates the pH levels on the surface, making it more difficult for the proteins in the flesh to connect.

How do restaurants make their steaks so tender?

Most great restaurants age their beef to increase the taste and softness of the cut. Aging is accomplished by allowing the meat to sit (under strictly regulated circumstances) for many days or weeks.

Does white vinegar tenderize meat?

To some degree, the answer is yes. When the connective components in meat that make it tough, collagen and muscle fibers, are tenderized and broken down, the meat retains all of its fluids. Vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, and wine are acidic compounds that degrade collagen and protein in meat.

What is the best liquid to tenderize meat?

Just soak your beef slices in these natural tenderisers before cooking for fall-apart tenderness!
1) Tea. Tea includes tannins, which act as a natural tenderizer.
2) Coffee… 3) Coca-Cola…
4) Pineapple, pawpaw, figs, and kiwis.
5. Ginger…
6) Baking Soda.
7) Vinegar…….
8) Wine or beer.
Additional information…•November 9, 2016

What do chefs use to tenderize meat?

Quickly soaking meat in a baking soda and water solution elevates the pH on the surface of the flesh, making it more difficult for proteins to link excessively, keeping the meat soft and juicy when cooked.

How do Chinese make their meat so tender?

In Chinese food, meats such as beef, pig, or chicken are velveted before being stir-fried. There are numerous methods to velvet, but the most basic is to marinate meat with at least one alkaline-producing item. This is what tenderizes the meat, particularly the less expensive, harder pieces.

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