Perfect steak in the comfort of your own home is a dream come true for many people. I think we have all been there, struggling with a new recipe and trying hard to make it a top-class dish. Steak can be even more difficult to cook if you don't know what to do with the unfamiliar cuts. Thus, if you're wondering how do i make steak more tender, you certainly are not alone!
To make the steak more tender, choosing the right cut is one of the basic requirements. Special ingredients like vinegar, wine, salt, pineapple, orange slices, milk products, marinades, or the pounding and scoring process make the steak so tender and juicy. Also, the slow cooking process at a low temperature is an effective method for making tender and flavorful steaks.
A simple method can make your dish so magical and mouth-melting that it will leave you speechless. Want to know how I use these ingredients to tenderize my steak? Then sit back tight and follow the article to find out my secrets to making a tender and flavorful steak at home.
What Type Cut Is The Best to Make A Tender Steak?
To make a restaurant like tender steak, I need to choose the best cut of it. So, choose your cut and get an idea of how you prefer to make your steak. Choosing the right cut does almost half of the task of making a steak tender. Let’s have a look at what types of cut I prefer for my steak:
T-bone, Sirloin, And Tenderloin
A T-bone is a combination of two parts: sirloin and tenderloin fillet. Sirloin is the best choice for cooking a steak. And Tenderloin is a top choice too, but it’s a little costly. It is also known as filet mignon. Also, this piece is very tender and lean.
It makes an ideal choice for raw meat dishes, steak, and barbecue. However, these pieces need careful cooking on the grill. The steaks of these pieces are very tender, juicy, and flavorful as well.
Hanger, Skirt, Rib-eye
Hanger and skirt steaks look pretty much the same, though they are different. The hanger steak piece is inexpensive, and the taste is very flavorful. Whereas skirt steaks are often used to make steaks, and they are good when I simmer them at a low temperature.
On the other hand, rib-eye makes mouth-watering steak. It is the best choice to make a steak. It’s perfect for grilling, and I particularly love this cut for making a steak.
Chateaubriand And Porterhouse
Chateaubriand is one of the most expensive cuts, and it is also the largest and thickest part of the fillet. That is why I highly recommend this for making a tender steak.
The Porterhouse is also a good cut and almost similar to the T-bone steak. But it has a larger tenderloin than the T-bone. It’s tender, lean and full of flavors.
Ramp, Flat Iron, And Flank
Rump steak is comparatively inexpensive to other cuts, and it’s fatty, hearty, and flavorful. Similarly, flank iron is also full of flavors. But it makes ‘hands-off’ tasty steaks when it is marinated well.
Flank is also a cheap cut and good for tender and flavorful steaks. You can also slice it, add it to salads, or serve it with bistro steak. You can serve it with stir-fries or burritos as well.
There are so many good steaks available at the supermarkets. But I prefer local butchers; they have organic, grass-fed, and better cuts of meat. It helps to make a top-quality steak that melts in your mouth.
What To Use To Make Steak More Tender?
You can use some beneficial ingredients with a unique technique to make the steak more tender, juicy, and flavorsome. Let’s see the ingredients that I use to make the steak tender and what the hack behind the technique is:
Tendering Steak Physically
I think ‘tenderizing the steak physically’ is the best and most used process to make the steak more tender. We will need a rolling pin, meat, plastic or zip lock bag, mallet, and maybe a flat cast-iron skillet for this technique. Let’s dive into the process:
- If you are using a fresh cut, put it in the refrigerator for half an hour to have the proper shape.
- Cover the steak with a plastic wrap or zip lock bag and lightly pound it.
- Make sure it is pounded evenly all over.
- Before starting cooking, keep it at room temperature for a while.
Be careful when you're pounding and don't go overboard with it. It will make your steak mushy and ruin the flavor.
Tendering Steak By Chemical Tenderizers
I also use some ingredients that make steak tender chemically. Papaya, pineapple, and salt are the elements that help break down the protein and intricate texture of steak. I prefer to use salt, but you can use any of them as a chemical tenderizer.
- I prefer using kosher salt since the result is relatively better than the other salts. However, you can use sea salt or table salt as well.
- Pour one and a half tablespoons of it all over the steak.
- Then, rub it evenly all over the cut of the meat.
- I put the steak in the refrigerator for an hour per 1-inch thick steak. For example, if I have a steak of 2 inches, I put it in the fridge for 2 hours.
When it’s time to cook, let the cut rest for some time, and then cook it as planned. Similarly, you can use pineapple or papaya, or sea salt to tenderize the steak chemically.
Tendering Steak With Milk Marinade
For milk marinades, react with the enzymes of the steak and soften the protein. Milk is rich in calcium, and it breaks down the rigid texture of the meat. Milk or any milk-made product is an excellent marinating tenderizer, but I recommend using yogurt and buttermilk because the acidity level of these products is higher than milk.
Let’s discuss the steps of how I marinate the steak to make it more tender and juicy.
- Firstly, I mix the milk product that I am using with seasonings, herbs, and spices.
- Then I place the steak into the marinated milk mixture and fully cover it up.
- For better results, you can use a plastic or zip lock bag as well.
- After marinating, I put the steak in the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.
- Then, I remove it from the marinades and wash it with cold water.
- Then I let it rest for a while at room temperature and cook it as I planned.
Using milk products is a perfect idea to make a steak tender, as it is readily available and cheaper.
Tendering Steak By Scoring
If you are using a cut of flank or skirt steak, in that case, tenderizing the steak with scoring is a good way. Scoring breaks down the fibrous and fat content of these steaks. Scoring is the slicing of steak cut into thin pieces. I follow these steps while scoring:
- Place the steak cut on a flat surface and let it relax for 5-10 minutes.
- Score it on the surface with the help of a knife.
- This slice means short meat fibers, and this method makes the steak more tender and juicier.
Tendering Steak With Acidic Tenderizers
Acidic liquids like vinegar, wine, citrus segments, or juices soften fat, protein, and meat muscles and make them more tender and juicy. My personal favorite is using white vinegar. It adds extra flavor to the steak while making it tender.
- You can follow these steps to add white vinegar to it:
- Place it on a flat surface or a tray and pierce it everywhere with a fork.
- Put the vinegar or wine or citrus elements like orange pieces all over it.
- Wait for an hour or two so that the steak absorbs the elements, and then proceed with your cooking.
This process makes your steak so tender that it melts as soon as you put it in your mouth.
How Do I Make Steak More Tender?
The cooking process plays one of the influential roles in making your steak tender and flavorful. Cooking with the proper approach is very important. Overcooking will ruin your dish, and fast-cooking won’t tenderize it enough. Slow cooking at a low temperature is the best process to tenderize a steak.
There are so many processes like grilling, barbequing, or using a stove that you can apply to make a steak. But I highly recommend the braising method to make a tender and tasty steak. By this process, the meat fibers and protein start to break down when you slowly cook for an extended time. It softens the steak to a level that it starts to fall from the bones.
In the braising method, I always add a liquid to maintain a wet heat while cooking. It makes the steak juicy and tender, so it doesn’t dry out even after cooking for hours. Though it requires some patience, the taste is worth this hard work.
Things You Should Keep In Mind
There are some things you need to be careful about while tenderizing your steak. After adding the tenderizers, the steak is already melted; overcooking it might ruin the taste and flavor. So be cautious about the temperature and try not to overcook it.
Also, another important thing while pounding, I make sure not to overdo it. Gently pound it with your hands, and don’t keep it in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. These are the simple things you have to keep in mind while working on your steak.
However, tenderizing steak isn’t as difficult as you might think. You will successfully make a ‘melt–in–mouth’ tender steak following these simple steps. Now that you know my secrets on how do I make steak more tender I hope these tips helped solve your struggles with your steak recipe. Now it’s your turn to do the steak magic.
Try your hands at making tender steaks now, I'm sure it will turn out great! Thanks for stopping by!