Tenderizing to Create Premium Quality Cuts of Steak

A steak is the pinnacle of manliness. It captures everything that it takes to be a man in a succulent, sweet but salty hunk of meat that, when cooked right never fails to please. It’s the sign of a real man to pass off a medium cooked steak in preference of medium-rare or even rare. If the French can eat it while it’s still mooing, then it seems a crime to lose any of the flavors within a steak by having it cook too long.

We’ve all encountered a bad steak. Then again, we’ve all experienced a steak so good that it envisions everything we know about food, leading us to continue the search in order to top it.

Cooking steak at home is sometimes seen as a bit of a taboo. We seem to feel that superb steak is only achieved by the pros, that the average American can’t pull off a great tasting steak from the comfort of their own home. It’s time to vanquish this once and for all. The secret is all in the preparation…

Today, tenderizing meat, or steak to be more specific is the area concerned. It’s a common misconception that you need to buy the most expensive cuts of steak the butcher has to offer for optimum steak pleasure. It’s a trap! All you need is a little know-how.

Our aim is to show you that cheaper, older cuts of meat destined for the grill, only need a little TLC to blossom. There are a few different techniques to tenderize steak. Today we’ll be covering 3 of them.

Salting Steak

It’s the method that stems back long before even dad was born. Salt wasn’t just used for preserving meats though, there’s flavor to be had there too.

Some people will say that salting the steak is only going to dry it out and ruin the texture. This may be true, but a few simple tricks avoid this and create a whole new texture and flavor.

Kosher or sea salt is needed, not the regular table salt. The reason for this is that the courser, larger salt pieces are going to actively break down the tough tissues and fibers within the steak to tenderize the steak. The natural moisture within the steak will absorb the salt even into the deepest parts. Full seasoning ensues.

An hour before the chosen method of cooking, the steak needs to be salted. Generously but evenly spread the salt on each side, gently pressing in, to help it get started.

Bonus tip: Adding a little crushed garlic at this point too will give an even richer taste for those who love their garlic. As the salt enters the steak, the garlic will be drawn in too.

After salting, leave the steak for an hour. If you’re working with an above average sized piece of meat, then it might be worth giving it another 15 minutes.

It’s then time to wash the meat under the tap. Be sure to thoroughly wash the meat before patting dry with a paper towel. Be sure to make the steak super dry, we’re not looking for steamed, tasteless meat here. Don’t be worried about washing away the salt either, as by this point the salt will have made it past the surface and will slowly be breaking down the enzymes within the steak, ready for cooking.

That’s it! A simple technique with ever-pleasing results.

Marinating Steak

A favorite way to cook steak, but requires you to prepare up to 12 hours before. Not always practical, but marinating does supply a multitude of different possible tastes and styles. You could take a steak and give it some Asian flavoring with ginger and lemongrass, or keep it strictly USA style with a barbecue marinade.

Marinades requires an acid base to break down the enzymes and fibers within the steak, thus tenderizing it. Many shop-bought marinades will actually advertise the ‘protease’ that they include. The protease is an enzymes that aims to vigorously work against the fibers to soften the meat. Sadly though, these can sometimes do too good of a job, rendering the meat too soft.

Warning: Though marinades add a whole new dimension of flavor to your meats. They aren’t actually all that great at tenderizing. Despite the acids breaking down the fibers, sadly the acids don’t always make it all the way through the meat. Worst case scenario is a soft surface with a firm center once cooked.

The chosen marinade this time, is a truly classic one. allrecipes claim this one to be “the best steak marinade in existence”, we love it, just about everyone we’ve ever spoken to about it has loved it, it’s a sure-fire winner in our eyes for those with some time on their hands.

For 2 servings, you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper


  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic


All that’s required to create this marinade is a 30 second blend of all the ingredients above. Don’t be afraid to chop and change parts to your preference. Experimentation is crucial in creating your individual favorite flavors.

Once blended, let the steak soak up the marinade before covering and leaving in the fridge for 8 hours before cooking.

The Jaccard Supertendermatic

Synonymous with late night shopping channels, the Jaccard Supertendermatic is specially designed to tenderize and create air pockets for marinades and salts to soak into.

48 razor sharp blades push into the steak tenderizing and pulverizing. The design is just as simple as using this tool. Simply beat into the meat like you were punching it, the plastic will pound into the steak and the razors will then extend, creating the tiny little heat holes which will help reduce shrinkage.

The biggest downside to the Jaccard Supertendermatic is cleaning.  48 razor sharp blades with no easy way to clean is always going to be a problem. Over time bacteria will grow and accumulate on the blades leading to possible health risks.

Overall a great idea, but once used for the first time, like-new full cleanliness is hard to achieve. A keen chef knows the risk of hygiene in the culinary world and the risk may be too large to take on.

The Cave Tools Meat Tenderizer Mallet 

Using a mallet is perhaps the most primitive, fast and fun way to tenderize any meat. Be it steak, chicken or something as obscure as schnitzel, the mallet gets the job done. The pounding process tenderizes by softening the fibers. This in turn makes the meat easier to both chew and digest, as well as aiding the cooking process by evening the surface and reducing shrinkage.

When you buy any product with the Cave Tools logo on it, you’re buying into a cooking revolution. A team of BBQ enthusiasts whose free time is spent doing the thing they love most: grilling & eating.

The Meat Tenderizer Mallet is the simple, but extremely effective way of tenderizing perfect steak, every time. It’s the no fuss, no nonsense alternative for creating melt in the mouth steak, or any other meat.

Despite the mean looks, you don’t need arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger in order to tenderize the meat. The Meat Tenderizer Mallet is perfectly weighted to suit any user. Breaking down any steak or piece of meat becomes a breeze with pyramid spikes on one side for really tearing into the meat fibers with a good whack. The other side is flat and solid, for those tougher meats.

You can even throw it in the dishwasher! No hassle cleaning.

Just like any other Cave Tools product, the belief that their products are the best on the market is reinforced by the 100% money back guarantee. If you aren’t completely satisfied then the support team is on hand to solve the problem as quickly as possible, be it a full refund or an exchange.

In addition to this, Cave Tools will also throw in their ever-expanding recipe book. With Professional recipes for any guests or just the family including: sauces, ribs, chicken, kabobs, and more.

To summarize, the choice is yours, preference will in the end dictate the way in which you decide to create steak that will knock the socks off any guests. Whether it’s a delicate tasting steak you’re cooking for the other half, or hosting the guys for the football, tenderizing is the key to eternal steak happiness.

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