Some cuts of meat are too tough or chewy to be cooked as is. Therefore, to aid digestion and provide a pleasurable eating experience, it is often necessary to tenderize meats before grilling, broiling, or frying.
The most common types of meat that require tenderizing include:
· Ham hocks
· Ribs of beef or pork
· Shoulder cuts of lamb, mutton, and pork
· Round steaks
· Strips of flank steak
· Tenderloin cuts
A meat tenderizer is the best way to break down fibers that cause meat to be hard to digest. Consider the following guide to meat tenderizers to select the best method for softening your cut of meat.
A clamp-on tenderizer is a stainless steel plate with multiple blades and cutters that insert pre-cut grooves in the meat.
Hand-held meat tenderizers are also known as Jaccard cutters, and they are a series of blades or projections that pierce through the meat. They can be made of plastic or metal.
An electric meat tenderizer penetrates the meat along grooves with needles attached to a paddle. An oscillating motor turns the paddle and blades to aid in breaking down tough fibers.
Needle-like metal tenderizers have a single head but many sharp points on each that pierce through the meat to soften it.
A steak pin is a simple tool made of heavy gauge wire with three prongs with notches on the end to pierce through the meat. When used correctly, it will quickly break down tough fibers and make it tender for consumption.
One way to use natural ingredients to soften meats before cooking is to insert natural tenderizers into a meat tube. A meat tube is hollow wide enough to hold smaller cuts of beef, ground beef, or pork tenderloin.