How to Tenderize Meat on the Cheap

There are ways of tenderizing meat without spending a fortune on commercial products.

Tenderizing beef, pork and other types of meat softens the meat's fibers and connective tissues as well as opens the meat's tissues to accept smoke or liquid flavoring. The tenderizing process does not damage the meat nor does it reduces the piece of meat's overall size. You do not have to purchase and use a commercial meat tenderizer. There are various inexpensive ways of tenderizing meat, including using a meat mallet or liquid tenderizer, before you begin the cooking or grilling process.

Using a Meat Mallet

Step 1

Unpackage and wash the meat under cold, running water, and then place the meat on a clean cutting board or other clean, flat surface.

Step 2

Pound the meat with a meat mallet from one end to the other to break up the meat's tissues and fibers. The meat will flatten out and expand.

Step 3

Turn the meat over and continue to pound the meat, including any fat present on the meat, until it is flat.

Step 4

Apply your favorite seasonings or salt and pepper to the meat and grill or cook the meat using your home's stove.

Using Vinegar

Step 1

Unpackage and wash the meat under cold, running water, and then place the meat in a glass or plastic container or bowl.

Step 2

Pour white or flavored vinegar completely over the meat. Vinegar is acidic and will tenderize the meat as well as add flavoring to the meat.

Step 3

Cover the glass or plastic container or bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Place the container or bowl in your refrigerator overnight.

Step 4

Remove the container or bowl from your refrigerator and place the meat on your grill or cook the meat using your home's stove.

Step 5

Dispose of the vinegar down your home's sink or in your home's outdoor trashcan.

Tip

If white or flavored vinegar is not available, you can use fresh pineapple juice (non-commercial or canned) or olive oil to tenderize your meat following the steps in the “Using Vinegar” section.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board or flat surface

  • Meat mallet

  • Seasonings or salt and pepper

  • Glass or plastic container or bowl with lid

  • White vinegar or flavored vinegar

  • Plastic wrap

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