How to Make a Homemade Meat Tenderizer

Tough cuts of meat are difficult to chew, which spoils the meat dish even if the recipe is perfect. Often you get cheap cuts of meat which saves money, but such cuts are very tough. The solution is to tenderize the meat cuts. Tenderizing the meat cuts not only enables you to prepare a delicious meal but also helps you save money. There are many ways by which you can make meat tenderizer at home.

Vinegar meat tenderizer

Pierce the meat cut using a fork and soak it in vinegar. Allow the meat soaked in vinegar to stand for 1-2 hours before cooking. The acetic acid present in vinegar breaks down the tough fibres in the meat cut, thereby making it tender. The meat cut tenderized by vinegar should be cooked in a non-reactive pan or skillet. Non-stick pans and glass dishes are most suitable. Cast iron pan should not be used because iron reacts with acid.

The meat cut should be rinsed and dried before cooking. The smell of vinegar can be eliminated by seasoning it properly before cooking.


The tough meat cut can be tenderized by marinating it using acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, orange juice, buttermilk, yoghurt, wine or soda. Choose an ingredient which enhances the flavour of the meat in accordance with the recipe you intend to try. The acid present in these ingredients break down the tough proteins in the meat and tenderize it. The marinated meat cut should be allowed to stand for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The meat becomes too soft if allowed to stand for far too long.

Crockpot, Roasting Pan or Pressure Cooker

Cooking the tough meat for a long time will tenderize it, but the problem is the meat will dry out excessively. The tough meat cut should be cooked in a pressure cooker, crockpot or roasting pan having a lid. These cooking utensils retain moisture which allows the meat to tenderize without becoming dry.

Reverse Sear

Reverse sear is an effective way of tenderizing meat. Put the meat cut on a roasting rack and place it inside an oven. Heat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the meat in a foil after removing it from the oven and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Now sear each side of the meat cut for 1 minute and let it sit for five minutes.

Physical Tenderizing

The meat cut can be tenderized by physically breaking down the muscle fibres. This is achieved by pounding the meat using a meat mallet. The bottom of a cast iron pan and a rolling pin can also be used to pound the meat cut if a meat mallet is not available. A plastic wrap can be put over the meat cut so that pieces of meat do not go flying around.

So these are the methods to make meat tenderizer easily at home.