Not every reduced is melt-in-your mouth tender. We have the scoop on just how to make hard meat soft with simply a couple of simple steps.

You are watching: How to make meat tender after cooking

I think we’ve all been there: a new recipe or one unfamiliar cut of meat leaves us v a tough, chewy meal. That feels wasteful and also it can be nice embarrassing if that happens during a dinner party. Therefore what’s the cause, and also how perform you make challenging meat tender?

Well, tenderizing meat isn’t as challenging as you could think! v a few tricks, prefer the people we’ve got below, you deserve to have also budget-friendly and also unfamiliar cuts super tender with just a tiny extra effort. Discover out exactly how below, and also don’t forget to ask her butcher about these cuts.

1. Physically tenderize the meat

For difficult cuts like chuck steak, a meat mallet deserve to be a how amazing effective means to failure those hard muscle fibers. Girlfriend don’t desire to lb it right into oblivion and turn the meat into mush, but a light pounding through the rough edge that a meat mallet will execute the trick. If friend don’t have one, you have the right to lightly score the surface ar in a crosshatch pattern v a knife or usage a fork come poke tiny holes into the meat.

2. Use a marinade

Cuts prefer flank or skirt steak make terrific grilling steaks, but they’re so challenging you won’t desire to eat them there is no a tiny marinade action. Using acidic ingredients prefer lemon juice, vinegar or buttermilk not only include flavor but also malfunction tough proteins, giving the meat a “pre-cook” before it access time the grill. Just make sure you don’t let that sit ~ above the marinade because that too long (30 minute to two hours should be sufficient), or it’ll end up being soft and also mushy.

Get started with our ideal marinade recipes.

3. Don’t forget the salt

Whether you’re marinating or not, at the very least make certain to salt the meat prior to cooking. Salt draws the end moisture from inside the meat, concentrating the flavors and also creating a natural brine. You understand it’s working due to the fact that the meat will certainly take ~ above a deeper, red color. Unequal marinades, you have the right to salt your meat for up to 24 hrs in advance.

4. Let the come as much as room temperature

This is especially important through grass-fed beef and also other lean cut of meat. Because there’s not a most fat on this cuts, they’re less forgiving if contempt overcooked. Letting the meat sit ~ above a room temperature respond to for 30 minutes before cooking will assist it cook much more evenly.

5. Cook it low-and-slow

More expensive cut of meat deserve to be flash seared end high temperatures, yet many budget plan cuts, like pork shoulder or chuck roast, need low-and-slow cooking techniques (like these slow cooker sandwiches). When braising difficult cuts the meat, the collagen breaks down in the cooking liquid and also really allows those challenging muscle fibers separate. Make sure you offer yourself enough time come let those cut break down, which could take 4 or an ext hours in a Dutch range or slow cooker.

6. Fight the right inner temperature

Overcooking have the right to make your meat dry but undercooked meat have the right to be quite chewy. Don’t be afraid of one instant-read meat thermometer and pull her meat as soon as it’s ready. For naturally tender cuts like beef tenderloin, that deserve to be as rare as 125ºF, vice versa, tougher cuts prefer brisket must be cooked come 195ºF.

7. Rest your meat

No matter just how well friend prepare and also cook your meat, that will rotate out dry and also tough if girlfriend don’t let it rest. A general preeminence of ignorance is five minutes per inch of thickness because that steaks, or ten minutes per lb for roasts. This permits the juices to redistribute within the meat rather of spilling out onto the cut board—that means your meat will be dry and tough.

8. Slice against the grain

All cuts of meat have actually long muscle fibers that operation throughout them. If friend make cuts parallel to the muscle fibers, you’ll finish up utilizing your teeth to break through them as you chew. That sounds prefer a workout! Instead, reduced crosswise against the muscle fibers so castle come personally easily and also effortlessly.

Try your hand at these steakhouse copycat recipes.

See more: Here'S How To Foster An Immigrant Child Ren At Border, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

1 / 20
Taste that Home

Inspired by black color Angus prime Rib

I have actually served this cooking recipes to civilization visiting the U.S. From almost everywhere the world and also to to ~ friends, family and neighbors. That is enjoyed and also raved about by all. That makes wonderful main dish because that a Christmas feast. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, new Jersey

Inspired by claim Jumper Ribeye Steak and Garlic Herb Butter

I do this recipe for special occasions. The tantalizing fragrance that the herbs de Provence is unforgettable. The seasoning and herb butter go well through filet mignon, T-bone and also steak strips, too. —John Baranski, Baldwin City, Kansas

Inspired by Ruth"s kris Steakhouse Blue Cheese-Crusted Steaks

My mam adores this steak—and me once I settle it for her. She thinks it’s the ideal dish for Friday night ~ a lengthy workweek. —Michael Rouse, Minot, phibìc Dakota
Taste that Home

Inspired by Ruth"s chris Steakhouse Lettuce Wedge Salad

A wedge salad it s okay the creamy treatment once topped v blue cheese dressing. Keep the dressing together a topper, or make it a dip for Buffalo wings. —Jenn Smith, east Providence, Rhode Island

Inspired by Fleming"s French Onion Soup

My seven-year-old daughter Heather and also I gain spending time with each other cooking, but our days room busy, for this reason we evaluate quick and tasty recipes favor this one. Hot and delicious, this soup access time the clues for having lunch or dinner.-Sandra Chambers, Carthage, Mississippi

Inspired by Fleming"s Lobster Tails with attracted Butter

No issue where friend live, this succulent, buttery lobster tails are just a couple of minutes away. Here in Iowa, we use frozen lobster through delicious results, however if you"re close to the ocean, by all way use fresh! —Lauren McAnelly, Des Moines, Iowa

Inspired through Ruth"s kris Steakhouse Mashed Potatoes

These creamy garlic mashed potatoes space so good, you have the right to serve lock plain—no butter or gravy is needed. This is just one of our favorite red potato recipes. —Valerie Mitchell, Olathe, Kansas

Inspired by Morton"s Steak Diane

Sometimes, i add much more mushrooms to this recipe once my son"s eat dinner—he loves them, and they space just fantastic with the steak. — Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada

Inspired through Morton"s Crab Cakes

Our region is recognized for great seafood, and crab cakes room a traditional favorite. Ns learned to make them indigenous a chef in a restaurant whereby they to be a bestseller. The crabmeat"s sweet and also mild flavor is sparked by the blend of other ingredients. —Debbie Terenzini, Lusby, Maryland

Inspired by insurance claim Jumper BBQ Baby back Pork Ribs

For much more than 30 years, my brother-in-law Jim maintained his renowned rib cooking recipes a secret. When he ultimately shared it, we just had to happen it along due to the fact that we loved it for this reason much. This one"s for you, Jim! —Vicki Young, Brighton, Colorado

Inspired by The funding Grille Ribeye

A true Southerner come the core, ns love come cook—especially ~ above the grill. This recipe is just one of my favorites! The seasoning rub provides a wonderful marinade, and nothing to win the summertime taste of these flavorful grilled steaks! —Sharon Bickett, Chester, southern Carolina

Inspired through Ruth"s chris Steakhouse mushrooms Stuffed through Crabmeat

Served as an hors d"oeuvre or a light key dish, this stuffed mushrooms space pretty and delicious. Box crabmeat becomes absolutely elegant. —Jennifer Coduto, Kent, Ohio

Inspired through The resources Grille Au Gratin Potatoes

This recipe represents my philosophy of cooking to its ideal - cooking with love. A great test to check out if girlfriend have sufficient cream in the cooking recipes is to gently press on the top of the layers (once finished). If over there is sufficient cream, you should see that coming out on the sides, yet not overflowing. Letting the au gratin remainder is an extremely important . . . Also though it is so delicious that you would desire to jump ideal in. If you prefer onions, slice thinly and include in between the layers. —Theresa Danos, Hyde Park, new York

Inspired by black Angus Steak & Sea

For one intimate dinner with close friends, serve this stunning dinner of tenderloin steaks and lobster tail. Your guests will think they space dining at a good restaurant as soon as you offer them this surf and turf dish. —Taste of home Test Kitchen

Inspired by black color Angus Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Don’t be afraid to carry out the roasted Brussels sprouts. Mellowed v mustard sauce, lock may just delight even the many skeptical folks. —Becky Walch, Orland, California

Inspired through Fleming"s Creamed Spinach

Cooked spinach renders a perfect accompaniment to countless entrees, specifically salmon.—Taste of home Test Kitchen

Inspired by black color Angus invited Potato Skins

Wondering exactly how to make potato skin taste great? I peak my restaurant-worthy loaded potato skins through cheese, bacon and also a dollop of cake cream. Have actually them at lunch, snack time or cocktail hour. —Trish Perrin, Keizer, Oregon

Inspired through The Palm Steak through Brandy Peppercorn Sauce

Here is an elegant entree that have the right to be all set in under 30 minutes! soft meat and a good peppery smell is add by a wealthy cream sauce and fresh shiitake mushrooms. —Barbara Pletzke, Herndon, Virginia

Inspired by Morton"s Creme Brulee

My favourite dessert is this creme brulee recipe. Freshly I was at a party whereby the guests finished turn off their own desserts "broiling" the sugar on their parts with a small torch. What a an excellent idea! —Joylyn Trickel, Helendale, California

Inspired by The Palm Flourless cacao Cake

Here"s the perfect dessert for chocoholics—like me! i bake this melt-in-your-mouth torte all the moment for one-of-a-kind occasions. Because that an elegant finish, dust it v confectioners" sugar. —Kayla Albrecht, Freeport, Illinois
Go come Recipe
originally Published: January 26, 2018
Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in skilled kitchens, Lindsay traded she knives in because that the pen. When she spends most of she time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to rotate local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for she family.

Sign up for recipesto her inbox

Recipes from real house cooks, experiment in our kitchens and delivered best to her inbox!