Meat is the flesh of animals used as food. Examples of animals that provide meat include cows, pigs, and chickens. Meat may be classified based on the animal's species (beef or pork), whether or not it has been processed (hamburgers or sausage), and its preparation as food (roasted or boiled). Some meat can be eaten raw while other kinds are cooked first.
There are countless recipes and techniques for meat, but not all of them have the same emphasis. Some focus on taste while others focus on safety. Though it may not be standard, animal fat plays a major role in tenderizing meat. This article will focus on how to tenderize meat using animal fat and other techniques, such as marination, steaming, and stuffing.
How to tenderize meat
In order to tenderize meat, one must determine which technique is best suited for the job. First, consider the amount of time and money that will be spent on this task. Next, evaluate the meat. If the meat is too small or large to finish in a single meal, it will be necessary to cut it into smaller pieces and cook them prior to serving the meal. After evaluating these two factors, decide whether or not marinating or freezing meat is most practical for tenderizing purposes.
Tenderizing Meat with Animal Fat
Animal fat can be obtained from cows, pigs, and other animals with fat deposits under their skin. This fat is often melted and used in meat recipes to tenderize the meat. If obtained from animals, the fat should be obtained as soon as possible after slaughter. The longer it sits on a shelf or in storage, the more likely it is to become rancid – a process by which fats or oils become stale or rotten. Fat may be melted in a pan over a heat source, but should not be heated for too long because it can burn.
Tenderizing Meat with Other Methods
- Meat does not always have to contain animal fat in order to be tenderized. There are various marination and cooking techniques that can help make meat more tender than it would be otherwise. Marination is the process of soaking and then cooking meat in a liquid that has been mixed with other ingredients. These ingredients include wine, brine, fruits, herbs, and sauces such as Worcestershire sauce or barbecue sauce. The meat should be washed before being immersed in a marinade for it to be succulent. This method is typically used on larger cuts of meat because smaller pieces tend to remain intransigent after marination.
- For large slabs of meat, steaming can be used to tenderize them. Meat is usually boiled with some kind of cooking liquid for about 10 minutes before being served with other foods on a menu. The method can also be used to tenderize meat in a marinade. However, it cannot be used on smaller cuts of meat because they will not be able to withstand the heat used to boil them.
- When preparing a steak, particularly one that is grilled, there are various ingredients that can be added before the steak is put on the grill. These ingredients are typically made from acidic herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano. This acidity can lead to the oxidation process which results in the browning of the exterior of meat – this process is known as "caramelization". The purpose of these ingredients is to prevent this process so that the steak will maintain its color after being cooked. Caramelization results in a more flavorful, tender piece of meat because the meat will absorb the flavors of the added ingredients. Multiple types of meat can be grilled together but should be separated by pieces of non-meat substances such as vegetables and cheese.
- When cooking meat, it should always be heated using indirect heat. This means that only certain parts of the food will come into contact with a heat source. Direct heat is used on thinner cuts of food such as chops and fish fillets because they cook relatively quickly when placed directly above a heat source. Indirect heat methods include stewing, roasting, poaching, and boiling.
How to tenderize meat with steaming or boiling
- Freezing marinated meat satisfies the same goals as marinating meat for one meal. However, freezing allows for multiple uses over an extended period of time because only a portion of the meat needs to be kept in its original container and frozen for later use. As with marinating meat, the container should be cleaned after each piece of meat has been cooked and kept in the freezer until needed again.
- When boiling or steaming meat, it should be kept at a temperature that is just high enough to cook the food through. The cuts of meat that are used must be relatively large so that they do not burn or remain raw within their containers. To keep them from burning, their containers should have some kind of non-flammable covering such as aluminum foil or a lid.
- Boiling meat for one meal requires less time than boiling meat for multiple meals because the meat is cooked when it is only partially cooked. As with the cooking method for multiple meals, the container used must be large enough to allow for expansion of the cut of meat as it cooks.
- To keep marinated meats from spoiling, they should be kept in their original containers and stored in cool places without light exposure. The larger pieces of meat should be wrapped in foil and frozen if they will not be cooked within a few days after being thawed.
How to tenderize meat with stewing or roasting
- The stewing or roasting method can be used to tenderize meat if there is more than one piece that is being cooked in a single meal. The container must be large enough to fit all pieces of meat that are being prepared and it should also be sturdy because it will require a longer cooking time than other methods.
- To ensure that the meat does not become overcooked, the temperature of the heat source should not exceed 375 °F (191 °C). As with boiling, the fat from the cooked meat may need to be removed if it has not had time to thaw before eating.
How to tenderize meat for one meal or for multiple meals
- Meat can be tenderized by a variety of methods. However, one should choose which method is most appropriate for the desired outcomes. There are instances where only one cut of meat will be prepared for a meal and there are also instances where cuts of meat will be cooked multiple times over a span of days.
- For single meals, steaming or boiling can be used to tenderize the meat if it is relatively small or large. If there is more than one piece of meat to cook in a single meal, then steaming may not be practical because it requires all pieces to fit into the same container before being steamed. To solve this issue, use other methods that do not require all pieces to fit in one container (e.g. stewing, roasting, poaching, etc.).
- For multiple meals, it is more practical to marinate or freeze meat for long-term use. When preparing marinated meat for a single meal, be sure to clean the meat before placing it in its container. This is because the container will require additional cleaning once its contents are used in a dish. If two or more pieces of meat are being used in a single meal, then the container should be cleaned after each piece of meat has been cooked.
- Freezing meats that have been marinated allows for multiple uses over an extended period of time because the flavor has already soaked into the meat by this point in time. Meat can be frozen in a variety of containers that do not require it to be completely covered. However, the container should be large enough to allow for the meat to expand as it freezes.
- All pieces of meat should be separated from each other when placed in their containers and wrapped in freezer paper or plastic wrap for similarly-sized pieces of meat and aluminum foil for larger or thicker pieces of meat.
- The fat that is used to cook the frozen marinated meat may need to be removed upon thawing. This is because the fat will become rancid if it does not have time to thaw properly before being eaten.
- When a cut of meat is being cooked for one meal, the proper temperature is heated to a level that causes the meat to be cooked to some extent. However, this level should not be so high that it consumes too much fat from the meat. If the fat is being removed after cooking, then this process may be skipped.
- It can take up to six hours for marinated meats to thaw properly before they are consumed. After they have been thawed, the food must be kept in its original container and refrigerated until it is needed again. This will ensure that any excess flavors will not affect other foods already on the menu.
How can I tenderize meat quickly?
There are various ways to tenderize meat quickly. However, the one that is most commonly used is steaming. The process of steaming will make the meat chewy by breaking down its fibers.
Can I tenderize chicken with forks?
Tenderizing chicken with forks is a practical way to increase the chewiness of its meats while keeping it juicy. It can also be used as part of a marinade. To achieve this method, place the chicken in a plastic bag before using a fork to pierce it repeatedly on its underside about 3/4 of an inch apart from each other. Do this for 10 minutes per pound to allow for maximum results.
How do I tenderize meat at home?
There are various methods to tenderize meat at home. Cooking it with oil is the most common method.
Can I tenderize meat with saline?
The oil-marinated and saltwater-marinated methods can be used to tenderize poultry and fish, respectively. To do this, place the meat in a bowl of water before adding salt and oil. After it has been cooked, rinse it under running water to remove the excess salt taste as well as any bones that are still attached to it, and then pat dry with paper towels before placing it back in its original container.
How do restaurants tenderize steak?
Most restaurants tenderize meat with a marinade that has ingredients like salt, soy sauce, and oil. This method will promote tenderness and also serve as a thickening agent for sauces. The juices from the steaks are then used in sauces, so it is convenient for them to cook all pieces of meat at once.
How do I tenderize meat in the microwave?
The most practical way to tenderize meat quickly is to use the microwave. To do this, place the portions of meat on a microwave-safe plate before adding them together with any marinade that they may have previously received. Turn on the microwave and cook it until its internal temperature reaches 100 °C (212 °F).
It is important to remember that the texture of meat depends on the quality of the cuts. The lack of a thick layer of fat on the meat means that certain types will become greasy and cause malaise for visitors once they have finished eating their meals in a restaurant. Despite this disadvantage, there are ways to remove fat from certain types of meats fast and easily so that the meat can be used in its uncooked form. Alternatively, those who would like to cook the meat thoroughly but not consume it within an hour or three should choose marinated cuts and use them within a few days.