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A process to reduce the toughness of meat fibers in a cut of meat. Tenderizing breaks down the meat fibers and softens the meat, making it easier to chew and more palatable. Tenderizing can occur before meat is sold, during a preparation process, or while it is cooking. Some of the methods used are aging processes, marinating the meat in acid-based substances, using commercial meat tenderizers or by cooking the meat very slowly. Meat can also be tenderized with the use of meat mallets or meat utensils that are typically made of steel or similar alloys. The tenderizing tools resemble a hammer-like handled utensil and are made with a flat or point-protruding surface that can be pounded into the meat to break apart the meat fibers.

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