How Can You Tenderize Stew Meat?

There are several ways to tenderize stew meat with natural meat tenderizers. You can use baking soda, vinegar, and plain water to tender stew meat. But if you're not sure what to use, you can also dry-age the meat to tenderize beef naturally. Here are some tips on how to tenderize stew meat.

Let's dive into each of them. These tips should give you delicious tender meat that's ready to eat. Just keep in mind that they require a little effort. But don't worry, they work!

Make Stew Meat With Baking Soda

If you are looking for a simple, effective way to tenderize beef, pork, and chicken, you can use baking soda. This ingredient is a natural alkaline that will neutralize acids in meat. Its alkaline nature will help to prevent protein inside the meat from being too tight.

The process to tenderize stew meat is easy and involves adding about 1 teaspoon of baking soda per pound of meat. It will work best on meat that is thin in slices and is not covered in fat or skin. The process is best done in advance because soaking meat can lead to an unpleasant flavor. The meat will need to be cooked to achieve the desired tenderness. If you want to make the process easier, use baking soda on a smaller cut of meat first.

stew meat on a wooden table

Adding baking soda to stew meat will make it tender and moist. The process takes only fifteen minutes. This can be extended if you're in a hurry and forget to prepare dinner. If you're cooking beef, the time for the treatment should be enough. Then, cook as you would usually do. You can serve the tenderized beef with potatoes and vegetables. If you aren't planning on using it for stew meat, you can marinate the meat in spices to make it more flavorful.

Once the beef is brown, add it to the broth. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. You can also reserve the leftovers for later. Stir the meat well and simmer it for about thirty minutes. Alternatively, you can serve it with rice. This method is simple, inexpensive, and effective. You can use it in any dish to add some flavor and tenderness. When cooking stew meat, make sure to set aside enough time for the meat to tenderize.

Tenderize Stew Meat With Vinegar

Adding a little bit of vinegar to a pot of stew is a great way to tenderize stew meat. You can use a variety of vinegar, including balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and white wine vinegar. You can also use citrus juice or tomato sauce, as well as wine. The acid in these foods will help tenderize meat just as vinegar does. While the taste may be different, they all contain the same enzymes that tenderize meat.

Another benefit of vinegar in a stew is that it can act as a disinfectant, destroying some viruses and bacteria. Though it has not been proven to kill the COVID-19 virus, it can help to prevent the growth of many food-borne pathogenic bacteria. It also has alkalizing effects on the surface of the meat, which keeps the meat moist and tender during cooking. However, you should check the label before using vinegar in a stew.

You can marinate stew meat for anywhere from 12 hours to five days in vinegar. Smaller cuts of beef will reach the tender state much sooner.

You should also remove any leftover marinade from the beef after marinating, as the acid will cause the meat to become tough. However, if you're worried about bacterial contamination, it's okay to leave the marinade on for a short period.

Another advantage of vinegar is that it helps break down the outer layer of food. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the surface and allows the marinade to penetrate the meat. While salt breaks down cells and opens pores, vinegar opens up the surface. As a seasoning, vinegar can replace salt and wine, but you must mix it with water first. And make sure the marinade is well-seasoned, otherwise, you might end up with a mushy mess.

How to Tenderize Tough Stew Meat? Cook Stew Meat in Plain Water?

You can use vinegar in your recipe to tenderize stew meat. This can be substituted with apple, balsamic, red wine vinegar, or citrus juice. If you don't have vinegar on hand, you can use tomato sauce or juice, or a combination of both. Just remember that vinegar does not soften hard meat, but other acidic ingredients can. For example, lemon juice, tomato sauce, or wine all have the ability to tenderize meat.

A good tip for cooking stew meat is to brown it well. The meat should be browned well and cooked on low heat. This way, it will be tender and rich in flavor. While the process of browning is quick, it does have its drawbacks. Unlike a slow-cooked stew, rushed meat will have a greater chance of moisture evaporating than being absorbed by the stew. For this reason, most stew meat recipes use two-stage browning.

tenderize stew meat

Another way to tenderize stew meat is to brown the beef in the pot.

You should be careful not to overcrowd the pan as this will reduce the tenderness of the meat.

Also, it is important to dry the meat well to prevent moisture from preventing it from browning.

The browned bits on the bottom of the pan should be scraped off with a wooden spoon. These bits will infuse the liquid with their flavor.

Using plain water in your stew will not impart full flavor to the stew. Instead, use beef stocks or beef stock or bouillon cubes or paste. You can also use plain water combined with pureed vegetables or add them to the stew.

This will help the meat cook more slowly and give it a richer flavor. When you're cooking stew meat on low to medium heat, it should take 30 minutes or less. The water will evaporate, leaving the stew with a concentrated salty flavor.

Tenderize Beef Naturally By Dry-Aging

Dry-aging is a process that allows meat to slowly change in flavor and texture. Exposing meat to air allows its natural enzymes to begin working, converting it from tough and chewy to tender and juicy. Exposure to cold air also helps break down proteins and carbohydrates into glutamate, an amino acid that is a natural MSG. In addition, this process can be costly. Here are the pros and cons of dry-aging stew meat.

Using a meat hook, a professional butcher will suspend beef cuts over a wire rack to allow air to circulate. To make your own beef rack, place the beef on a wire rack, or remove a solid refrigerator shelf and replace it with a wire rack. Make sure to rinse and drain the meat before adding it to the rack. Once the beef is dry, wrap it in cheesecloth or another thin piece of cloth.

Dry-aging meat needs a constant flow of air. Without it, the beef will dry too quickly and potentially develop mold cultures, which will render it unsafe. You can install a small fan at the bottom of your refrigerator, and allow it to run throughout the process. You can also cut a hole in the rubber gasket on the door to allow the air to circulate. During the aging process, it is important to keep the same temperature, as variations in air temperature will result in trimming losses.

stew meat with vinegar

In addition to reducing the number of harmful bacteria that can grow on meat, dry-aging also encourages the growth of beneficial mold. Thamnidium is the most desirable type of mold and appears as pale gray patches on the meat. It produces enzymes that break down the meat's connective tissues and muscle tissue. These enzymes produce collagen and produce more tender and flavorful beef.

How to Tenderize Stew Meat Quickly Using a Meat Tenderizer?

Using a meat tenderizer can be useful when the stew you are making contains a tough cut of beef. Stew meats can be made from many cuts, including filet mignon, Wagyu, and even Jamon Iberico. The best cuts to use for stews are often the toughest. Alternatively, you can use inexpensive cuts like rumps.

Another great way to tenderize stew meat is to marinate it. A good marinade contains acids that will tenderize the meat. You can substitute white vinegar with apple or balsamic vinegar, or you can use other acidic foods, such as tomato sauce or wine. You can also use other types of vinegar, such as apple, citrus juice, or red wine. For a more natural solution, you can also use the vinegar from wine corks.

If you are preparing a stew with a tight time schedule, you can use a meat-tenderizer. The appliance works by reducing the cooking time. It also makes stew meat more tender. It can be seasoned with coarse salt or marinated in acidic solutions. Alternatively, you can add baking soda to the stew, or cook it on a slow cooker or campfire for two hours. However, this method might be too time-consuming, resulting in a soft beef stew.

Ideally, you should marinate the meat overnight in a refrigerator. A good marinade contains acids and will break down the tough collagen fibers. However, the acids may not penetrate the meat if the other ingredients are present. Using a meat tenderizer before cooking will help ensure the meat is soft. And, when cooked in a slow oven, it will retain its flavor. It will also keep the stew liquid in the pan, so you can serve it cold.

stew meat on a meal with wine

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many different ways that you can tenderize stew meat. Some methods are more time consuming than others, but all of them will produce a delicious and tender final product. Experiment with different methods and find the one that works best for you.

Commonly Asked Questions

How can I tenderize meat quickly?

There are a few ways to tenderize meat quickly. One way is to pound it with a mallet or the flat side of a knife. Another way is to marinate it in an acidic liquid like vinegar or lemon juice for a few hours.

How do you make beef stew soft and tender?

The beef in beef stew can be made soft and tender by cooking it for a long time over low heat. This breaks down the tough connective tissues in the beef, making it more tender.

Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering jewelry, accessories, and trends. She’s also works with services, home décor. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the environment, crafts and natural products over the years helps her continue to be a top expert at Wooden Earth.


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