What Makes a Naturally Tough Steak Tender?

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Have you ever experienced the moment when you’re almost finished barbequing that perfect, extra-tender steak? You seasoned it perfectly, cooked it to absolute perfection, and can smell that smoky goodness filling the air around you. You take the steak off the grill, plate it, and cut into it to take the first—and arguably the best—bite. That’s when the stinging surge of disappointment takes over: this steak is tough and flavorless.

Simple Ways To Tenderize Steak

Finding a tender steak is like finding a gold mine—it can be almost impossible if you don’t know where to look. It doesn’t help that steak is naturally tough with some certain cuts being even tougher than the next. So, how do you take a naturally tough steak and make it tender?

Marinade & Scoring

This is an easy way to tenderize a tough steak. Scoring means to manually create small incisions in the meat to cut the muscle fibers. Then, by marinating the beef, the marinade is better absorbed, thus producing a juicy steak.

Meat Tenderizers

This is a well-known practice that is quite popular. By using a meat tenderizer such a meat pounder, this can break down muscle fibers to tenderize a tough steak.

Acid Tenderizing

Letting meat sit in concentrated lemon juice and/or vinegar can soften meat and produce a more tender steak due to the acidic effects.

Find Meat with Marbling

Since fat melts during cooking, it’s important to find meat with fine marbling between the muscle fibers. This will allow for tenderness throughout the entire steak once cooked.

Finding well-marbled steak can be difficult. In fact, prime steak (which consists of only the top 2% of steak in the US) has prime marbling throughout the interior of the steak. Since we produce prime beef here at Chicago Steak Company, the quality of our prime is dictated by the interior marbling of our steak, which is very fine and prominent. Then, to bring these steaks from tough to tender, we age our steaks to break down the tough muscle fibers. Not only does this help tenderize the steak, but it also boosts the intense flavors that our customers have come to known and love.

Choosing the right steak is crucial in determining whether or not it will be tender. Everything from the cut, brand, and grade can influence both flavor and toughness. If you’re looking for a steak that is guaranteed to be bursting with juicy flavor, then look to Chicago Steak Company. Let us take the hassle out of those disappointing barbeque fails and trust that when you order steak from us, you’ll be left feeling satisfied when you cut into that first tender bite.