Natural Ways To Tenderize Meat

There are many ways you can tenderize an inexpensive cut of meat. Learning how by using the right method, will save you money! You can easily turn any cut of meat into tender juicy steak, roast, ribs or meat for stir-frys

Tenderizing means breaking down the muscle fibers in the meat making the meat softer and juicier. When using natural tenderizers, you will also add more flavour

You can tenderize meat in a variety of ways. I have compounded a list of natural tenderizers to turn an inexpensive cut of meat into a juicy, mouthwatering meal

tenderize, meatSalt

Salt your steak for an hour prior to grilling. It is important to use coarse sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. After an hour, scrape the salt off and pat the meat dry. Leaving moisture on the meat will steam your meat, which will take away from the delicious grilled flavour


Papaya, pineapple or kiwis are excellent tenderizers. To use, mash the fruit and apply on the meat. Leave for 2 hours, wipe off and pat dry the meat. The fruit adds tremendous flavour and will tenderize thinner cuts of meat. It is important not to marinate meat in acidic tenderizers for more than 2 hours, or the acidity will then begin to toughen it. If you want to marinate the meat longer to add more flavour add an oil. Always use a glass dish, because steel can react to the acid


Ginger is not only known for its flavour and health benefits. Because ginger contains a proteolytic enzyme, it naturally breaks down the protein in the meat. Making your meat beautifully tender

Baking soda

Another tenderizer you will find in most kitchens is baking soda. Rub the meat with baking soda and leave for several hours. Rinse well before cooking and pat dry the meat

yogurtYogurt and buttermilk

Yogurt and buttermilk contain calcium, this will activate the enzymes in the meat and help break down protein. Marinate for 2 hours, rinse and pat dry the meat


Make a cup of strong green or black tea. Cool and marinate the meat for 24 hours. Tea contains tannins, making it a natural tenderizer. This method is known to be used in the Asian kitchen. Tea also adds flavour to inexpensive cut of meat.


Excellent for tenderizing meats, because in contains alpha acids and tannins and also adds to the flavour. Soak for an hour before cooking and you will turn cheap steak into prime choice of meat


Surprisingly coffee is a natural tenderizer. Brew a strong pot of coffee, chill and marinate for 24 hours. The coffee flavour also improves the taste of your meat

meat, tenderizeMallet

When preparing tough cuts a mallet is always an option. By pounding the meat with the mallet, you will tenderize the meat, particularly tough cuts of steak.


When all fails, you can always go to traditional tenderizing. Simmering the meat slowly for a long time. Think of a pot roast in a mouthwatering sauce when the meat can be cut with a fork. Yummy!


Check out our selection of delicious gluten-free and paleo recipes here>