How To Tenderize Stew Meat


Do you know how to tenderize Stew Meat? If the answer is no, then this article is for you! Tenderizing meat can be a daunting task, but if done correctly will yield a mouthwatering end result. In this article we’ll discuss some of the best ways to tenderize stew meat.

Each chef has their own method of tenderizing meat stew. I will however share the ones I have tried and the results. These techniques aren’t limited to beef. You can also use them for lamb, goat, and buffalo.

Methods for tenderizing beef stew meat

These are the best ways to make your stew more tender and delicious by using fibrous collagen fibers. You are welcome to include other methods that have produced impressive results to this list.

1. Pound the Meat

This method is the oldest and most effective way to tenderize meat. You can either pound the meat using a meat mallet or wrap the steak in saran wrap, and then give it a good beating with a rolling pin. This helps to break down the meat fibers, which make chuck hard.

Avoid bones in any piece of meat that you want to pound. It will cook tenderly and deliciously.

2. Cook it low and for long

Cooking the majority of cuts requires low heat and a long cooking time. If these meats are not properly cooked, the collagen fibers found in muscle cuts will cause them to be chewy.

The collagen fibers are broken down with little heat (160-205 F) and long periods of time (3-4 hours) in small amounts of liquid. Soft meat is more digestible and bioavailable. A delicious stew is what you want.

While a slow cooker is the best choice, you can also sear the meat using a skillet. Make sure to cook the meat for at least three hours on a low heat.

Did you know that pre-boiling tough, fibrous beef cuts can make them tender and more tender for stews? This can be done in a slow cooker, if you have enough liquid. Avoid using water, just like when you braise. Use beef broth or beef stock. You can also choose veal stock or bouillon paste if you want a stronger flavor.

3. Searing

Do you want to learn a kitchen trick? This trick will make your kitchen more efficient than you might think. You can lock in the moisture by giving your meat a high heat cooking (searing). This moisture helps to achieve tenderness and flavor.

This is how most cooks think: They would add the meat to the cooking liquid, and then leave the rest to the cooker. This causes the stew to have a bland flavor and gray meat to be dull. You can avoid this by searing the meat over high heat. This will make your stew attractively brown and tender.

Use heat-tolerant oils like grape seed oil and canola when searing. Make sure the pan is not smoking and only sear a few pieces at once. You can also sear large chunks of meat without taking too much time.

4. Marinating

Marinating serves two purposes: tenderizing and flavoring meat. You should expect a significant change if you marinate the meat in the right ingredients for at minimum two hours. If possible, let the meat marinade for at least two hours before you begin searing.

Here are some simple but effective ingredients to transform tough connective tissue into delicious beef stew meat.

Fruit enzymes

  • Kiwi fruit contains actinidin which is a gentle, but powerful enzyme. For 12 hours, soak the upper shoulder in a kiwi marinade. You will love your stew.
  • A pineapple is another fruit that you can find almost anywhere. The enzyme bromelain is hidden in the sweet juice. You could end up with the most fibrous cut reduced to mush if you don’t use a pineapple marinade.
  • Papain is found in papaya. Papain, like other enzymes, acts on collagen fibers. Within a matter of hours, the connective tissue structure will be destroyed.
  • Other fruits that you can use are mango, Asian pear, fig, and mango.

For a cup of marinade, you shouldn’t use more than 2 tablespoons of crushed fruits. As we mentioned, marinating meat in fruit enzymes for too long can cause it to become mushy. You can also use pineapple or mango juice.

The last thing you need to know about fruits is that they should be kept at 50-70 C. This temperature is ideal for enzyme action.

  • Benefits of pellet smokers

Baking soda, which is alkaline by nature, would alkalize the meat surfaces where it is applied. This causes the protein bonds to be broken down, which allows for tenderness to set in.

You can tenderize stewed beef by coating the meat with a tablespoonful baking soda. Or, you can soak the meat in water-baking soda. Let the meat rest for 20 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly. Don’t forget about drying the meat if you plan to brown it.

Baking soda can leave an alkaline flavor in meats, so you shouldn’t invest in it if you want to save money.

  • Salt

It is unlikely that the table salt in your kitchen can be used as a meat tenderizer, despite its appearance. Salting a roast and then refrigerating it for 24 hours before cooking is enough to get rid of meat tenderizers. You won’t make your stew with whole roasts, as smaller cuts of meat require only 40 minutes.

Be sure to rinse off salt before you start cooking

  • Acidic Marinade

We didn’t tell you marinades make meat tastier and add flavor. The only tenderizing agent is acid in marinades. In addition to the addition of acids, other ingredients can slow down the penetration of marinades. It is advisable only to use this method when necessary.

If you decide to go ahead with this process, you will need to make an acid mixture. You can also add oil to your marinade and let it cool for 24 hours.

You can use the following acids in your marinade:

  • Lemon/lime juice
  • vinegar
  • wine/beer
  • Yogurt/buttermilk
  • tomato/teriyaki/soy sauce

How long should you boil beef stew meat for tenderness?

This discussion was biased towards chucks. These cuts are not suitable for grilling but are great for stew. They are high in collagen fiber, which gives stew a tender taste. Let’s now discuss the most popular method for How To Tenderize Stew Meat!

a. Blade steak

This is the shoulder blade. After the mixture comes to a boil, you must let it simmer for at least an hour. Use a pressure cooker to boil the mixture for at least 15 minutes.

b. Pectoral Brisket

This is the chest. If you boil this cut for at least three hours, it can make the best stew you ever tasted. A pressure cooker could reduce that time to just 80 minutes

How do you choose beef stew meat?

When it comes to tenderizing any cut of meat, you are unbeatable. It is now possible to choose the best pieces for your stew. What should you be looking for?

The best steak meat comes from the larger and more muscular portions of an animal. For beef stew, the bull’s large shoulder is the best choice. Chuck is another name for this.

Be careful when purchasing meat. Some butchers may package small pieces of meat left over from cutting larger parts. Inconsistency in cooking would result.

For a consistent texture and sweetened stew, you should insist on using the chuck. For your stew, you can use top, bottom, steak and round cuts. You should only use one cut per pot.


How To Tenderize Stew Meat? You can now make an easy, tasty beef stew without having to worry about the meat being tough. The tips we have provided should help you tenderize any cut of meat for your dish and ensure that it will turn out flavorful every time.

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