How to Tenderize Chuck Steak

Seasoned beef steaks on a plate.
Image Credit: Bill Fagan/iStock/Getty Images

Home chefs have used meat tenderizers to preserve and improve the texture and flavor of meat for centuries. Although chuck steak is notoriously tough, it is a reasonably priced protein source that many consider more flavorful than the leaner cuts of beef. Rubs consist of dried herbs and seasonings and most often include a derivative of papain, a natural enzyme found in the papaya fruit. Liquid marinades pair an acid base -- to break down tough fibers -- with an oil to moisturize the meat. Aromatics such as onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and fresh or dried herbs help to impart piquant flavors throughout the steak.


Step 1

Combine the olive oil, wine, garlic, shallots, thyme, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl. Stir gently to combine.

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Step 2

Pat the chuck steak with a damp paper towel. Poke several holes in the meat with the tines of a kitchen fork.

Step 3

Place the steak into the casserole dish and pour the marinade over the meat.


Step 4

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and seal well.

Step 5

Refrigerate the steak for eight hours, or overnight, turning the meat once halfway through the process.

Step 6

Remove the steak from the refrigerator and cook or grill as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized bowl

  • Glass or ceramic dish with sides

  • Paper towels

  • 1/2 cup extra light olive oil

  • 1 cup dry, red wine

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced fine

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

  • Kitchen fork

  • Plastic wrap


If you do not have red wine, you can use apple cider or balsamic vinegar as a substitute in your marinade.

You can cut your marinated chuck steak into 1 1/2-inch cubes, and use them for kabobs.


Always discard leftover marinades.

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