How to Tenderize Chuck Steak

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.

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

Step 1

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

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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