A chewy steak is one that's tough rather than tender. The chewiness can be due to a particularly muscular animal or a certain type of cut. A meat tenderizer, such as marinade, can help assuage the steak's chewiness.
Meat Tenderizer Methods
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there are a few factors that affect the tenderness of meat: the age of the animal, the animal's sex and the location of the muscle. A muscle that's used more frequently will also be tougher.
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A method in which steaks are pierced with needles or blades to separate muscle fibers helps tenderize meat before it's packaged, says the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). That said, this tenderization method may impose some health risks as it may introduce pathogens to the inside of the steak. To avoid health issues, thoroughly cook your steak.
A different type of meat tenderizer that you can do at home prior to cooking your steak is to use a steak tenderizer recipe for a marinade. Utah State University Cooperative Extension explains that the purpose of marinades is to tenderize and flavor meat. According to the article, high-quality cuts of meat don't need to be marinated for tenderness. Budget meat or lean meat, on the other hand, could use a steak tenderizer marinade such as our Fresh Mango Marinade.
Cook the Perfect Steak
LIVESTRONG.com explains how to cook a rib eye steak so it's juicy and tender. If cooked properly, a steak is less likely to be chewy. To cook your rib eye, you'll need kosher salt, cracked pepper and olive oil or another type of cooking fat.
In addition, be sure to have paper towels, a cast-iron skillet or another type of oven-safe skillet and a food thermometer handy.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove moisture from the steaks by blotting them with paper towels.
- Place an oven-safe skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and liberally season the steak with salt and pepper.
- When the oil starts smoking, place the meat in the pan and sear it for two or three minutes on each side.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook the steak until its internal temperature reaches 145 F, according to a meat thermometer inserted into its thickest part.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and let the meat rest for five to eight minutes.
- Serve the steak whole or cut into pieces and incorporated into your favorite recipe.
Read more: How to Cook a Tender Steak on the Stove
Beef Food Safety Tips
Before preparing steak, it's important to review a few critical food safety guidelines. According to the Food and Drug Administration, cuts of beef, including steak, should always be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 F with at least a three-minute rest time prior to serving.
Once purchased, beef should be stored in a disposable plastic bag to contain leakage and refrigerated immediately, says the USDA FSIS. It can then be stored in the refrigerator for no more than five days or in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Avoid defrosting steak on the counter at room temperature as this allows bacteria to multiply and may cause a foodborne illness. Rather, refrigerate, microwave or submerge the steak in cold water to properly defrost. Keep in mind that if you choose to marinate your steak to tenderize it, you should do so in the refrigerator rather than on the counter.
- Food and Drug Administration: "Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Beef From Farm to Table"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Mechanically Tenderized Beef"
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension: "Marinating Meat Safely"
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: "Meat Quality"
- BBC Food; Braised Steak with Gravy; The Hairy Bikers