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How to Make T-Bone Steaks Tender

author image Michelle Kerns
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
How to Make T-Bone Steaks Tender
A perfectly grilled T-bone steak is sliced on a cutting board. Photo Credit: AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images

A T-bone steak is actually two steaks -- a tenderloin steak and a top loin or strip steak -- separated by the large bone that gives the cut its name. Best suited to grilling, sauteing and broiling, T-bone steaks are typically more tender than sirloin, rib-eye or round steak. Certain techniques before cooking can make them even more tender and mouth-watering.

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Dry-Brine with Salt

Step 1

Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Spread an even layer of crushed, unrefined sea salt on both sides of the steak.

Step 2

Place the steak on a plate and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the meat to rest, undisturbed, in the refrigerator. Plan for one hour of resting time for every inch of thickness to allow the salt to denature the proteins and break down connective tissue.

Step 3

Rinse the salt completely off of both sides of the T-bone. Use paper towels to dry the meat and cook as desired.


Step 1

Pour a commercial or homemade marinade into a large zip-top plastic bag. Mix in pureed kiwifruit, which contains an enzyme called actinidin that can break down the connective tissue in meat while preserving the steak's texture. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of the puree for every cup of marinade.

Step 2

Add the T-bone steak to the bag. Seal it and allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag occasionally, for at least 24 hours.

Step 3

Remove the steak from the bag. Discard the marinade and cook the beef as desired.

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