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How to Tenderize Rib Eye Steak Without a Mallet – 3 Ways

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This article basically explains and suggest a better way of tenderizing rib eye steaks without using a mallet.

Using mallet to flatten your rib eye steaks before grilling or frying is not the best idea and should really be avoided.

 

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How to Make RIb Eye Tender?

 

Here are some of the reasons of it not being suitable for use:

  1. All the moisture (i.e.tenderness) leaves steak before it’s even seared.
  2. There is a higher chance of bacterial contamination through the use of mallet. You will have to cook the rib eye steak to 62◦C / 144F (and this makes steak even drier)
  3. Rib eye’s texture also suffers – it won’t taste like it’s meant to be.

 

To me, the above reasons are enough to NOT use the mallet.

Especially when there are other better methods of tenderizing it:

 

 

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#1 Acid / Enzyme Marinating

 

One of the simplest and most common ways to tenderize any steak, not just rib eye, is by marinating it in either acid- or enzyme-based marinade.

What’s the difference between the two?

Well, acid-based marinades are marinades with mostly citric acids such as lemon, oranges, etc.

The enzyme-based marinade is another option, which involves the use of kiwi, papaya & pineapple to not only tenderize, but also enhance the actual taste of the steak.

I prefer enzyme-based marinades, because they act faster, especially at warmer room temperature.

This is why you need to pay attention and not marinate for too long…

You can check out my marinating guide for more information.

 

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#2 Low Heat Cooking

This is another method of tenderizing rib eye steaks which involves oven cooking at a temperature of 130C / 270F.

That’s what low and slow cooking does – breaks down tougher connective tissues, leaving steak extra tender.

Although this method is quite slow, it’s very efficient at retaining the taste and juiciness of meat and that’s why it’s totally worth the time.

This method is especially great with tougher cuts like round, chuck and flank, but will certainly work with NY strip and sirloin.

You can as well check out the rib eye slow oven cooking guide for detailed guide on how to go about this step by step.

 

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#3 Medium-rare Doneness

Although this is not really a method to tenderize rib eye steak, but medium rare doneness is vital for the end result.

This doneness level guarantees that your steak will be both, tender & juicy, and not overcooked & dry.

Once you see 55C/155F on your meat thermometer, you are good to go – it’s medium-rare.

See how to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature, touch or time guides.

 

How to tenderize rib eye steak with a mallet?

These are my…3 cents. 😉

 

Happy Steaks!

SteakEat

How to Tenderize Steak Without a Mallet

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This article explains how to tenderize steak without a mallet.

You know the way people smack their steaks with heavy meat mallets before grilling, frying and so on..?

 

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How to Tenderize These Two Without a Mallet?

 

This is very wrong on just about all levels:

  1. All the juices (read – tenderness) flow out leaving beef less flavorful.
  2. Increased chance of bacteria contamination (i.e. mallet takes the bacteria from the surface and gets them in the actual steak) means that you have to cook your steak to, at least, 62C / 144F to kill them off.
  3. Texture is all messed up

As you see, tenderizing meat with mallet comes at a huge cost!

But what are the alternatives?

Here is the overview (click to continue):

  1. Acid / Enzyme Marinating
  2. Low Heat Cooking
  3. Medium-rare Doneness

 

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#1 Acid / Enzyme Marinating

The most obvious way to make the surface of the steak tenderer is by marinating it.

Note that I said ‘surface’ and not the entire piece.

Marinades have their limitations and would only penetrate the cut to a certain, very small, degree – no more than 1/4 inch.

This is why marinating is kind of useless after the first 24 hours in the fridge and will only mess up the surface of the steak, making it less palatable.

Now, what do I mean by ‘acid’ and ‘enzyme’?

These are two different ways marinades break down the steak tissue (i.e. tenderize it).

Acid-based marinades are the ones with things like oranges, lemons and so on.

Enzyme-based marinades would include kiwi, papaya and pineapple.

Personally I prefer enzyme-based marinades, because they act rather quickly and are less prone to making the steak rubber-like.

Check out my marinating guide for more details.

 

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#2 Low Heat Cooking

This is where it gets more interesting!

You can tenderize any steak by cooking it at low heat and I don’t mean cooking it in crock pot (i.e. slow cooker).

One of the best ways to do it without using any extraordinary equipment is to slow cook steak in oven.

The idea is simple – place your steak in oven at 120C / 250F until its inside temperature reaches 55C / 130F (that’s medium-rare).

All you need is then to sear it quickly on the surface.

Low heat, even though it takes a good while to work, slowly breaks down connective tissue (i.e. tenderizing it) while keeping all the juices (i.e. flavor) inside – it’s a win-win!

This method is ideal for tougher cuts like round, chuck and flank, but will of course work with rib eye, NY strip, sirloin and all the others.

For the step by step guide – see the slow oven cooking guide.

 

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#3 Medium-rare Doneness

Even though technically it’s not how you can tenderize steak, medium-rare doneness is an integral part of a tender, delicious steak.

As soon as you start cooking steak using dry-heat cooking methods (e.g. pan-searing), it starts losing moisture (a.k.a. juices).

And moisture is what makes any steak delicious, so we should really try to lose as little as possible (the slow oven cooking method from above is the way to do it).

The medium-rare doneness (55C / 155F) is like a threshold doneness that guarantees your steak to be juicy, succulent and easy to chew.

You can read more on steak doneness and how to check it using meat thermometer, touch or time guides.

 

How to tenderize steak without a meat mallet?

This is how I do it.

 

Happy Steaks! 🙂

SteakEat

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