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Old 05-17-2006, 04:45 PM   #11
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Wow,
I guess this helps to explain why my citrus pork kabobs come out a bit tough I thought marinating them in the lemon, orange juice, olive oil ect... was supposed to tenderize them. Actually I thought any acidic ingredient would break down the meat tissues. I used to cut the pork cubes into large (1-1/2") or so cubes. I've since cut them smaller approx 3/4" cubes to help counter the toughness a bit.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL
Wow,
I guess this helps to explain why my citrus pork kabobs come out a bit tough I thought marinating them in the lemon, orange juice, olive oil ect... was supposed to tenderize them. Actually I thought any acidic ingredient would break down the meat tissues. I used to cut the pork cubes into large (1-1/2") or so cubes. I've since cut them smaller approx 3/4" cubes to help counter the toughness a bit.
For tenderizing meats, milk is shown to have the best characteristics. It seems the calcium found in dairy products (and this includes both yogurt and buttermilk) activate natural enzymes within the muscle tissue that denatures, or breaks down theprotien structures.

Other great ways to tenderize are by pounding, and cooking low and slow (if your recipe calls for well-done meat that is). Pork toughens as teh meat temperature rises above 160 degrees. Actually, it starts to toughen before that. Por cooked to 150 degrees F. is cooked well enough to destroy any pathogens while maintaining a juicy, and tender texture. The same is true of poultry. But I always take my poultry, be it chicken, turkey, or any other bird, to 155. I then remove it from the heat source and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. And my family, and a couple of freinds, can testify to how juicy and tender the meat is.

With beef, the cut is just as important as is the technique. Because the cow is such a large animal, the carcass has so many rerying degrees of quality, from very tough to very tender. Some is laced with tough connecting tissue while other muscles have well distributed fat marbeling which increase flavor and tenderness. Which way you prepare it is determined by the cut, and how heavily the animal from which it came was exercised.

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Old 05-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #13
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We like to brine our pork, John.

You know, it may be sacreligious to bring this up here, but Adolph's makes a great meat marinade that comes in a packet. You mix it with warm water, put it in the provided bag with your meat, wait 20 minutes, and Voila! Your meat is tender. It is salty, so you must consider that when seasoning.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #14
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JonL, I'm not going to dispute milk, and all, but, If your pork kebabs coming out tough there are 2 things to look at:

1. Part of the meat you are buying.
2. How long you cook it.

1. Some parts of meat are just not ment to be cooked as kebabs, the best part would be meat from the neck.

2. If you marinade the meat, even if marinade doesn't tenderaze the meat, pork should come out very tender and juicy. You must not over cook it. Cook to medium rear at the most, if not rear. After seating in marinade like you describe, you can eat that meat row.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:39 PM   #15
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Charlie,

Count me in as NOT eating rare or raw pork ...

Though I agree that you cannot overcook pork and have it not be tough.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:40 PM   #16
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I think you are right about that, Charlie. Most people make kabobs out of meat from the pork loin, and while it is beautiful, lowfat meat, it can be dry and tough, simply because it IS low in fat.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:59 PM   #17
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Gw, as always thanks for the info it's nice to know how things work.
As for the cut of pork, I usually buy pork shoulders when they are on sale. Some I leave whole to roast or smoke, others I'll cube for kabobs, pasole or chili, ect..., the scraps usually end up going through the grinding attachment on my KA mixer.
I agree about not overcooking, maybe I should test the cubes with an instant read instead of going by touch and firmness. It kinda seems hard to do though with such small pieces of meat
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:01 PM   #18
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Jkath. I hope I'm not coming accross wrong. I am thankful for the topic. And I certainly didn't know about some of the foods you listed. That will add to my arsenal of cooking knowledge. And you are a sweetheart on this sight, one of the posters I look for and value.

I just have a thing about misinformation. And myself, and a few others bantied this topic about a couple years back, on the Food Netwrk Bulliten Boards. The results of experimentation came as a suprise to us, but were quite clear. That's why I posted what I did.

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Old 05-17-2006, 06:03 PM   #19
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Acid/Citrus can help to tenderize meat, but it's important to know about controlling the amounts you add, the time spent in the marinade, other ingredients in the marinade, etc. It's not just a simple yes/no answer.
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:54 PM   #20
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Sorry about all the confusion, folks! I just thought I'd get us in the mood to grill, that's all
And, I've used almost everything in the list in my marinades (no yogurt, mango or papaya...yet!)
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