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Old 05-17-2006, 11:01 AM   #1
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Arrow Tenderizers for Marinades

Summer is here, so it's time to heat up those grills!

Here's a good list of foods, that when added
to your marinade, will naturally tenderize
your meats:

Pineapple
Ginger
Papaya
Honeydew
Tomato
Vinegar
Wine
Buttermilk
Figs
Mango
Beer
Kiwi
Citrus Fruits
Yogurt

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Old 05-17-2006, 11:11 AM   #2
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I have to disagree with three of your ingredients; Tomato, Vinaiger, and Citrus. These are all acidic ingredients that will cause the outer layer of meat protiens to tighten into a virtual wall, inhibiting the marinade's ability to permeate the meat tissue. But the other ingredients, even the buttermilk (which is acidic as well) do break down protien strands, making the meat more tender.

Think of dried beans. When acidic ingredients are added to a pot of beans too early in the cooking process, the beans become hard, and resist the tenderizing action of the boiling liquid. The protiens in the beans again acts as a barrier.

Many moons ago, there was a thread in which one of our esteemed members did some lab-quality experiments to determine how deep marinades actually penetrate meat tissue. He found that when acidic ingredients are used, the marinades penetrated only the very surface of the meat, even after refridgerating and leaving in the marinading liquid for a week.

Brines, on the other hand, completely penetrated the meat, and so are a good vehicle to carry the tenderizing agents found in kiwi, pineapple, and other foods, throughout the meat tissue.

But thanks for the thread, and the list. Most of it is correct.

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Old 05-17-2006, 11:16 AM   #3
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Actually, here's more on that subject:


Acid-based marinades both tenderize and flavor many different types of foods, not just meats and seafood. Acids such as citrus juices, pineapple, yogurt, buttermilk, and wine tenderize by denaturing or unwinding protein strings. They also lend flavor to the end product. Extra-virgin olive oil naturally contains monoglycerides and is a good choice for marinades.

I got this information (which I thought was really helpful, as we love to grill!)
from the following meat website: http://www.askthemeatman.com/beef_marinade_recipes.htm
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:00 PM   #4
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One of the cooking science experts I rely on is Shirley O. Corriher. HEr book Cookwise is worth the investment.

The link below will take you to an article on the subject of marinades that tenderize.

"Marinades Add Flavor but Don't Always Tenderize"
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bomelaine. It is this enzyme in the pineapple that "unwinds" the protien strands. Actually, it partially digests them.

Both kiwi and papaya contain papain, which is another of those protien digesting enzymes.

Here's a link that explains in more scientific detail the actions of tenderizing agents: http://www.enzymedevelopment.com/htm...s/protein.html

Here is another site that explains the action of milk and other dairy products with respect to tenderizing protien. http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/c00157.asp


Here are three more sites that explain why acids don't tenderize foods:
http://www.gapersblock.com/airbags/a...ime_marinades/
http://allrecipes.com/advice/coll/bbq/articles/97P1.asp
http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/9-2.html

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Old 05-17-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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Pardon my poor English, maybe it is not called tenderizing, maybe it is called something else, but if you leave a piece of, lets say pork, in vinegar for a day, you can eat that pork uncooked it will be so soft.
So, call it what you wish, but vinegar is great for marinating meats.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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Did you guys know that Papaya is not only a meat tenderizor but it also helps with bee stings if you have an allergic reaction. My dad put a meat tenderizing powder on his bee stings, and this powder contains a lot of dryed papaya.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katluvscake
Did you guys know that Papaya is not only a meat tenderizor but it also helps with bee stings if you have an allergic reaction. My dad put a meat tenderizing powder on his bee stings, and this powder contains a lot of dryed papaya.

It works well. I've used it that way in the past.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:31 PM   #9
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Wow! Great information! Thanks kat~
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:52 PM   #10
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agreed...citrus doesn't tenderize meat...that guy is mistaken
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:45 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, 04:28 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, 04:36 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, 04:36 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, 04:39 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, 04:40 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, 04:59 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, 05:01 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, 05:03 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, 05:54 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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