11 Washington Street

Canton, MA,

The Only Meat Tenderizing Guide You Need

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As the go-to butcher shop in MA, our team at Main Course Market knows what it takes to create a mouth-watering meal that has your family coming back for more. Even the pickiest of eaters can’t resist the secrets are butchers create. From the best cuts to the marinade, with this guide, you’ll be on your way to creating meals that will impress family and friends alike!



Why tenderize

We agree, tough pieces are meat are unappealing.  Not only does chewing on something the consistency of leather gross us out, but it also hurts your jaw! And that, our friends, is why we tenderize. Using a variety of techniques, nearly any cut of meat can be made into a mouth-watering tender meal.


In general, tenderizing involves breaking down the fibers within the meat to soften its texture.  Not does tenderizing make meat easier to chew, but the process also helps enhance the flavor.  However, unbeknownst to many, there are several techniques one can use when having a go at the tenderizing process.



Tenderizing tools

One of several techniques involves the use of a tenderizing tool.  While there are several variates of meat tenderizers, most people opt to use a mallet, or you can use a knife.  The choice is yours.  Either way, you’ll want to secure the meat on a sterile, non-slip surface.


Mallets are a fantastic choice not only for tenderizing but also for releasing the day’s frustrations. However, if using a mallet, being mindful of the process is a must.  More often than not, novice chefs will over tenderize, leaving a clump of mushy meat that no one wants to eat.


If you choose to tenderize with a knife, you want to make long, thin cuts along the muscle fiber, otherwise known as scoring. This method breaks up tough proteins allowing marinades and dry rubs to absorb more easily.




Slow cooking

Best used on brisket and ribs, slow cooking takes a bit more patience.  The goal is to heat the meat to a temperature that allows tough fibers, connective tissues, and collagen to break down without cooking.  Once the ideal temperature is achieved, the meat becomes “fork tender,” creating that melt in your mouth result.  Whether you grill for dry heat or braise of wet heat, you’re sure to have an impressive result so long as you watch your temperature and take it slow.



Enzymatic marinating

Finally, and one of our favorite ways to tenderize is to use fruit!  Several fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, and papaya contain enzymes that help speed up the process of tenderizing, while adding a unique flavor. Although this method requires time and patience, your creative flair has plenty of opportunity to shine here.  Puree your fruit of choice with a bit of olive oil and lemon, and you’ve got yourself the ideal marinade.  If using pineapple, you’ll want to limit your marinating time as your result will be similar to over using the mallet.


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Here at the Main Course Market, we’re proud to be the community go-to butcher shop in MA. Although our butchers take premium cuts of meat and infuse them with our signature marinades, we encourage you to try your culinary skills as well!

To place your order, contact our team today at (781) 821-0005.