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There are several methods of tenderizing meat for cooking. In addition to using a meat mallet or various marinades, you can use a meat tenderizing powder. A tenderizing powder contains natural enzymes, usually papain or bromelain, which break down the meat’s fibers. With correct application, using this powder will result in a tender piece of meat when cooked.

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Combine the tenderizing powder with a seasoning or marinade of your choice. For example, if you were going to put salt and pepper on your steak, first combine the tenderizing powder with the salt and pepper before you apply it to the steak. Because there are many different meat tenderizing powders available in stores, read the product label for information on the correct amount of tenderizing powder you should use in relation to the weight of the meat. For example, you may need to use 1 tbsp. of tenderizing powder per pound of meat.

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Sprinkle the tenderizing powder or combination of tenderizing powder and seasoning or marinade over the meat right before you are ready to cook it.

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Poke the entire surface of meat gently with a fork. By doing this, the tenderizing powder will penetrate the meat, allowing the enzymes to break down more of the meat’s tough fibers.

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Cook your meat immediately for optimum taste and tenderness, according to your recipe.

About the Author

Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.