Meat tenderizer powder is an enzyme that helps break down meat fibers, rendering tougher cuts of meat more palatable. To use it, sprinkle it liberally on the selected cut of meat, and then use a fork or meat tenderizer tool to help the powder penetrate deeper into it. The powders may also be added to marinades.
Some cooks think they can just sprinkle the powder on the surface of the meat and voila – their job is done. Wrong! The tenderizer has to get into the meat in order to work. If it just sits on the surface, the surface will get “mushy,” and the inside of the cut will still be tough. To get the powdered tenderizer throughout the meat, pierce the steak, chop, or fillet with a sharp knife or fork all over. Then coat that side with the powder.
Tenderizing tough cuts of meat allows you to serve protein-rich meals on a budget. Too much red meat is not good for your cholesterol levels or your waistline, but less expensive meats also tend to be leaner. It is the marbling of fat throughout the more expensive cuts that make them naturally tender, so cooking leaner meats saves calories and fat.