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How Do You Tenderize Cube Steak?

How Do You Tenderize Cube Steak?

There are a lot of things involved with cooking that you may not realize. Normally, these things happen before the food has even been cooked. One such example of this is something called tenderizing.

People will tenderize all types of meat, which includes tenderizing cube steak. In this article, we will go into what cube steak and tenderizing are before finally going into the top three ways to tenderize your cube steak in the first place.

By the end of the article, you will be an expert at not only tenderizing cube steak but also at cooking it in general.

What Is Cube Steak?

Before we talk about anything else, we first should go into what cube steak is. Cube steak is a type of cut that comes from the back end of a cow.

They also can be called Swiss steak or minute steaks, though the latter is how Canadians say it.

These meats are usually made with beef but can also be made with pork and other meats as well.

What is probably the best part of cube steak is that they are very cheap cuts of meat, so it won’t break the bank if you decide to purchase it at the deli or butcher.

What Is Tenderizing?

When you are tenderizing meat, you are destroying the connective tissue or the muscle on the piece of meat. By destroying it, you are making the meat easier for yourself to consume.

If you are one of those people who prefer to eat tough meat, then tenderizing it before cooking isn’t for you. However, If you don’t want to fight with your meat, you’ll want to go down this route.

How to Tenderize

There are a couple of ways to tenderize meat. We’ve narrowed down the top three ways to tenderize cube steaks which include using a mallet, marinating it, and finally braising it.

In the next section, we are going to go into detail about how you can use each of these methods to tenderize your cube steak.

Meat Mallet

One of the easiest ways to tenderize cube steak is by using a mallet. Interestingly enough, cube steak is already tenderized at the deli/butcher, but it can do with some more tenderizing. To do this, you must:

  • Before laying out your steak on a cutting board or other covered surface, wrap the beef. You can use plastic, wax paper, etc. Whatever will help keep the juices from splattering all over you.
  • Now you can start hitting it.Take the mallet and start hitting a streak on one side. Flip it over and then hit it on the other. Once you are satisfied that you have destroyed enough of the connective tissue, you can stop.
  • Take the cube steak out of the bag and start prepping it to be cooked! This can involve seasoning or whatever you want to do before cooking it.

Cube steak is already tenderized to a certain extent, so you don’t want to go too overboard with the pounding. This could end up making the steak a little too tender.


The second method to tenderize your meat is by braising it. When you are braising meat, you are browning meat in oil before cooking it in a small amount of liquid.

To braise your cube steak, do the following:

  • There are two ways to braise cube steak. One way is on top of the stove. First, put about 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil in the pan. Turn on the stove to eat high heat, and then once it’s hot, put the meat in.
  • Sear the cube steak on each side before adding whatever spices or other ingredients you want to use. All you have to do now is let it sit on low heat until you are satisfied it is tender enough.
  • Cube steak can also be braised in the oven. To do this, sear the meat fir and then place the meat in a pan.
  • Season and add ½ cup of water or beef broth along with other ingredients.
  • Turn on the oven and cook until it’s tender enough for you. Make sure you keep an eye on it so you don’t end up burning it or something similar.

This takes a lot longer than using a meat mallet, but it does a great job of giving your meat flavor.


Marinating a cube steak means you are using acid to help break down the meat. You can use vinegar, some kind of citrus, wine, or even beer.

As long as it has enough acid to break down the connective tissue, you can use it.

  • Put your cube steak in a container of your choice, and then add your desired marinade. Make sure both sides get covered in the marinade.
  • The cube steak has to go into the fridge next. Marinade for a few hours. Ideally, it should be about 8 hours, but it can be as little as 30 minutes. You never want to marinate it for more than 24 hours.
  • Once the period is up, take the cube steak out of the fridge and the container. Add whatever seasoning you like, and then you can start cooking it.

This method is the one that takes the longest, but it truly is a fantastic way of tenderizing your meat. Plus, the marinade does a great job of adding some extra flavor to the meat in general.

If you add some seasoning to that, your meat is going to be one of the most delicious things you’ll ever bite into.

Final Thoughts

And there you go, all you cube steak lovers out there! Once we explained what cube steak and tenderizing meat were, we went into the top three ways to tenderize cube steak.

It might take a while, but sooner rather than later, you’ll be able to tenderize with the best of them.

Tenderizing truly is a great way to get the most out of your meat and make it super tasty.

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