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The Best Way to Tenderize a Sirloin Steak for Grilling

Sirloin steak is a juicy and moderately tender cut of beef that has no bones and packs very little fat. Tenderizing your sirloin steak not only maximizes flavor but also makes it easier to chew. Although they are more flavorful than most premium grilling cuts, they vary widely in tenderness depending on the age of the cow. While there are several techniques out there to tenderize a tasty sirloin steak, the best results often come from combining at least two or more of them. This article discusses a step-by-step procedure on how you can tenderize a sirloin steak for grilling.

  • Use a Meat Mallet

Sirloin steaks tend to be tougher than most grilling steaks because they are extracted from an area that flexes repeatedly as the animal moves around or stands in one position.

Sirloin Steak on Plate
This makes them denser and even tougher to chew. To tenderize your sirloin steak, you first have to pound it with a mallet or a similar blunt object. This procedure helps to break the bonds holding the muscle fibers together. In addition, pounding enhances the mild tenderizing effect of a marinade by opening up the beef’s interior. This allows flavors to penetrate deeply into the steak for better results. Another alternative to pounding is using spiked tenderizers, which help shear the bonds.

  • Top It Up With Salt

Do not use table salt because it contains iodine that gives a harsh chemical flavor to your steak. Instead, use kosher salt or sea salt and sprinkle it liberally over the entire steak. Allow the steak to rest for at least an hour before you rinse off the excess salt. Afterward, use fresh paper towels to blot it dry. Cured meats are more tender than cuts of beef that were originally extracted from the animal because of their rich salt content. Salting a sirloin steak is an effective alternative to brining which can make it watery and soggy. Besides its tenderizing effect, salting also gives you a savory and perfectly seasoned steak.

  • Soak in Your Favorite Marinade

Most cookbooks recommend acidic marinades in their recipes because of their tenderizing prowess. The best way to soak your sirloin is to place it in a food-safe container and add your favorite marinade over it. Both sides of the steak need to be exposed to marinade before allowing it to rest for at least an hour. The drawback to this step is that leaving your steak in marinade for too long makes the proteins tougher than they were. Also, keep in mind that the marinade effect only occurs at the meat’s surface. Use clean paper towels to blot the surface dry after removing your steak from its marinade.

  • Add Enzyme-Based Tenderizer

If desired, you can sprinkle both sides of your steak lightly with an enzyme-based tenderizer. You do not have to rest the steak longer than a minute for the powder to dissolve because enzymes do most of their work during cooking. Use moderate salt in your marinade if your enzyme-based tenderizer comes with salt in it. Powdered meat tenderizers use purified enzymes like bromelain from pineapples and papain from papayas. Even though they are effective, they only work on the meat surface as with acidic marinades. When enzyme-based tenderizers are used in excess, they can affect your results by giving your sirloin steak a mushy texture.

  • Put Your Steak On The Grill

Use your favorite method to grill the sirloin until you achieve your desired doneness. The final way to improve the tenderness of your steak once it is on your plate is to cut it into thin slices. Thin slicing helps to shorten any tough muscle fibers in a similar way it does with flank steak or other cuts of beef. This makes it easier to chew and enjoy the flavor of a perfectly seasoned steak. If you had your cured steak stored in the freezer to grill at a later period, it is advisable to bring it to room temperature before grilling. Before serving, make sure to rest your steak for at least 5 minutes because the heat pulls the flavorful juices of your steak toward the meat surface.

It is not necessary to use all the above steps when tenderizing your sirloin steak. You can choose to use only an enzyme tenderizer or a marinade instead of both. Do not cook your steak longer than it should to prevent its muscle fibers from contacting and becoming tougher in the process. The last thing you would want after carefully following the tenderizing procedure is to mess up the last process that involves the grill and heat.

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