10 Meat Tenderizer Substitutes/Tenderize meat without mallet

If you’re a fan of cooking at home, chances are you’ve used a meat tenderizer to help make tougher cuts of meat more palatable.

While meat tenderizer is definitely effective at their job, it’s not always convenient to have on hand—or even available at all.

Luckily, there are a few household items that can serve as decent substitutes in a pinch. Here are the best substitutes for meat tenderizers

11 Ideal Meat Tenderizer Substitutes in detail

homemade meat tenderizer

1. Yogurt or Buttermilk 

Yogurt and buttermilk are two dairy products that can also be used to tenderize meat. The lactic acid in yogurt and buttermilk helps to break down tough muscle fibers, resulting in more tender meat.


To use yogurt or buttermilk as a meat tenderizer, simply soak the meat in the dairy product for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Coffee Powder

If you’re out of meat tenderizers and in a bind, don’t worry. There’re several common household items that can be used as substitutes.

One of the best substitutes for meat tenderizers is coffee powder. Coffee is acidic, so it helps to break down tough fibers in meat.

Just make sure to use a coffee powder that is finely ground, or it will give the meat a gritty texture.

coffee powder is a great meat tenderizer substitute

Another good substitute for meat tenderizers is lemon juice. Like coffee, lemon juice is acidic and will assist in breaking down the tough fibers in meat.

However, lemon juice can also add a lot of flavor to meat, so use it sparingly.

If you’re looking for a flavorless option, vinegar is a good choice. It’s also acidic, so it will tenderize meat, but it won’t add any flavor.

Whichever substitute you choose, just make sure to add it early in the cooking method so that it has time to work its magic.

3. Milk

Many people assume that the only method to tenderize meat is to use a commercial meat tenderizer. However, there are actually a number of ingredients that can be used for this purpose.


One of the most effective is milk. The lactic acid in milk helps to break down tough fibers, making the meat more tender.

In addition, milk also helps to keep the meat moist, preventing it from drying out during cooking. To tenderize meat with milk, simply soak the meat in milk for several hours before cooking.

This will help to ensure that your dish comes out juicy and flavor-packed.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an all-purpose leavening agent and can be used in many recipes calling for meat tenderizer. However, because baking soda is very alkaline, it should only be used as a meat tenderizer substitute in small amounts.

Baking Soda
Baking Soda

To use baking soda as a meat tenderizer, create a paste by combining one part baking soda with two parts water.

Rub the paste into the surface of the meat and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes before cooking.

5. Fruits

If you’re looking for a natural meat tenderizer, fruits like pineapple, kiwi, and figs are all excellent choices. The enzymes in these fruits break down proteins, making them ideal for tenderizing meat.

To use them as a tenderizer, simply add them to your marinade or rub. You can also use them as a glaze or sauce for grilled or roasted meats.

If you’re searching for something a little different, try using fruit juices or purees as a marinade or glaze. They’ll add flavor and moisture to your meat while tenderizing it at the same time.

So next time you’re searching for a delicious and easy way to tenderize your meat, reach for some fruit. You won’t be disappointed.

Another good substitute for meat tenderizer is papaya. Papaya consists of an enzyme known as papain, which breaks down proteins and helps to tenderize meat.

To use papaya as a tenderizer, remove the seeds from fresh papaya and puree the fruit until it forms a smooth paste. Rub the papaya paste into the meat and let it keep for 30 minutes before cooking.

6. Lemon Juice or Vinegar

Lemon juice and vinegar are both acidic liquids that can be used to tenderize meat. For the best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice

To tenderize meat with lemon juice or vinegar, soak the meat in the liquid for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

7. Accent meat tenderizer -link accent seasoning

While there are many meat tenderizers on the market, accent meat tenderizer is a good substitute that can be easily found in most grocery stores.

When using accent meat tenderizer, it is important to follow the directions on the package.

Typically, you will need to add water to the accent meat tenderizer before adding the meat. Then, you will need to let the meat soak in the combination for at least 30 minutes.

After that, you can cook the meat as usual. Accent meat tenderizer works by cracking down the proteins in the meat, causing it to be more tender and flavorful.

As a result, it is a great way to turn tough cuts of meat into delicious meals.

8. Natural meat tenderizer powder

A natural meat tenderizer powder is a good substitute for meat tenderizers. The powder is made from the crushed seeds of the fruit of the papaya tree. These seeds contain an enzyme called papain which tenderizes the meat.

When used as a marinade, the powder will break down the tough fibers in meat, causing it to be more tender and juicy.

The powder can also be utilized to tenderize tougher cuts of meat before cooking.

Simply sprinkle it on both sides of the meat and massage it into the flesh. For best results, let the powder work its magic for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Additionally, natural meat tenderizer powder is a versatile kitchen staple that can help you create delicious, mouth-watering meals.

9. Alcohol (Beer or Wine)

Many professional chefs and home cooks alike rely on meat tenderizers to help create flavorful, juicy dishes.

However, there are a number of substitutes that can be used in a pinch. One of the most common substitutes is alcohol.

Beer and wine can both be used to tenderize meat, and they also add an extra layer of flavor. 

When using beer or wine, be sure to add it early in the cooking procedure so that the alcohol has time to evaporate.

Otherwise, your dish may end up tasting too boozy. Another option is to marinate your meat overnight in a mixture of beer or wine and other flavorful liquids, such as vinegar or lemon juice.

With a little planning, you can create a delicious dish that is full of flavor and perfectly tender.

10. High Enzymatic Food (Ginger+Garlic)

Anyone who has attempted to cook a tough piece of meat knows the importance of a good tenderizer.

While there are a number of commercial products on the market, they can be expensive and usually contain harsh chemicals.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural alternatives that can be just as effective. 

high enzymatic food is a great meat tenderizer alternative

High enzymatic foods such as fresh ginger and garlic are excellent substitutes for meat tenderizers. The enzymes in these foods help to break down the tough proteins in meat, making it much easier to cook.

Simply add a few slices of ginger or a few cloves of garlic to your marinade or cooking liquid and let it work its magic. In no time, you’ll have a delicious and perfectly cooked meal.

FAQ’s related to meat tenderizer substitute

Q1. Is Accent a meat tenderizer? Accent meat tenderizer ingredients?

Any good cook knows that tender, juicy meat is the key to a perfect meal. There’re many ways to achieve this goal, but one of the simplest is to utilize a meat tenderizer.

Accent is a popular brand of meat tenderizer, and it contains several ingredients that work together to break down tough fibers and make the meat more flavorful. The main ingredient in Accent is monosodium glutamate or MSG.

This compound helps to break down proteins, making the meat more tender. Other ingredients include salt, c club soda acid, and enzymes.

Together, these ingredients work to tenderize meat quickly and easily. So if you’re looking for a delicious, hassle-free method to bring out the best in your beef, pork, or chicken, reach for Accent meat tenderizer. Your taste buds will thank you!

Q2. What are 3 ways to tenderize meat?

There’re a few different ways to tenderize meat. The first is to physically tenderize it with a meat mallet or needle. This breaks down the muscle fibers and makes the meat more tender. The second way is to marinate the meat.

This helps to break down the fibers and also adds flavor. The third way is to cook the meat slowly over low flame. This allows the connective tissue to break down, causing the meat to be more tender.

All of these methods can be used to tenderize meats, but the best way will depend on the type of meat and your personal preferences. Experiment with different ways and discover the one that works best for you.

Q3. Can baking soda replace meat tenderizers?

Baking soda is a typical ingredient in many households, but it is also a powerful tool in the kitchen. Usually used as a leavening agent in baking, baking soda can also tenderize meat.

When added to a marinade or rub, baking soda helps to break down tough muscle fibers, making the meat more tender and flavorful. While some culinary experts swear by its effectiveness, others caution that too much baking soda can leave the meat with a soapy taste.

As with any cooking technique, it is important to experiment to find the right balance for your dish. So the next time you are looking for a meat tenderizer, reach for the baking soda and see for yourself how it can transform your meal.

Q4. How do the Chinese make their meat so tender?

There are a few different methods that the Chinese use to tenderize their meat. The most common method is to marinate the meat in a mixture of oil, soy sauce, and wine. This mixture breaks down the tough fibers in the meat, causing it to be more tender.

Another popular method is to slow cook the meat over low heat. This gradual cooking process lets the flavors of the marinade penetrate the meat, further tenderizing it.

Finally, the Chinese often add a variety of ingredients to their dishes that are known to have tenderizing properties.

For example, they might add ginger or green onions, both of which contain enzymes that help to break down tough proteins. By using these methods, the Chinese are able to produce extremely tender meat that is full of flavor.

Q5. How do the Japanese tenderize meat?

The Japanese have a variety of methods for tenderizing meat. The easiest way is Rubbing And Marinate The Meat With Sugar & Salt.

One popular method is called yakiniku, which involves grilling meat over a charcoal fire. The high heat helps to break down the tough connective tissue in the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

Another common method is katsu, which involves coating meat in a breadcrumb mixture and frying it. The breadcrumbs help to create a crispy exterior that seals in the juices, resulting in a moist and tender interior.

Finally, saikyo miso is a type of fermented soybean paste that is often used as a marinade for meats. The enzymes in the miso help to break down the proteins in the meat, resulting in a more tender texture.

Whatever method you choose, tenderizing meat is essential for creating a delicious and authentic Japanese dish.

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