How do you tenderize London broil quickly?

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How do you tenderize London broil quickly?



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London broil is a popular cut of beef known for its rich flavor and affordability. However, it can also be quite tough if not prepared and cooked properly. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to tenderize London broil quickly, allowing you to enjoy a delicious and tender meal without the need for long marinating or slow cooking. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips to help you achieve a mouthwateringly tender London broil in no time.

Understanding London Broil

Before we dive into the methods of tenderizing London broil, it’s important to understand what London broil actually is. Contrary to popular belief, London broil is not a specific cut of meat but a cooking method. It typically involves broiling or grilling a marinated or seasoned beef steak, usually a top round or flank steak. These cuts of meat are known for their lean nature and can be quite tough if not treated properly.

Meat Selection

The first step in ensuring a tender London broil is selecting the right cut of meat. While London broil can be made from various beef cuts, some cuts are naturally more tender than others. Consider the following options:

Top Round Steak: This is a relatively lean cut that can be quite tough. However, it’s flavorful and becomes tender when cooked correctly.

Flank Steak: Flank steak is a popular choice for London broil due to its strong beefy flavor. It can be tough but can turn tender with proper preparation.

Sirloin Tip Steak: This cut is slightly more tender than top round or flank and can be a good choice for London broil.

When purchasing your London broil, look for meat that has minimal visible fat and connective tissue. Trim any excess fat to avoid flare-ups during cooking.

Meat Pounding

One of the quickest ways to tenderize London broil is by using a meat mallet or a tenderizing tool. This method involves physically breaking down the muscle fibers in the meat to make it more tender. Here’s how to do it:

Place the London broil between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent splattering.

Gently but firmly pound the meat with the flat side of the meat mallet or a rolling pin. Start from the center and work your way outwards, applying even pressure. Be careful not to tear the meat.

Continue until the London broil has reached your desired thickness. Thinner steaks tend to cook more quickly and evenly.


Marinating is a common method used to tenderize London broil. It involves soaking the meat in a flavorful liquid for a certain amount of time, allowing the acids and enzymes in the marinade to break down the muscle fibers. While marinating usually takes some time, there are ways to speed up the process:

Use an Acidic Marinade: Acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, or yogurt can help tenderize the meat more quickly. Combine these with your preferred seasonings and let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight for maximum tenderness.

Use a Meat Tenderizer: To speed up the marinating process, you can also use a meat tenderizer tool to create small channels in the meat’s surface, allowing the marinade to penetrate more effectively.

Salt Rub

A simple and quick method to tenderize London broil is to use a salt rub. Salt helps break down muscle fibers and draw out moisture from the meat, which is then reabsorbed, resulting in a more tender texture. Here’s how to do it:

Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt (about 1-2 teaspoons per pound of meat) evenly over both sides of the London broil.

Place the meat on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any drippings.

Let the salted meat sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. During this time, you’ll notice moisture being drawn out of the meat. This is a sign that the salt is doing its job.

After resting, rinse the salt off the meat thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels. Season it with your preferred herbs and spices before cooking.

Papaya or Pineapple Enzymes

Papaya and pineapple both contain natural enzymes, papain and bromelain, respectively, which can help tenderize meat. These enzymes break down the tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender London broil. Here’s how to use them:

Create a marinade by blending fresh papaya or pineapple with other ingredients like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and your favorite seasonings.

Place the London broil in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it.

Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Avoid marinating for too long, as these enzymes can over-tenderize the meat and turn it mushy.

After marinating, remove the meat, discard the marinade, and pat it dry before cooking.


Velveting is a Chinese cooking technique that involves coating meat with a mixture of egg white and cornstarch before cooking. While it is traditionally used for stir-frying, it can also be applied to London broil to achieve a tender result. Here’s how to velvet your London broil:

In a bowl, whisk together egg white and cornstarch until you have a smooth paste.

Coat the London broil evenly with the mixture and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes at room temperature.

Cook the meat as desired, whether grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. The velveting technique creates a protective layer around the meat, helping it retain moisture and tenderness during cooking.

Mechanical Tenderizer

A mechanical tenderizer, also known as a meat tenderizing tool or a Jaccard tenderizer, can quickly tenderize London broil by piercing it with a series of small blades or needles. This process breaks down the muscle fibers and allows for better absorption of marinades and seasonings. Here’s how to use it:

Place the London broil on a clean, stable surface.

Press the tenderizing tool firmly into the meat, making sure the blades or needles penetrate it evenly.

Turn the meat and repeat the process, crisscrossing the punctures to ensure thorough tenderization.

After tenderizing, proceed with your preferred cooking method.

Cooking Techniques

Even with quick tenderization methods, your cooking technique plays a crucial role in achieving a tender London broil. Here are a few cooking tips to ensure your steak turns out perfectly:

High Heat: Use high heat when grilling, broiling, or pan-searing London broil. High heat helps to sear the outside quickly, sealing in the juices and preventing the meat from drying out.

Doneness: London broil is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness to avoid overcooking, which can make it tough. Use a meat thermometer to ensure you reach your desired level of doneness.

Resting: After cooking, allow the London broil to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This gives the juices a chance to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more tender steak.

London broil can be a delicious and budget-friendly choice for a meal when prepared and tenderized correctly. Whether you choose to pound, marinate, salt rub, or use enzymatic methods like papaya or pineapple, there are various ways to quickly tenderize this flavorful cut of meat. Combining these techniques with proper cooking methods will ensure that your London broil turns out tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious every time. Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for your palate and enjoy a mouthwatering London broil experience at home.

Tips for Serving and Pairing Your Tenderized London Broil

Now that you’ve learned how to quickly tenderize London broil, it’s time to explore some serving and pairing options to make the most of your deliciously tender meat.

Slicing Technique

When it comes to serving your tenderized London broil, slicing it correctly can make a big difference in the overall dining experience. To maximize tenderness:

Slice the meat against the grain: This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. Slicing against the grain shortens the muscle fibers, making each bite more tender.

Cut thin slices: Thin slices not only enhance tenderness but also allow for better distribution of flavors and seasonings. Aim for slices that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Flavorful Accompaniments

Enhance the taste of your London broil with flavorful accompaniments and sauces:

Chimichurri Sauce: A classic Argentinean sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar, chimichurri adds a burst of freshness and tanginess to your steak.

Mushroom Sauce: A rich and creamy mushroom sauce can complement the beefy flavor of London broil perfectly.

Garlic Butter: A simple garlic butter sauce with a hint of herbs can elevate your meal with its rich and savory taste.

Salsa Verde: A zesty salsa verde made with tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice can provide a tangy contrast to the meat.

Side Dishes
Pair your tenderized London broil with a variety of side dishes to create a well-rounded meal. Some popular options include:

Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or carrots can add a delicious contrast to the meat.

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes make for a comforting and classic side dish that complements the steak.

Grilled Corn on the Cob: Seasoned and grilled corn on the cob adds a sweet and smoky element to your plate.

Caesar Salad: A crisp Caesar salad with homemade dressing and croutons can be a refreshing accompaniment.

Wine and Beverage Pairings

Choosing the right wine or beverage to accompany your tenderized London broil can enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some pairing suggestions:

Red Wine: London broil pairs well with red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, or Syrah. The tannins in red wine complement the beef’s flavor and tenderness.

Beer: A robust beer, such as a stout or porter, can also be a great match for London broil, especially if you enjoy a beer with your meal.

Non-Alcoholic Options: If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, consider a sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime for a refreshing contrast.

Leftovers and Recipe Ideas

If you have leftovers, don’t worry! Tenderized London broil can be used in a variety of recipes:

Beef Tacos: Slice the leftover meat thinly and use it as a filling for delicious beef tacos with your favorite toppings.

Steak Salad: Toss thin slices of London broil with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a vinaigrette dressing for a satisfying steak salad.

Beef Sandwiches: Make hearty sandwiches by placing slices of London broil on a crusty roll with some horseradish sauce, caramelized onions, and arugula.

Beef Stir-Fry: Cut the tenderized meat into thin strips and stir-fry it with colorful vegetables and your favorite stir-fry sauce.

Tenderizing London broil quickly doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right choice of meat, preparation methods, and cooking techniques, you can enjoy a mouthwateringly tender steak in no time. Whether you prefer to pound, marinate, use a salt rub, or apply enzymatic methods, these techniques will help you achieve a tender London broil that’s perfect for any occasion.

Once your London broil is tenderized and cooked to perfection, consider serving it with flavorful accompaniments, side dishes, and complementary beverages to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. And don’t forget to explore leftover recipe ideas to make the most of your deliciously tender meat. With these tips and suggestions, you’ll be able to enjoy a restaurant-quality London broil right in the comfort of your own kitchen.


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