Having a really good steak is something that can put a smile on your face. Steak has long been a popular and satisfying meal that people like to eat as often as they can.
No matter what type of steak you’re making, you’re going to want it to be as tasty and juicy as possible. There’s nothing quite the same as biting into a juicy steak that is very tender.
When you bite into the steak and discover that it’s kind of stringy, then you’re likely going to be disappointed. Why would your steak turn out stringy like this anyway?
Read on to learn about some of the reasons why steak turns out stringy. It might help you to avoid having to put up with stringy steak in the future.
You’ll also be able to get many general tips that will help you to cook a steak to perfection. If you follow the advice below, then you’ll be more likely to make tasty steaks that will please everyone.
1 – Low-Quality Meat
Low-quality meat is going to be the most common reason why your steak turns out stringy. Even if you do everything right when preparing the steak, it’s still possible that it can turn out kind of stringy.
You might just have purchased a steak that was a bit too thin and didn’t have a lot of fat marbling. Sometimes steaks such as this will be stringy and kind of chewy.
To be clear, “stringy” is a term that people use to refer to meat that’s kind of hard to chew because of how much connective tissue is present. If there’s a lot of connective tissue in the muscle, then the steak is going to be a lot stringier than usual.
When you try to eat a stringy steak, it’s going to be a bit tougher to chew than normal, and you’re more than likely going to find it less satisfying. Needless to say, this is going to be less than ideal, and you’re going to be a bit disappointed in how the steak turned out.
The best thing to do will be to endeavor to buy better steaks the next time you go to the store. Try to buy good cuts of meat from a butcher or at least take a good look at the steaks that you’re buying before putting them in your cart at the grocery store.
Do your best to buy steaks that look as though they have good marbling so that you can avoid biting into steaks that are stringy and less flavorful. Picking out a good steak is about trying to find a good balance between fat and how lean the steak is.
Ideally, your steak should have some good marbling, but you don’t want to go overboard or the steak will have way too many fatty parts. Picking out good steaks is a bit of an art, but you’ll get much better at it over time.
2 – Tougher Cuts of Meat
There are also cuts of meat that are meant to be tougher than normal steaks. If you buy brisket, then it’s going to be a lot tougher than a type of steak that is quite tender.
If you’re new to buying steaks, then it might be good to do some research about the different cuts that you can buy. This will help you to determine which types of steaks are going to appeal to you the most.
3 – The Age of the Animal
The age of the animal might come into play when it comes to determining how stringy a cut of meat will be. It’s found that the older the animal is, the more likely it is that meat from that animal will be stringy.
This means that if you are eating a steak that comes from a very old cow, then it’s going to be far more likely to be stringy. Generally, meat doesn’t come from very old cows, and this means that it’s likely not going to be an issue to concern yourself with.
However, there are still people out there who run their own farms and care for cattle. If you slaughter an older cow and plan to make steaks out of some of the meat, then you might need to expect it to be kind of stringy.
Making Your Steak Tasty and Tender
Now that you know what factors can cause a steak to be stringy, it’ll be time to focus on making the best steak that you can. Making your steak tasty and tender is possible even when you buy a mediocre cut of meat.
There are things that you can do that will help the steak to turn out a lot better than normal. One of the most important parts of the process is to take the time to tenderize the meat.
If you do this, then even a tougher type of steak is going to turn out more tender than usual. Use a meat mallet to tenderize your steak before you cook it to get good results.
It can also be beneficial to use a marinade of some sort since it can add to the flavor. Pick a marinade that appeals to you and then be sure to add salt to the steak.
While cooking the steak, you’re going to want to cook it slowly at a lower temperature. This helps you to make the steak as juicy and tasty as possible.
You’re also going to need to pay good attention to the internal temperature of the steak to get good results. Sometimes a steak can look as if it’s done on the outside and it will still wind up being raw on the outside.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the steak hits the ideal internal temperature before declaring the steak done. Once you’re done with that, it’s going to be wise to rest the steak before cutting into it.
Resting a steak gives the steak more time to finish distributing the juices internally. You should wait about five minutes for every inch of thickness to get the ideal experience.
Finally, when you cut into steaks, you should try to cut against the grain. Cutting against the muscle fibers that will be present in the steak will make it easier to get to the meat and you won’t have a tough time trying to chew through things.
Now that you know more about why steaks can be stringy, it’ll be that much easier to try to get good cuts of meat. You can pick out steaks that are more likely to be tender and juicy while at the store or butcher’s shop.
Take your time to find the perfect steak that you’re going to enjoy. There’s no need to rush things, and it’s always best to look for a steak that has the right amount of marbling that you prefer.
Of course, you can still take steps to try to tenderize the meat and make it closer to what you would find to be perfect as well. A little bit of effort can turn a somewhat tough steak into something very tasty and satisfying overall.
Keep all of this advice in mind and you should be able to enjoy many good steaks moving forward. Having steaks with your friends and family members will always be a real treat, and you know more about how to do things right now.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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