Preparing Beef for Cooking

A tender cut of beef actually requires little preparation before cooking. There are a few ways, however, to make tougher cuts of meat more tender and flavorful.

Marinating is the process of soaking meat in a seasoned liquid to flavor and tenderize it. Common ingredients in marinades are oils, herbs, seasonings, and wine. The length of time suggested for marinating depends on the type of meat and the desired flavor; smaller pieces of meat take less time than larger pieces of meat to marinate. When marinating, be sure to cover the meat completely and keep it refrigerated. Turning the meat over halfway through the marinating process can also be helpful to ensure that the marinade evenly penetrates the meat. Discard the marinade after use. There are many prepared marinades available in the retail market.

Seasoning is the process of adding herbs, spices, or other flavor enhancers to meat without dramatically changing its taste. Salt and pepper are the most commonly used meat seasonings, and dried herbs are often used for additional flavor. There are many prepared seasoning blends available in the retail market.

Rubs usually refer to dry seasoning blends that are massaged into a piece of meat to add flavor. Rubs usually include salt, pepper, and a variety of dried herbs and spices. There are many prepared rubs available in the retail market, as well.