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How to Tenderize Chicken for A Perfectly Even Cook (Updated Jan. 2019)

how to tenderize chicken

​Do you tenderize chicken when you cook it? If you don't, you ​could​​end up with something that tastes like cardboard!

​Cooking chicken can be a tough balancing act, you need ensure the center is cooked without the thinner edges becoming dry or even blacken.

I will show you how to tenderize your chicken, so you don't have to endure dry, chalky chicken ever again! 

​How to Tenderize Chicken ​101

​Step 1: ​Preparing to Tenderize Chicken Breasts

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    Some people tenderize chicken breasts by adding some moisture or injecting the breast with a liquid. Many also try marinating them, however, the thick part it can be hard for the moisture to penetrate, you might find that it will barely get past the surface.

    You might also find that will that large bulge it doesn't fit well on a sandwich or on as a burger! Some chicken marinade ideas
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    Another problem with chicken breasts is that the skin shrinks as you cook it, you might find that your brine or marinade may not have been able to to get past the skin.

    There is an easy solution to this overcooked chicken, you can pound the chicken breast flat.

    When you marinate or brine now the moisture will be able to penetrate the meat evenly on all sides. This method can be really handy when you're preparing many chicken items such as chicken scallopine, chicken cutlets, or chicken roll-ups.

Step 2: How To Tenderize Chicken (The Best Way)

  • First, decide if you want the skin on or off. If you really like skin, try sprinkling the skins with salt and pepper and cut them into 2cm squares or 1/2”.
  • ​Cook them slowly in a hot pan until they are crispy. These work well as a garnish.
  • Cover the meat before you pound it.
    Wrapped the meat in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag this keeps the juices in the meat. Don’t use waxed paper or foil as this can tear.A zip lock bag can be handy if you are going to brine or marinate the meat.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Next, pound the meat.
    Use the meat tenderizing tool to pound the meat evenly over the entire surface. Keep going b over the meat until it's as thin as you want it to be. ​I suggest 1/2 inch.

How To Tenderize Chicken With A Mallet

​Mallets tend to tear the meat. Don’t hit it like a hammer just gently hit the thicker part of the breast, continue until it 2-3 cm or 3/4”.

If you do decide to tenderize your chicken make sure you adjust your timing. You will find it cooks much faster this way.

How To Tenderize Chicken Without A Mallet

​​​If your wondering how to pound chicken without a mallet. Try using a saucepan or skillet.

Another Option: Slicing Your Chicken Breast

Another way to ensure you don't even up with tough chicken breasts is to slice them. If you have never done it, read below carefully, it can quite dangerous.

​Before you start ensure you have a sharp meat carving knife. To slice a chicken breast place the breast on a chopping board flat, then you place your hand on the top of the breast and cut with a sharp knife through the middle of the breast, this should produce two even pieces of chicken.

Be sure to use caution when using a knife and always practice safe barbecuing.

how to tenderize chicken

Final Thoughts

No one likes a dry piece of chicken, even my boys who eat like human garbage cans.

They knew I could do better and so did I. I set off on the never-ending portal that is the internet and discovered the way to the juicy chicken breasts out there.

I thought I would share my knowledge with you, so we can all enjoy this bloody delightful cut!

For those of you who are new to the smoking, grilling and barbequing world, I have compiled a list of the blogs that I have been referencing for the past few years to get me where I am today. This list I call the best BBQ blogs of 2018,

I highly recommend you give them a look. They are full of recipes, reviews and tips & tricks from some of the best in the game.

Happy Smoking


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You will more often than not find me tinkering around in my backyard. I will have one hand tightly gripped around a can of beer and the other hand tightly gripped around my spatula. Not so long ago (almost 8 years now) I got obsessed with Grilling, smoking and BBQ-ing. I can't get enough of it.. and neither can my family!

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