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How to Use Lime Juice to Tenderize Steak

by Esperance Barretto, studioD

The tenderizing properties of lime juice make it a great addition to a steak marinade. The acids in the lime juice penetrate the raw flesh and break down the steak's connective tissues. Combine it with oil and as few or as many herbs, spices and other condiments as you choose to further enhance the flavor of your marinade. Give your steak a few hours in the fridge before tossing it on a grill or into the oven.

Pour lime juice in a bowl. Add flavorings such as crushed garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and cumin powder. Mix in some vegetable oil. Stir the marinade with a spatula. Use 1/2 cup of marinade for every 2 pounds of steak.

Place the steak in the bowl. Ensure that the steak is submerged in the marinade.

Cover the bowl with a lid or cling wrap. Alternatively, pour the marinade and steak into a resealable storage bag and squeeze out all of the air before zipping it shut. Place it in the refrigerator to tenderize. Allow tender cuts of meat such as chops and flank steak to marinate for approximately 2 hours, and tough cuts such as whole roast and brisket to marinate for about 6 hours.

Remove the steak from the refrigerator. Discard the marinade. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel before cooking.

Items you will need
  •  Mixing bowl
  •  Seasonings
  •  Vegetable Oil
  •  Spatula
  •  Resealable storage bag (optional)
  •  Paper towels


  • Do not marinate your steak for longer than required, as this will de-tenderize and toughen it.

About the Author

Based in London, Esperance Barretto has been writing professionally since 1996. Several of her featured articles have appeared in Indian publications such as the "Cuffe Parade-Colaba Express" magazine, the "Times of India" and the "Afternoon Despatch and Courier." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Mumbai.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images