How to Make Meat Tender With Fruit

Larded Fillet of Pork with Apple Sauce

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You can turn tough, cheap meat cuts into juicy, tender bites by using fruit as a meat tenderizer. Kiwi, pineapple and papaya all contain enzymes that break down protein molecules, necessary to tenderize tough meat cuts. Indigenous populations around the world have used fruit to tenderize their meat in traditional recipes. You can make a modern version of folk dishes by marinating or cooking your meat with fruit and adding your favorite herbs and spices.

Pineapple Juice

Place slices of meat in a bowl or baking dish.

Pour 10 oz. of fresh pineapple juice over the meat.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cooking. The longer you allow the meat to marinate in the pineapple juice, the more tender the meat will become. Marinate the meat overnight for very tender meat.


Chose a slightly unripe papaya that is green in color and firm to the touch.

Cut the papaya into slices.

Cook the meat covered with slices of papaya. Alternatively, remove the flesh of the papaya from the skin and wrap the meat completely with papaya skin before cooking.


Slice the kiwi into rounds.

Rub the meat with the juice from several fruit rounds.

Cover the meat with the remaining fruit rounds.

Remove the kiwi rounds after 10 minutes and discard.