Fajita Meat Tenderization


Skirt steak, a cut of meat that has been traditionally used in fajitas, has grown in popularity over recent years. The increased demand for skirt steak cuts has increased costs for consumers and food-service operations, forcing them to find alternative cuts of beef that are more cost effective. These cuts can include beef arm chucks, short plates, and bottom sirloin flaps. The down side of using a cheaper cut of beef is its tendency to be a tougher piece of meat containing a lower moisture level. To improve the quality of this meat, food service operators can use papain, along with blade tenderization and other techniques to improve the juiciness and tenderization of lower quality cuts of beef. The papain will also boost the ability to perceive flavors, especially salt and umami flavor notes of the meat, as well as help with the uptake of the marinade.

If you would like to find out more about using papain with your fajita meat and other meat tenderization needs, please contact us and one of our technical staff members would be happy to assist you.

For more information about using papain and other enzymes for meat tenderization, please visit: https://www.beefresearch.org/ .

More information on tenderization of fajita meat is available in the paper “Identifying Beef Muscles and Processing Treatments Suitable for use in Fajita Applications” by Jeff W. Savell, Ph.D. at Texas A&M University.