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Why Is My Steak Chewy

If you’ve ever wondered why your steak is chewy, you’re not alone. It’s a common question that people have when they’re cooking at home.

There are a few different reasons why your steak might be chewy, but the good news is that there are also a few things you can do to fix it.

Keep reading to learn more about why your steak might be chewy and what you can do about it.

Sliced grilled steak on a dark slab of wood.

Reasons why my steak is chewy?

There are a few reasons why your steak might be chewy. It could be that you didn’t cook it long enough, or it could be that you’re using the wrong cooking method. If you’re not sure why your steak is chewy, read on for more information.

Incorrect Cooking Temperature

The incorrect cooking temperature for steak is one that is either too high or too low.

If the temperature is too high, the steak will be tough, dry, and chewy. If the temperature is too low, the steak will be undercooked and may cause food poisoning or an upset stomach.

To ensure the correct cooking temperature for steak, it is important to use a meat thermometer to periodically check the temperature.

For naturally tender cuts like beef tenderloin, the temperature should be around 125ºF, whereas tougher cuts like brisket should be cooked to 195ºF.

It is also important to let the meat sit on a room temperature counter for 30 minutes before cooking to ensure more even cooking.

Lack of Marinating

Not marinating a steak can have a significant impact on the taste and texture of the meat depending on the cut.

Without marinade, steaks can be tough and chewy, lacking the juicy and flavorful qualities that come with a good marinade.

Marinating helps break down the tough proteins in the steak, tenderizing it before cooking.

Not Giving Steak Enough Time to Rest

Cooking a steak perfectly requires precision and requires the right combination of heat, seasoning, and resting time.

The resting period is one of the most important steps in the steak-cooking process as it allows the juices to redistribute, ensures tenderness, and helps retain the flavor.

The recommended resting time for a steak depends on the thickness of the steak.

Before you begin cooking your steak, it is important to season it correctly and let it come to room temperature, as this will help it to cook more evenly.

Generally, it is recommended to let your steak rest for five minutes per inch of thickness.

So, if your steak is one inch thick, you should let it rest for at least five minutes, and if it is two inches thick, you should let it rest for at least ten minutes.

For more information about resting your steak, check out my post which will tell you how long to leave steak out before grilling.

Poor Quality Meat

Using poor-quality meat for steak can lead to tough and chewy results. This is because lean meat, such as sirloin, is not suitable for long, slow cooking times.

The muscle fibers remain tough, and the meat fails to break down.

Overcooking the meat can result in even tougher, dry, and chewy results since heat causes the proteins in the meat to firm up and squeezes the moisture out.

Additionally, using leaner cuts with less fat can lead to faster cooking times and more difficulties in maintaining the right doneness.

Finally, if the cattle have had too much physical activity, the meat will be tougher and not easily break down.

Not Tenderizing the Meat

If you don’t tenderize the meat properly, it can end up tough and chewy. This is because the muscle fibers in the meat have been toughened from use, and not breaking them down can cause the steak to be difficult to eat.

To make sure your steak is not chewy, you need to use a mallet to beat the meat before cooking it.

Alternatively, marinating the meat can help tenderize it and make it more tender.

Grilling Steak Too Quickly

Grilling steak too quickly can make it tough and chewy because the heat causes the meat’s proteins to harden.

When the proteins harden too much, the steak becomes hard to cut through and chew.

This can be avoided if you select a good cut of meat with sufficient marbling, and make sure to cook it to the proper internal temperature using a meat thermometer.

Additionally, you should also pay attention to the length of time it’s cooked on the grill or stove.

Too much heat will dissolve the fat and juices, resulting in a tough steak.

It is important to not over or undercook steak, find out how to tell when steak is done.

How do I Make My Steak Less Chewy?

If you want to make a tender, juicy steak instead of a chewy one, there are several steps you need to take.

First, choose a good quality steak with marbling or fat content. This will help tenderize the meat and prevent it from being too chewy.

Second, marinate the steak for at least an hour or up to 24 hours in a flavorful marinade to add more flavor and help tenderize the meat.

Third, poke holes in the meat before cooking to help break down the fibers and make it easier to cook.

Fourth, let the steak rest in a warm place for 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator overnight. This will help the steak retain its moisture.

Fifth, cook the steak over medium-low heat and flip it frequently to ensure that it cooks evenly. Do not overcook the steak, as this will make it tough and chewy.

Sixth, once the steak is cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it. This will allow the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the steak.

Finally, slice the steak against the grain to help break down the fibers and make it easier to eat.

Following these steps will help you to achieve a tender and juicy steak that is not too chewy. Enjoy!


Yes, you can fix chewy steak. The chewiness of a steak can be the result of a particular animal or the cut of the steak, as well as how it is cooked.

To fix a chewy steak, you can use a meat tenderizer, such as a marinade, or cook it differently to make it more tender.

No, steak does not get tender the longer you cook it. Cooking for too long can cause the steak to become tough and chewy. The key to a tender steak is in the quality of the meat and in the correct cooking techniques and temperatures.

There are several reasons why a grilled steak can be tough. The most common is that the beef itself wasn’t of the highest quality, the cut of meat was tougher, or there was not enough marbling on it.

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