Does a mechanical meat tenderiser denature chicken to the point it will absorb more salt water in a soup?

If I use a £20-£40 meat tenderiser on chicken and thereafter make chicken soup(with more salt), will the meat absorb more salt water and become tender and juicy(like brining) as a result?

  • 4
    Absorbing salt and being tender and juicy are still not the same thing.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 25 '12 at 1:33
  • In that case, my questyion is will a mechanical meat tenderizer help chicken absorb high salt water when cooking chicken soup? Thanks Feb 25 '12 at 19:01

A mechanical tenderizer may roughen up the surface of the chicken, making it slightly more absorbent. If you really beat the chicken, until it's falling apart, then it will take up a lot more water.

Denaturing the proteins has nothing to do with this; this requires a chemical change, where the mechanical tenderizer will only break up the muscle fibers so they are less tough.


If you would like chunks of chicken in the soup to be tender and juicy you might want to treat the chicken similar to chicken cooked sous vide as in:


Gently heat the soup/ chicken at 140 degrees for the necessary time.

If you are planning on boiling the soup for a period of time with the chicken in it I do not know how to keep it tender and juicy as increasing the temperature further denatures proteins that cause the meat to contract and lose moisture (see more information at http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html).

  • +1 for a reasonable answer. Unfortunately unless things have changed, the OP is very very focused on getting salt into food (which he associates with juiciness and tenderness), so this may or may not satisfy him.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 22 '12 at 21:28
  • Thanks! I can understand associating salt with juiciness as brining does tend to make meat more "juicy" when cooked properly but overcooking would definitely rob the meat of much of that "juicy" texture due to contraction and moisture loss. Also, long slow sous vide cooking can (personal experiments based upon "72-hour short ribs") make meat much more tender without mechanical (Jaccard-style) tenderization.
    – RudyB
    Aug 22 '12 at 22:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.