Why is My Steak Rubbery Chewy and Tough? 

Why is My Steak Rubbery Chewy and Tough? 

Why is My Steak Rubbery Chewy and Tough? 

If your steak is rubbery, chewy, and tough, it could be due to several reasons. One of the most common is overcooking; when meat is overcooked, proteins become too tightly packed which leads to tough and chewy steak. To prevent this from occurring, cook your steak to the proper temperature using a meat thermometer; let rest for several minutes before cutting so that juices can redistribute throughout for more tender and juicy results.

Another cause of rubbery and tough steak is improper seasoning. Seasoning is essential in adding flavor to your steak, but too much or too little seasoning can result in a subpar meal. For instance, using too much salt may cause the steak to become tough and dry while using too little could leave it tasteless and bland. To guarantee your steak has enough seasoning, mix salt, pepper, or any other desired spices together before cooking to penetrate deeply into the meat and enhance its flavor. Be sure to rub these seasonings into the meat before cooking so they penetrate deeply into the meat and enhance its flavor further.

The quality of the meat used can determine how tender and juicy your steak will be. Low-grade cuts of meat tend to be tough and chewy no matter how you cook them. To get top notch cuts of steak, buy quality cuts from a reliable butcher and look for those with marbling (fat running through), which adds flavor and moisture while making your meat more tender and juicy. Furthermore, avoid buying steak that has been frozen for an extended period as this will affect its texture and flavor negatively.

Why is my Steak Rubbery?

There are a variety of reasons your steak could appear in a rubbery way. Here are some things to think about:

  • There is a chance that you’re overcooking your steak too much. Steaks should be cooked to the desired degree of doneness. If you cook it too long, it will turn tough and sticky.
  • You may be applying the wrong method of cooking. Different cooking techniques can alter the flavor of your steak. For instance, grilling or pan-frying will likely yield an easier steak than slow-cooking or boiling.
  • You may be using less-than-excellent cuts of the meat. Different cuts of meat come with different degrees of tenderness. Certain cuts, like sirloin or round, are leaner and less tender than other cuts, like tenderloin or ribeye.
  • It is possible that you are not giving the steak time to rest before cutting it and serving. Allowing the steak to rest for a couple of minutes after cooking is essential for the juices to distribute across the meat. If you cut the steak too quickly after cooking, the juices will leak out of the meat, making it dry and rubbery.

If you’re having any of these symptoms, Try adjusting the cooking method and time by using a better piece of meat and letting the steak rest between cutting and serving to determine if this will enhance the texture.

Why Is My Steak So Chewy and Hard?

If you’d like to understand what causes a cut of steak to be hard or chewy, then this quick guide is ideal for you. But, first, be aware of the causes to avoid coming across one shortly.

How Fresh Is the Steak?

Naturally, when dining at a restaurant, you would expect the restaurant or the steakhouse to have fresh, grilled steaks waiting to serve customers. It’s not always the case, however, as certain restaurants purchase steaks in huge quantities and store plenty of them in their freezer. If the steak is not properly defrosted, the steak may be lost in flavor and texture it had originally (Check out the steps to defrost a steak correctly).

The general rule is that the fresher the cut, the juicier and more tender the meat. Therefore, always inquire if the steak restaurant serves is fresh.

Fat Content

The steak cuts, which are high in fat and contain lots of marbling, will likely become more juicy and tender once cooked. When the steak is cooked, the fats heat slowly and start melting, softening the beef and making meat more tender and delicious.

A well-cooked steak with high-fat Content will always be easily chewable and tender.

On the other hand, thin steak cuts made from muscle mass and have less or no fat are more likely to be tougher and chewier once cooked. Therefore, this type of steak may require some additional preparation before cooking.

Furthermore, cuts with high-fat Content could lose tenderness if they are overcooked or exposed to too much heat while cooking. The fat will evaporate quickly, and the meat cannot benefit from melting fat, which tenderizes the meat.

Preparation and Cooking

Preparing and cooking are crucial to obtaining an incredibly tender and juicy piece of beef. The initial step in the preparation involves defrosting. If you are defrosting the steak, you want to maintain the taste and texture while ensuring that it doesn’t get spoiled by bacterial contamination.

Another idea is to let the steak get to room temperature before cooking it.

Finding equilibrium and locating the sweet point is crucial when cooking an a la carte steak. While steaks can be cooked in a variety of ways and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, roasting, or pan-searing, two principles remain the same:

  • The undercooked steaks fail to melt the fat in the beef, making them quite chewy. Also, undercooked beef could cause stomach upsets or food poisoning.
  • Overcooked steaks can burn through all the fat and become dry, hard, and chewy.

That’s why finding the sweet point when cooking the steak is important.

The Way Animals Is Fed and Raised

To ensure that the meat you purchase is tender and delicious, pay attention to the breeding and feeding habits of the animals. Of course, the ideal scenario is for beef producers to offer grass-fed meat to the consumer. But grass-fed meat has its issues. The main issue is the price.

Animals subjected to excessive physical activity are likely to develop a rougher texture that is difficult to remove.

The Age of the Animal

It’s a simple one. The meat of the older animal tends to be softer with less chewiness. The old age of the animal can have an enormous influence on the quality of the meat. As animals age, they develop larger muscle fibers. The dense muscle fibers make animal meat more brittle and difficult to chew.

It is why premium cuts of meat, like Wagyu and Kobe beef, are typically from steers or virgin cows, ensuring that your meat will be good quality and has plenty of marbling to preserve tenderness and juiciness.

The Steak Cut

The steak cut plays a crucial aspect in the flavor of the beef. For instance, a good ribeye steak is full of marbling and fats, so the meat will likely be succulent and juicy. It is also true for most tender cuts, such as sirloin or ribeye.

Some cuts might include dense muscle fiber. These cuts require a lot of preparation, including marinating and tenderizing.

Be sure to know which cuts provide a better tender, juicy taste to reduce the chance of leaving you with the toughest piece of meat.

How Do You Keep Your Steak Moist?

The first and most important thing is that you can soften steak prior to cooking it. It will help make even the hardest piece of meat easier to chew. But, implementing the suggestions given below can help to avoid chewy and tough textures:

  • Make sure to select the appropriate cuts of meat. Tenderloin, ribeye sirloin, and ribeye are known because of their tenderness.
  • In the second step, correctly spice to marinate and season the meat to impart flavor and soften the meat.
  • Third, you can use a meat thermometer to make sure the steak is cooked to the correct internal temperature to achieve your desired degree of doneness.
  • Fourth, be careful not to overcook the steak, as it could cause it to turn hard and chewy.
  • Fifth, Let the steak sit for a few minutes before cutting it into pieces so the juices can disperse. Then, cut the steak along the grain to break down the muscles and give it the most tender and delicate texture.

What Are the Succulent Cuts of Beef?

In general, if you are looking for tender cuts of steak, less-exercised muscles like the rib and the loin tend to be more tender than ones made from more commonly used muscles like the leg or shoulder. Therefore, the most tender steak cuts are those from the rib and loin areas, including filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip steak. These cuts are characterized by a lower quantity of connective tissue which aids in making them more tender. Additionally, they have a healthy ratio of fat marbling which imparts flavor and helps keep the meat moist throughout cooking.

But, as I stated earlier other cuts are extremely tender if cooked properly. It includes sirloins and skirt steaks, as well as flank steak. The cuts are best marinated or pounded to reduce the size of the muscles and improve tenderness.


The reason that steaks can be chewy is that the meat is overcooked. A steak will be soft, juicy, and delicious when cooked properly. The texture and flavor of the meat will also depend on the cooking method employed.

Another reason your steak could be chewy is when you cut it after it’s cooked. Pressing the meat when it’s still hot could cause the juices to leak out. Instead, let the meat cool for a few minutes before cutting. It will help distribute the juices.

You can cut it into smaller pieces if you’ve got tough leftover meat. It will make the inside soft and makes it more comfortable to consume. You can also put it for sandwiches. It is also possible to freeze it for 20 minutes to aid in helping the meat get more tender.

If you are buying a steak, ensure that it has marbling. It is the word butchers use to refer to the visible fat layer between muscles. Steaks with more marbling are soft and juicy.

Fats are delicious and help aid in lubricating the fibers of the meat. They also impart flavor. However, they won’t be tender until high temperatures are applied. It is why a hot sear is crucial.

Steaks that aren’t thick enough will be more difficult to cook. The thinner cuts of beef could even be burned on the outside. The use of a high-temperature pan for searing lets the meat cook at a slower pace.

The thickness of your steak will also affect the degree of chewiness. Thin steaks should not be greater than 0.3 to 0.5 centimeters thick. Pick steaks that weigh at least a pound or less in weight.

Don’t forget to test how hot your cut of steak is. The high temperatures could cause burns on the exterior part of your steak.

Grain-Fed Beef vs Grass-Fed Beef

The choice between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is a constant controversy throughout the world of cattle. Both types of beef have advantages for health, but they’re not identical. They differ in terms of texture, fat Content, and taste. Grass-fed beef is renowned for its softer and more lean quality.

Grass-fed cattle eat grass and forage to obtain all the nutrition they require. As a result, they are above the average diet of Omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), and other vital vitamins and minerals. In addition, the animals that are fed grains are fed soy and corn. It can make their food more tender and delicious.

If you choose grain-fed or grass-fed, cooking your food is essential. However, overly hot cooking can leave the steaks hard and chewy. To prevent this from happening, keep the temperature at a minimum and cook to 325°F. Just a few minutes in lower temperatures can help disintegrate the fibers in the meat, leading to tender steaks.

You could use sauce if you’d like to give moisture to your grass-fed steaks. Butter can also enhance the texture and flavor of your meat.

Grass-fed beef is a rich and earthy taste. Many chefs favor it since it’s a healthier option. In contrast to grain-fed beef, grass-fed does not have antibiotics sprayed on it. It’s also a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants.

Grass-fed meat is also believed for its gamier flavor that some do not like. However, adding a bit of butter to your grass-fed steak can help balance the taste.

Most restaurants and chefs choose grain-fed beef due to its flavor and tenderness. However, you can also relish the flavor of grass-fed beef when cooking the meat at lower temperatures.

Cooking With Dry Heat vs Moist Heat

When you’re making the steak, there are two choices: Dry heat as well as humid heat. These two options will assist you in creating a tasty dinner that’s healthy and delicious. However, before you pick one method, think about how much time you’ll spend in your kitchen.

Dry heat techniques involve high temperatures that help cook the meat’s exterior. This kind of cooking method can also be utilized to produce an intense taste. Examples include pan frying and searing.

Moist heat methods, On the other hand, use steam and liquid to soften meat. They break down proteins that are tough and connective tissues that are fibrous. Vegetables are often added to stews. Common stew vegetables include carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes.

If you’re just beginning to learn about cooking, choosing a moist heat method is best. It’s a fantastic method of cooking your first piece of beef. Next, you must select an approach depending on the cut’s size and tenderness.

But, it’s important to remember that a cut with more tenderness of meat won’t require the same amount of moisture as a tougher cut. The more moisture a cut of meat needs, the longer it’ll need to cook.

If you don’t own an electronic thermometer, it’s possible that you won’t be able to tell when your steak is cooked. The temperature will be based on the type of meat you’re cooking. A thermometer is the best method of avoiding overcooking your steak.

Both dry and moist methods of heat are able to be combined to produce an enticing, more delicious, more. You’ll be amazed by the difference. As with all foods, these cooking techniques transform a hard piece of beef into a delicious morsel.


If you love steaks, You’ll need to ensure your steaks are cooked to perfection and chewy. They also taste great. In reality, many ways exist to reach the desired result. However, the best method will be to prepare it correctly.

The reason the steaks get tough is because of the fact that they are cooked too long. Cooking too long can destroy fats and dryness. The meat will also turn hard and dry, which makes it difficult to eat. Therefore, it is essential to remember that steaks cooked too long should be removed from the kitchen completely.

Another factor that affects the toughness of your steaks is cut. Less lean cuts tend to be less likely to cook too long. They do this because they contain less fat. However, the thicker steaks may be chewy due to the fat distributed throughout the meat.

A steak’s tenderness and chewiness depend on the position of the muscles’ fibers. Therefore, you can enhance the texture and chewiness of dull steak by aging it properly.

If you are marinating your steak, selecting an acidic flavor is best. It will allow your meat to absorb the flavor. The use of a bowl made of metal is not advised as it could react with enzymes, resulting in an unpleasant metallic flavor.

Before cooking, it is a good idea to determine the temperature of the steak. It should be cooked until medium rare. Then, using a thermometer, you can ensure you’re cooking at the correct temperature.

When you’ve cooked your steaks, let them rest for 5 to 8 minutes. It will ensure they remain damp and allow the juices to disperse across the entire meat.

Another crucial step in keeping your steaks fresh involves defrosting them. Defrosting is a great way to retain their flavor, but it could also result in food-borne illnesses if the steaks are not properly defrosted.


Why is my steak hard and chewy?

Undercooking inherently tough meat or overcooking tender steak to the point of dryness can result in tough and chewy steak. A tender, juicy dish requires cooking steak to the proper temperature.

Why does my steak come out rubbery?

When you overcook something, it turns out rubbery. When you undercook something, it comes out raw. Buy yourself a meat thermometer with fast read. Cook the steak over a high heat if it is thin.

How do restaurants make their steaks so tender?

Most upscale eateries age their beef to enhance flavor and make the cut more soft. Meat is aged by allowing it to sit for a few days or weeks (under carefully controlled conditions).

Why is my steak so tough when I cook it?

Moreover, overcooking meat can result in tough meat, even from the more sensitive muscles. The proteins in the flesh stiffen up as a result of heat. Moreover, overcooking essentially squeezes the meat’s moisture out, leaving it tough and dry.

Does steak get softer the longer you cook it?

Certainly, there are scientific justifications for why slow-cooked meat is superior. Collagen, a protein found in connective tissue, which is present in meat, melts when it is heated, giving meat its tenderness. Gelatin is created when collagen melts; this rich liquid gives meat its flavor and velvety texture.

How to cook steak perfect?

Heat a grill outside to a high temperature (about 500 degrees). For 3 minutes on each side, sear steaks. After the steaks are done to your liking, lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook them with the lid on (130 degrees F for medium-rare).