Got Meat Tenderizer?

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Great to have on board . . . but don't use it on meat!  Keep it for first aid purposes only.

I never use meat tenderizer on meat, but I always keep a jar on hand.  Huh??

First, the reason for never using it on meat:  it tends to make meat mushy.  Meat tenderizer works by breaking down proteins.  When you sprinkle it on the outside of a piece of meat, it breaks down the proteins on the outside, making it mushy, without doing a thing to the inside of the meat.  So if it was tough to begin with, it will still be tough . . . just with mush on the outside.

But that same quality of breaking down proteins is why I do always keep some on hand.  You see, most venoms are proteins.  That’s bug bites, bee stings, fire ants, spider bites, jellyfish and even stingrays.  Probably others too.

Just pour a bit of meat tenderizer into the palm of your hand, add a few drops of water and mix into a paste that you can rub on the affected area.  It may not instantly stop the pain, but it will considerably lessen the pain fairly quickly.  I know that for me, it turns a very painful bee sting into something I can live with.

So next time you’re provisioning, be sure to add a bottle.  Get the original “unseasoned” variety — you really don’t want to be rubbing a bunch of spices into the bug bite!  But don’t use it on tough meat – the best way to deal with tough meat is long slow cooking in liquid.  Save the meat tenderizer for critter bites.

One note:  if the venom is something you’re allergic to, this won’t stop a reaction.  You still need to keep antihistimines, steroids and Epi-Pens on hand for that.

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  1. I am very sensitive to bites and will swell painfully if I don’t act asap. I have made a mix of baking soda plus a bit of water on a bandaid –and even put it on cotton or gauze on the bandaid pad, then stuck the bandaid on. Works for me. I will try the tenderizer like that next time. On ‘skit bites and bee stings. (Sometimes I take antihistamines too. )

  2. Google the plaintan plant. Very common and its crushed leaves really help to draw out the poison/ irritation

  3. I’ve always found baking soda to work also.

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