Lemon Is The Key To Flavorful, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Steak

There are quite a few things to consider when you decide to fire up a steak. First is the cut of the steak: Are you craving a tender filet mignon or a robust, fat-marbled ribeye? Then there's the cooking method: Are you planning to sear it on the grill or flash heat it in the broiler? Then, of course, there's the plating, and which sides you're going to whip up to pair with it. But before you start mapping out the rest of your menu, you should plan to incorporate the one thing that every steak dinner requires: a little bit of lemon.

We can all agree that the ideal bite of steak is juicy, flavorful, and tender enough to practically melt in your mouth. As it turns out, some lemon juice is all you need to help achieve that. One way you can incorporate lemon into your steak dish is by using a tenderizing marinade to prep it, which involves soaking your meat in a seasoned mixture before taking it to the flame. However, you can also add a dash of lemon juice to your cooked meat afterwards in order to amp up its savory flavor when it's on your plate.

How lemon juice works to improve your steak

Marinating your meat in a blend of lemon juice and/or other acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or soy sauce, before cooking it is a smart way to ensure a delicious dish, especially if you're working with cheaper, tougher cuts of beef.

The acidic properties of the citrus fruit help break down the proteins of the raw meat in a process called "denaturing." The protein breakdown benefits your steak in multiple ways. Not only does it result in a softer bite in the end, but it also helps your steak cook faster and require less heat to reach perfection. The less time your steak needs to cook, the less moisture it loses in the process. So, by quickening the time it spends in the pan, you will end up with a succulent cut that's as moist and juicy as it is tender.

Additionally, you can squeeze some lemon onto your meat just before digging in to obtain the ultimate mouthwatering bite — quite literally. The zesty acid in lemon juice also helps to increase salivation in your own mouth, inspiring your taste buds to perceive greater flavor. That's just a little science tip to keep in your recipe book. Whichever method you choose, just remember to add some lemons to your next steak dinner — your meal will be all the better for it.