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Traditionally the meat tenderizers have contained MSG. It does add sodium. And is reported to cause "Chinese restaurant syndrome" in some individuals. But is probably ok.

Many people pound steak to tenderize it. Especially round steak. They make hammers for that purpose. But some merely hit is with blade of a knife. Home made cube steak is the net result.

Needles have been used to inject solutions into cuts of meat for quite a while. Its a way of selling water at steak prices. But of course you can add flavors and moisture. Hams are often treated this way. And you might suspect processed meats in commercial packages.

Tough cuts cooked slowly with lots of moisture can work very well. Boil in water until it almost falls apart. There are techniques like add a can of mushroom soup and seal in aluminum foil while you bake or roast it. Same principle.

They say restaurants have ovens equipped to inject steam into the oven. Adding water to the roasting pan can also help.
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