A meat mallet or meat tenderizer is an excellent appliance to tenderize various cuts of meat. If you are serious about cooking and want your meat to be perfect, having this kitchen accessory is a must. Are you new to this product?
If the answer is yes, continue reading this piece as we will discuss everything you need to know about this appliance. The article will also discuss essential considerations to choose the best meat tenderizer for your kitchen-based needs
What is a Meat Tenderizer? and How many Meat Tenderizers are There?
A meat pounder, meat mallet, or meat tenderizer is a manual tool to tenderize massive meat slabs for cooking. While manufacturers use a plethora of objects to create this product, there are three, in particular, developed specifically to tenderize meat.
- Mallet or Hammer
Mallets or hammers are arguably the most common tools for meat tenderizing. Most mallets are wood or metal-based, consisting of a short-handle with dual heads. This appliance has two faces – where one end is flat while the opposite end has multiple pyramid-shaped tenderizer rows.
- Potato Masher
The second tenderizer type is similar to a potato masher. It contains a massive metal face and a short handle. The face is mostly adorned or smooth, with many rows of tenderizers shaped like pyramids.
- Blade Tenderizer
Blade tenderizers contain a sequence of nails or blades designed to cut the muscle fibers or the meat by puncturing it. These blades are immensely sharp and should be used with caution.
Using a mallet to tenderize meat softens its fibers, allowing you to chew and digest it easily. It is especially useful when getting particularly tough meats, and works best when frying or broiling the meat. You can also use it to pound dishes like schnitzel, palomilla, and chicken-fried steak, making them thinner and wider.
Benefits of Using the Best Meat Tenderizer
Meat tenderizer provides users with tons of benefits. Let us discuss some of these advantages to see why this is a must-have kitchen accessory.
- It Helps You Cook Faster
Meats can be quite difficult to prepare, especially if you are cooking tough cuts. Taking advantage of a meat tenderizer for steak or other meat cuts will help you create openings/cuts allowing heat to pass. It may help you shorten the cooking time by fifty-percent, ensuring your meal is ready to serve.
- Tremendous Flavor
A meat pounder can add a great deal of flavor to your steak, chicken, or other meats. Creating multiple holes on the meat is arguably the best way to tenderize it, allowing you to add spices to make your meals tastier. The more tender the meat is, the better the spices and other condiments will absorb in it. What’s more, seasoning the meat will also become incredibly straightforward, helping you create a palatable meal with little to no difficulty.
- The Meat Will be Juicier
Using a meat mallet, whether it is for beef or for steak, will make it juicier. As mentioned earlier, tenderizers create holes in the pieces of meat, making it softer and juicier. What’s more, the more you tenderize the meat, the moister it will become, ensuring you have no trouble chewing it.
- Tenderizers Help You Cook Evenly
A piece of tenderized meat contains uniform cuts. Sure, some meat tenderizers have blades with varying thicknesses, the main objective is to add as many cuts as you can. Thorough and deep cuts should always be at the meat’s center for those who don’t know. Utilizing this piece of info when tenderizing your meat will ensure you don’t over or undercook the meat.
The 9 Best Meat Tenderizers 2021 on The Market
Since there is a vast range of meat tenderizers available in online and offline stores, choosing them can get quite hard. Fortunately, this table provides you with a list of 9 of the best meat tenderizers available in 2021.
Best Meat Tenderizer Reviews for Steak, Chicken, Beef, and Ribs
1. KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer for Pounding and Flattening
While tenderizing is an incredibly useful kitchen accessory, some models simply don’t do the trick. You’d be pounding the meat for hours without any success. Fortunately, this gourmet tenderizer by Kitchen Aid will eliminate all of your woes. No matter which recipe you are following, tenderizing your meat will be a breeze and will require very little time.
What’s most impressive about this meat tenderizing tool is that it is quite cost-effective, which is a massive surprise considering its high durability. Kitchen Aid used high-grade aluminum to manufacture this product, providing users with a smooth, flat hammer-like tool for pounding various meats.
This meat tenderizer has an ergonomic grip, ensuring your wrist doesn’t get stressed during or after the pounding. It feels comfortable for a long period, and its lightweight provides an extra layer of convenience.
- Dishwasher Safe
- Ergonomic Design
- Sturdy Aluminum Build
2. Checkered Chef Meat Tenderizer for Tenderizing Steak, Beef and Poultry
Are you a fan of steaks? If the answer is yes, you will need a high-quality meat pounder to flatten it. Using wood-based tenderizers, especially for tough cuts of meats, does is not enough. You may require a comfortable yet solidly constructed tool, and this product might be the solution for you. It contains everything you could ask from a high-quality tenderizing mallet. Whether it is a comfortable grip or solid construction, this accessory has it all.
The best thing about this product is that you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure to pound your steak. Its heavyweight and solid steel build will ensure that your favorite cuts of meat tenderize within minutes. What’s more, cleaning this product is quite easy as all you need to do is use water and a dish cleaning soap to make it look as good as new.
- Comfortable Grip Handle
- Made with solid stainless steel
- Ideal for chicken and steaks
- Easy to clean
3. Meat Tenderizer Mallet Tool for Tenderizing Chicken Steak Pork & Veal in Kitchen
Do you know what the secret is behind every famous meat-heavy recipe? The answer is perfect pounding. Most high-profile chefs pound their beef, steak, chicken, and other meats relentlessly to ensure their dishes taste great.
Fortunately, you don’t need half the effort these chefs put in to create a meat-based dish with this excellent product. The Meat Tenderizer Mallet tool is a renowned name among cooking enthusiasts because of its durable stainless steel build and comfortable design. What’s more, this product’s safe design ensures it doesn’t accumulate dirt or bacteria once you are done with the pounding.
You can also use this product to crush hard candy, ice, and nuts with ease. It would be fair to say that this product will come in handy for tons of other kitchen uses, proving that it will be a smart investment.
- Durable aluminum build
- Can be used for minced meat
- Double sided meat mallet (spiked and flat)
4. Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel Meat Pounder for Quick Work
Are you tired of pounding away on your steak for hours? If the answer is yes, the Norpro Grip pounder will be an excellent solution. This stainless steel meat mallet has a comfortable grip, ensuring it does not slip when you are pounding your meat. The Norpro Grip has two interchangeable stamps for extra convenience. One of them is to flatten the meat while the other is for pounding it.
So, whether you are looking for a tenderizing for beef or for chicken, this product will help you prepare your favorite cut of meat in very little time. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about rust or fungi formation on this product. Consider cleaning it after use, and this manual meat tenderizer will last for years.
- Comfortable grip
- Made with stainless steel
- Santoprene handle
- Non-slip design
- Ergonomic dimensions
5. Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizers Cooking Tool
Do you like organizing barbeque parties? Prepping your favorite recipe might take some time, especially when you have to grill it for extended periods. However, this meat tenderizer by Koncle will eliminate your preparation woes once and for all.
What makes this meat tenderizer stand out from tons of others is its versatility and incredibly sharp blades. Unlike other products, you will be able to create openings and cuts in your grilled steak and other meats in very little time. Koncle used approved food-grade materials to manufacture this product, ensuring that it is safe and convenient.
This meat tenderizer is perfect for soft and tough cuts of meat, proving to be a great investment for your cooking needs. The tool also comes with a high-quality protective cap for safe storage, making sure you don’t have trouble carrying it, and the tenderizer remains rust-free.
- Durable, rust-free build
- Protective cap included
- Manufactured with food-grade materials
6. Xspecial Meat Tenderizer Tool for Any Home or Professional Chef
Needle-based tenderizers are an essential kitchen accessory, especially for those who prepare thick pieces of meat regularly. If you are one of these individuals, consider opting for the Xspecial meat tenderizer tool. It is becoming increasingly popular among cooking enthusiasts who take their meat prep seriously.
With forty-eight sharp needles, this product can help you prepare delectable meals without the inconvenience of hammering the mallet for hours. The Xspecial meat tenderizer tool’s extra-long handle is a handy addition for those who have trouble pulverizing their steaks. Gripping this tool will be quite easy, and using it will not lead to wrist sprains.
While this product is heavy, its manufacturer equally divided its weight, ensuring you can lift and hammer it with ease. Like many other tools on this list, this one can also crush ice, hard candy, nuts, and other items.
- Extra thin, long blades
- Ergonomic grip
- Detachable design
7. Oxo Good Grips Easy Clean Bladed Meat Tenderizer
You may have seen this tool used by a professional butcher. Why? Because the Oxo meat tenderizer is as good as it gets, providing users with a professional solution for their home-based cooking needs. At first glance, this device may look similar to a small hammer. However, once you use it, you will realize that there is much more than what meets the eye.
The ergonomic grip and durable build of this tenderizer make it a superb addition to your cooking arsenal. Like many high-quality meat mallets, this tenderizer also has a flat side and a textured side. Both of them are equally handy and help you prepare your preferred meat cut for your favorite recipe.
Oxo designed this product for high-durability and unparalleled performance, and using it will make you realize that it indeed does that. You will especially like this tool if you are a fan of thinner cuts.
- Contains toggle locks for blade safety
- Non-slip grip
- Contoured shape
- Straight edges and clear base
8. Jaccard Meat Tenderizer- Best with Blades
If you are looking for a product with unparalleled sharpness, the Jaccard meat tenderizer would be a great option. Using this product to pound thick meat pieces may reduce your preparation time by forty percent, making your steaks juicier and tasty. Jaccard incorporated a double-edged knife on this product to help users cut through muscle fibers smoothly, ensuring the meat absorbs spices and other condiments.
Using this product will significantly reduce your cooking time, preparing your meals within minutes. Moreover, this product can also be used for marinating sirloins and other inexpensive cuts, proving that it is highly versatile. As far as durability goes, very few products compare to this one as the heavy-duty steel used to manufacture it can last for years with proper maintenance.
- Double sided steel knives
- Easy-to-handle design
- Dishwasher friendly
9. Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer
The Weston meat tenderizer is vastly different from the products mentioned in this list. This accessory stands out because of its blend of modern and old-school meat tenderizer features. Weston incorporated a food-friendly coating to this product, ensuring your meals are free from chemicals and other harmful elements.
The durable cast iron used for this product cuts through the thickest meat pieces, providing you with a smooth and efficient prepping experience. What’s more, the Weston manual meat tenderizer has a sturdy and ergonomic base, making sure that you don’t have any trouble pounding it. You will also get a pair of steel tongs for added convenience in the meat tenderizing process.
Sure this accessory is larger than traditional tenderizers, but using it will make you realize that it is there to improve your prepping efficiency.
- Sturdy aluminum build
- Comes with stainless steel combs and tongs
- Ergonomic crank handle
- Easy to disassemble for cleaning
How to Choose the Best Meat Tenderizer
While there are tons of meat tenderizers available these days, choosing one shouldn’t be complicated. Here are a few things to keep in mind to choose the best meat tenderizer for your cooking needs.
As mentioned previously, there are three main tenderizer types used by cooking enthusiasts. If you are looking for an easy-to-use tool, consider opting for the meat mallet. However, if you want to create precise cuts on your pieces of meat, opting for a blade or needle tenderizer would be a wise choice.
Many users prefer a needle or blade model because it does not require significant hand strength. However, these tenderizers cannot make the meat flat like a mallet or meat pounder could.
Make sure that the tenderizer you are buying has a convenient handle. While most meat mallets are excellent for flattening meat, some of them lack comfortable handles. Tenderizing meat requires some hand strength, and not having an ergonomic handle may complicate things for you. So, it would be best to choose a model with a firm, non-slip grip and a contoured handle that fits your hands. You can also go for a model containing a spring mechanism to prevent hand fatigue.
It would help if you never got a blade-based tenderizer that doesn’t come with a lock. The last thing you want to do is store your tenderizer with its blades exposed. They are incredibly dangerous and could cut rip your skin apart with a single touch. Choosing a meat tenderizer with a locking option will ensure the needles or blades remain covered when you are not using the accessory.
How Do You Use Meat Tenderizer?
Are you new to meat tenderizers? If the answer is yes, using it is not as hard as you may think. In fact, it would be fair to say that it is quite straightforward. All you need to do is practice, and you will be ready to tenderize meat in no time.
Using a manual meat tenderizer is arguably the best way to split tough muscle fibers. As mentioned earlier, most meat mallets are made using metal or wood. While both materials are excellent and will help you tenderize your meet, consider using a metal variant. Why? Because the heavier your accessory, the lesser time you will need to tenderize the meat.
You may need to get used to the metal mallet’s heavyweight and design, but all you need is an attempt or two to become familiar with this tool. Once you have a piece of meat on your kitchen table or slab, use your tenderizer to pound it from both sides. If the meat is too hard and takes time to become tender, consider using a pinch of baking soda or powdered tenderizer to make the process easier. However, it would be best to remove these powders within thirty minutes.
Of course, the meat you are pounding will eventually become flat. So, consider avoiding hammering your steak if you plan to put it on a grill. Instead, use a blade or knife to create the cuts to tenderize the steak.
Meat Tenderizer FAQs
Should you use a meat tenderizer on steak?
Meat tenderizers are excellent to soften and flatten your steak. Most restaurants and professional chefs utilize this product to ensure their steaks taste great as tenderizing them helps absorb spices and moisture, making them more palatable. It would be best if you used a meat mallet when preparing your steak as it will help you achieve the right tenderness, ensuring chewing it isn’t difficult.
How long do you leave meat tenderizer on steak?
The amount of time required to tenderize your steak can vary greatly. If the steak is already soft, you may not need to pound the meat mallet for hours. Instead, 20 to 30 minutes will be enough. However, if the steak is too tough, you may need to dedicate more time.
You may even need a powder tenderizer along with the mallet, especially if you have very little prep time. Consider removing the powder after 15 to 30 minutes if your piece of steak is too thick.
Do you wash off meat tenderizer?
Washing your meat tenderizer is critical to make sure it is free from bad odors. Pounding this accessory on any piece of meat will make the tenderizer dirty, causing it to give off putrid smells. Consider washing your tenderizer every time after using it, ensuring it remains free from germs, smells, and other unfavorable elements.
How can I tenderize meat quickly?
There are tons of techniques that could help you tenderize meat in very little time. If you are in a rush and have a tough piece of meat, merely using a mallet or a needle/blade-based tenderizer will not be enough. You may require a powder tenderizer to make the process quicker. That said, consider removing the powder after twenty to thirty minutes as leaving it on for too long may alter the meat’s taste.
Can I use a hammer to tenderize meat?
While hammers are quite similar to meat pounders and mallets, it would be best not to use them to tenderize meat. Why? Because compared to tools made specifically to soften and flatten the meat, a hammer may be inefficient. You may need to spend hours to get your steak or ribs ready.
Now that you know the ins and outs of meat tenderizers and how to choose them, you will have no issues choosing for your cooking needs. Our top recommendation, the Kitchen Aid gourmet tenderizer, is the best meat tenderizer in this list in terms of quality and ergonomic design. The checkered best hammer is a close second with its excellent handle and rubber grip, providing users with a smooth and convenient meat tenderizing experience.
It would be best if you chose a product that suits your particular cooking needs. For instance, if you are a fan of grilling, opting for a needle or blade-based tenderizer would be a wise choice. However, if you want a tool to hammer the meat, consider using a meat mallet or meat pounder to simplify your prep process.