Whether you enjoy coming up with new recipes or you're craving that steak from your favorite restaurant, and you want to recreate it, one thing's for sure; you'll definitely need a meat tenderizer. Depending on the style you choose, the best meat tenderizer will allow you to tenderize the meat and turn it into juicy and flavor-filled food that will have you licking your plate afterward.
There are three types of meat tenderizers. There's one that resembles a hammer with dual heads. The second resembles a potato masher and the third a hand-held instrument with tiny needles or blades. The first two soften the meat, while the third punctures it and cuts into its fibers. The third is ideal for tougher meat like steak.
Whatever style you choose, the overall purpose is the same: to break down a tough piece of meat so that it’s easier to cook, flavor, and eat. Each style has a different of going about this; hence it's best to find what works for you.
We created a guide that outlines what to look out for when searching for the best meat tenderizers. Keep reading to see the list of 5 of the best meat tenderizers in the market.
The Best Meat Tenderizers
1. XSpecial Meat Tenderizer Tool
- Mouthwatering Flavor In Every Bite: Ask Any Chef Foodie Grill...
- Unique - Ultra-thin, Extra-long Chefs Knife Design – Won’t...
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The XSpecial Meat Tenderizer Tool is ideal if you consider yourself a meat enthusiast or meat lover. You can consider it your secret weapon against tough pieces of meat.
The meat tenderizer does all the hard work for you by tenderizing the meat and turning it from tough pieces into tender and juicy meat cuts. It features 48 razor-sharp stainless steel retractable ultra-thin blades that lock into place inside the holding disc and penetrate your meat.
The meat tenderizer reduces your cooking time by 40% as it seals the meat on the outside, allowing the marinade and seasonings to lock-in. This results in cuts of meat that are juicy and tender. You can use it to tenderize steak, chicken breasts, venison, pork loins, fish, etc.
The meat tenderizer is dishwasher safe and features a BPA-free ABS plastic handle that is strong, durable, and comfortable to use. It is also ergonomically designed, making it easy to use. When cleaning, the meat tenderizer comes equipped with a detachable button that allows you to separate the tenderizer for cleaning ease. You can soak it in hot water, hand wash it, and leave it to dry. It comes with a plastic protective cover to prevent any accidental cuts from the blades.
2. Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer
- Tenderizes Meat Quickly - Say goodbye to hard-to-bite-and-chew...
- Brings Out the Juicy Flavors - Tired of tough and bland meat?...
- Comes with Comfortable Handles - This kitchen mallet also comes...
- Built to Last - An excellent addition to your kitchen essentials,...
- Versatile Meat Hammer - Always keep this multi-purpose meat...
The Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer is a heavy-duty mallet that promises to reduce your cooking time by 50%, thus leaving your meat tender and juicy. It also allows the marinade and seasonings to get into the food. It features a non-slip grip handle and an aluminum head with chrome plating.
The meat tenderizer can be used to tenderize and flatten chicken, steak, and veal. It's super versatile that you can use it to loosen frozen veggies packages, prepare cracked crab, loosen garlic skin, crush garlic, nuts, and hard candy and even break up ice cubes for drinks and make bread crumbs.
3. OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
- Textured side is optimized for tenderizing meat
- Smooth surface is ideal for pounding meat
- One-piece aluminum construction for durability and strength
- Handle is non-slip, even when hands are wet
The OXO brand is one is one of the most trusted names in the food preparation industry.
The OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is a dual-sided meat tenderizer mallet. The head is constructed from high-quality aluminum, and the handle is non-slip.
For the ideal meat tenderizing experience, the Oxo meat tenderizer features a smooth side for flattening pieces of meat and a textured side for tenderizing meat. You can use the Oxo Good Grips meat tenderizer for chicken, lamb, beef, or pork. Both surfaces of the kitchen tool are non-stick, which ensures that the kitchen tool doesn't get stuck in the meat cuts when tenderizing meat.
The hammer-style tenderizer is easy to use as the handle is comfortable due to its soft grip rubber-like design. It absorbs any pressure while you're tenderizing the meat. It's easy to clean; however, it's not dishwasher safe.
4. Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel Meat Pounder
- Measures: 4.75" x 3.25" x 3.25" / 12cm x 8cm x 8cm; Weighs: 28...
- Pound meat into uniform thickness, allowing meat to cook evenly
- The shape and heft of this vertical-style model provides the...
- Heavy enough for quick work but small enough for precise...
- Stainless steel over iron.
The Norpro Grip Meat Pounder is the best kitchen tool if you're looking for something that not only pounds but tenderizes your meat. The meat tenderizer is constructed from high-quality stainless and features an ergonomically designed non-slip handle.
This prevents your hand from experiencing any form of fatigue as the kitchen tool does all the hard work of pounding away at your meat cuts. The best part is that even when wet, the non-slip still holds. The meat tenderizer will pound the meat into uniform pieces allowing them to cook evenly.
5. Jaccard 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer
- Original Hand Held Meat Tenderizer: Reduces cooking time by up to...
- Commercial Meat Tenderizer: The meat tenderizer has double sided...
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- 48 Blade Meat Tenderizer: Enhances any type of meat, including...
- Achieve better cooking results from less expensive cuts of meat...
With the Jaccard Meat Tenderizer, you can expect to enjoy tender and flavorful food whilst achieving better cooking results.
The Jaccard meat tenderizer reduces cooking time by up to 40% as it provides a way for seasoning and marinades to be deeper absorbed into the meat, thus increasing absorption by up to 600%. The kitchen tool is for both professional chefs and home cooking enthusiasts. It doubles up as a commercial meat Tenderizer.
The meat tenderizer features double-sized razor-sharp stainless-steel knives that effortlessly cut through the connective tissue of any tough piece of meat. It's an excellent tenderizer for beef, especially steak, chicken, venison, pork, and veal.
The meat tenderizer features an ergonomically designed plastic handle that provides a firm, comfortable grip making it easier to tenderize it.
Jaccard also provides a plastic protective cover to protect your fingers from the sharp blades. It's easy to clean and is also dish wash friendly.
How to Choose The Best Meat Tenderizer
Though you can buy powdered meat tenderizers at the grocery store to help soften your meat with special acids and enzymes, it can often leave the meat too soft. With a mechanical meat tenderizer, you're able to control better how soft and tender you want the meat to be. There are two major types to select from mallet tenderizers and blade/needle tenderizers.
- Mallet tenderizer
Mallet Tenderizer is a hammer-like tool with a textured/spiked surface that you use to strike the meat to soften it. Most mallets are dual-sided, providing a spiked head for tenderizing and a smooth flat side for flattening the meat allowing it to cook more evenly.
The spiked head is also essential in allowing marinades and seasonings to penetrate further into the meat. Mallet tenderizers are considered to be more versatile because of their dual-sided surfaces that allow you to puncture and flatten the meat.
- Blade or needle tenderizer
Blade-style tenderizers contain dozens of blades or needles that, when pressed down into the meat, pierce the meat and cut through the muscle fiber. This allows for any flavoring or marinade to better penetrate the meat and result in a shorter cooking time.
Some prefer blade tenderizers as they don't require much hand strength compared to mallet tenderizers. However, blader tenderizers can't flatten meat as well as mallet meat tenderizers. Blade tenderizers are commonly used for thicker meats like steak and are not preferable for thinner cut meats as they can tear the meat apart entirely.
The downside of blade-style meat tenderizers is the tedious cleanup process. It can also be a little dangerous dealing with dozens of sharp needles.
- Commercial-style Meat Tenderizer
This meat tenderizer is specially designed for restaurants and meat enthusiasts. They are free-standing units with a meat feeding shute at the top and a manual crank handle that guides the meat through the machine. The blades/needles are sharp and made of stainless steel.
They are very effective at flattening and tenderizing large prices of meat. The downside with this type of meat tenderizer is that they are best suited for red meat and may not be very effective with alternative varieties like chicken.
If the meat tenderizer's handle isn't ergonomically designed, you can experience hand fatigue pretty fast. When considering a mallet meat tenderizer, it's best to opt for a model that has a contoured handle with a nonslip grip. This means that even wet, it's still comfortable to use.
A blade or needle tenderizer's handle should fit comfortably and snugly in your hand. An ideal model is one with a spring-loaded mechanism in the handle as it allows you to control the amount of tension and avoid hand fatigue.
c) Tenderizing Surface Design
Most mallet meat tenderizers have a textured/ridged side for tenderizing and a flat side for flattening the meat.
Blade tenderizers can either feature blades in a circular or linear pattern. Models in a circular arrangement tend to be easier to store, while a tenderizer with a linear pattern offers greater control.
d) Retractable blades
Handling a blade meat tenderizer can be dangerous due to the blades; however, you're less likely to have an accident if you have a model with retractable blades. These feature a spring-loaded handle design that keeps the blades from being exposed if the meat tenderizer is not in use. This means you can avoid cutting yourself when your reach into a drawer to pull out the meat tenderizer.
Accidents are prone to happen; hence you're better off being safe than sorry. There are meat tenderizers that come with a lock feature. The lock allows you to control the blades' settings; hence when you're not using the meat tenderizer, the settings will be off, and when you are using it, they'll be on. That way, you're safe. This is especially effective for blade-style tenderizers.
Some blade meat tenderizers come with plastic guard caps that sit over the blade portion for storage. They serve as protection for your fingers when you come into contact with the tenderizer and also protect the tenderizer from any damage while you've stored it away.
Meat tenderizers tend to range from as little as $3 to more than $25. You'll normally pay between $3 and $10 for a basic mallet-style tenderizer, while high-quality mallets and blade-style tenderizers can range from $10 to $25. Those that cost more than $25 tend to be professional-grade tenderizers.
Meat is one of the most common sources of foodborne diseases. Hence, it's best to consider if it's easy to clean and maintain when looking for the best meat tenderizer. One of the factors to look out for is if it's dishwasher safe.
Don't trust the product alone; read reviews from users and make your judgment from there. Some products claim that they are safe to use in the dishwasher but end up not being; hence it's always important to do your research.
Some meat tenderizers can be washed by hand, and that's an option worth considering. However, do ensure that you're up to the task with cleaning tasks required for the kitchen tool before purchasing.