While premium-priced cuts of meat might not be a great option for people on a budget, you don’t have to miss out on these tender, juicy, and flavorful dinners.
So, here comes the million-dollar question – how to turn cheap cuts of meats into a sumptuous dinner?
Your best bet is a meat tenderizer. To be clear, I’m not referring to the seasoning blends at your local grocery store. There are many forms the meat tenderizer tool takes, which you will understand in this review.
But regardless, the best meat tenderizer tool should achieve one purpose – breaking down the meat’s tough tissue for a softer result. This makes it easier to chew the meat and absorb flavors like seasoning, rubs, or marinades.
Sadly, there is an overwhelming number of this tool on the market; hence, choosing the right one can be a bit tricky and time-consuming. Luckily, we’ve whipped up the best meat tenderizers and included a detailed buying guide to ensure you make an informed decision.
What Is Meat Tenderizer?
From its name, anyone should get a picture of what this tool is and used for. A meat tenderizer, otherwise known as a meat mallet or meat pounder, is a kitchen tool designed to pound or tenderize slabs of meat.
Why You Need A Meat Tenderizer Tool
A meat tenderizer beats or creates holes in the slab of meat, depending on your preference. This allows heat to penetrate through the holes for even grilling or roasting. Also, it ensures your sprinkled spices penetrate inside the meat and trap moisture better for a mouth-watering taste and scent.
Reviews of The Best Meat & Poultry Tenderizers Tool to Buy in 2021
Top 1 – KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer
The KitchenAid brand is one of our go-to’s for reliable, handy kitchen utensils, and this meat tenderizer lives up to the hype.
To begin with, the KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer features a versatile design for a wide range of tenderizing options. It comes with a textured side to work on a variety of meats. The other side is smooth and perfect for flattening and pounding cuts of meats.
Down to its construction, this tool features an aluminum construction to ensure it’s light, strong, and extremely durable. Thanks to its ergonomic handle, this kitchen tool is easy to use and for a long time without getting fatigued.
- 2-in-1 design for tenderizing versatility
- Sturdy aluminum construction
- Easy to use and store
- Available in a wide range of color options
- Not dishwasher safe
Top 2 – JY COOKMENT Meat Tenderizer
If you want a meat tenderizer to create tiny channels and break down the tough meat’s connective tissues, JY COOKMENT Meat Tenderizer can be the best bet.
Like our top choice from KitchenAid, this model is easy to use and control, thanks to its handle’s ergonomic design. This kitchen tool offers comfortable and non-slip handling without hand fatigue.
The JY COOKMENT Meat Tenderizer creates tiny channels with its 48 ultra-sharp stainless steel blades on the slab of meat to promote the absorption of spices, including marinade, for a mouth-watering taste. Also, it reduces the cooking time, and since heat penetrates more quickly, your meat won’t lose its natural juices and flavors.
- 48 ultra-sharp stainless steel blades.
- It comes with an ergonomic handle for better pressure and grip control
- Dish-wash safer
- Affordable price point
- Poor quality control
Top 3 – Best Meat Pounder America’s Test Kitchen Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel
The Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel Meat Pounder is a top-of-the-line meat mallet. This kitchen tool is a decent choice for pounding meat, chicken, as well as vegetables into even thicknesses.
It features a vertical-style design that offers an optimal combination of force and control. Its weight is right for quick work and precise maneuverability. The Norpro Grip-EZ Meat Pounder is built with stainless steel to prevent rusting and last for many years.
This 28-ounce kitchen tool is ideal for tenderizing and marinating inexpensive cuts of beef such as sirloin and chuck. It can also pierce 48 holes in your meat at a go to allow fast absorption of the marinades and deliver a tender result.
- Offers precise maneuverability
- Easy to clean
- The vertical-style model delivers a perfect combo of force and control
- Non-slip grip for secure handling
- The blades tends to stick to the meat
Top 4 – Westmark Steakhammer Steakmaster
The Westmark Steakhammer Steakmaster is another excellent kitchenware that won’t disappoint you. It does more than just flatten or pound your cut of meat.
This hammer tool cuts the cooking time while ensuring the meat cooks evenly. With its unique construction, this model takes advantage of gravity and performs excellently with the least effort. It comes with a soft grip handling for safe and easy handling, even for people with arthritis.
This perfectly weighted steakhammer can cut deeply into the meat to create soft, juicy meat. Also, the textured side comes in handy for crushing ice cubes, garlic, and nuts. Further, its sturdy construction tailored with its chrome plating ensures it’s a safer and healthier alternative to wood.
- Dishwasher safe
- Versatile design for a variety of application
- One-piece construction to prevent missing pieces
- Easy and safe to use
- It might be too small for people with large hands
Top 5 – NEW OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
When it comes to reliable brands in this space, the OXO doesn’t fall far behind. The OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is a decent choice for anyone looking to tenderize their slab of meat. This hammer features a one-piece aluminum construction to ensure it is light, strong, and incredibly durable to last a lifetime.
It features a double-sided head for optimal tenderizing. One side is smooth to flatten cutlets, and the other is textured to perforate a tough slab of meat. This best meat tenderizer is perfect for chicken, pork, lamb, and beef cutlets.
Also, it features a nonstick surface to ensure the meat does not get stuck as you tenderize your cutlets. Using this kitchenware is hassle-free, thanks to its comfortable soft-grip rubberized handle that increases its overall ease of use and control.
- Comfortable soft-grip rubberized handle
- Sturdy double-sided
- Nonstick coating on the metal surface
- Delivers optimal tenderizing performance
- Poor quality control
Top 6 – Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer
The Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer is a top choice for both home cooks or busy restaurants. This gadget helps soften your cutlets for enhanced flavor.
It’s built with sturdy and strong cast aluminum construction paired with a heavy-duty base and food-safe plastic coating. The tenderizer comes with two C-clamps, and a sturdy crack handle to keep the gadget securely mounted to prevent a wobbling experience.
This meat tenderizer is suitable for large cuts of meat and pierces through tough connective tissues, thanks to its 31 super-sharp stainless steel blades. This gadget is equipped with stainless steel combs to prevent jamming and ensure a seamless performance.
- 31 ultra-sharp stainless steel blades
- Dishwasher safe
- Two-piece housing design for quick cleanup and smart storage
- Sturdy cast aluminum construction and food-safe coating
- It recommended for tenderizing chicken
Top 7 – STX International Meat & Vegetable Vacuum Marinato, Meat Tenderizer
The STX International STX-1000-CE delivers tenderized meat, chicken, pork, and vegetables in a fraction of the time. This tool is based on vacuum marinating. This unit creates air gaps in the pork, fish, meat, etc., and delivers marinade to fill the gaps created to enhance its flavor in no time.
However, for tough muscle meats such as chicken breast, you should use the included meat tenderizer to perforate the dense muscle meat before processing them for perfect marinade penetration.
This gadget includes a motorized rotating vacuum base, a durable marinating drum – which I find easy to clean, and an instruction manual.
- Suitable for marinating meat
- Easy to use
- Automatic shut-off function
- Quick performance
- No RPM or vacuum control
How to Choose the Best Meat Tenderizer Tool
To ensure you settle for the right tool, you need to understand the different types of meat tenderizers out there.
Mallet-style Meat Tenderizer
The mallet-style meat tenderizer is shaped like a hammer. It comes with a heavy-duty metalhead that has two sides – a smooth side to soften, pulverize and pound the meat and the other textured, to perforate tough meat for better spice and marinate absorption.
This model is perfect for people looking to tenderize small pieces of meat and not recommended to perforate whole chicken, beef steak, or other thicker cuts of meat.
Needle-style Meat Tenderizer
The needle-style meat tenderizer is an excellent choice to tenderize both large and small pieces of meat. This tool features razor-sharp prongs, blades, or metal needles that can penetrate into thick meat to cut through the tough muscle tissue.
Its heavy-duty tenderizing mechanism creates small gaps for excellent absorption of marinades, rubs, and seasonings. Also, it cuts the cooking time and prevents your meat from shrinking.
This main drawback of the needle-style meat tenderizer is its prongs, blades, or needles tend to get stuck in thicker meat. So, we won’t recommend this tool for thinner cuts of meats to prevent it from losing its original shape.
Commercial-style Meat Tenderizer
This tool is built to handle the demands of busy restaurants. They are a freestanding unit with a manual crank handle and a meat-feeding chute. The sharp blades are usually made of stainless steel to guarantee it flattens and tenderizes large pieces of meat. Our best option for the commercial-style meat tenderizer is the Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer.
1. How do meat tenderizers work?
This tool breaks the tough muscle tissue of the meat for a tenderized and soft result.
2. What is the best way to tenderize meat?
There are several to achieve this, and using a tenderizer tool is one of the fastest and easiest ways.
3. Do you wash off the meat tenderizer?
Soak in warm soapy water for a while before washing thoroughly under running water.
We’ve reviewed the top 7 best meat tenderizer tools on the market. Now, it’s up to you to make a decision depending on your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, we’re confident that whichever gadget you decide to go for won’t disappoint you.