Meat tenderizer tools are a must-have in every kitchen, especially if you love to cook meat. These tools can help break down the tough fibers in meat and make it more tender and easier to chew. In this post, we will discuss how to use a meat tenderizer tool, what you can use as a meat tenderizer tool, why you should use a meat tenderizer tool, how does it work, and what exactly does it do.

There are several types of meat tenderizers available in the market. One type is the bladed meat tenderizer that has several sharp blades that puncture the surface of the meat. Another type is the needle tenderizer that uses tiny needles to poke holes into the meat’s surface. The reversible or two-sided meat tenderizer has one side with blades and another side with needles for versatility. And then there is also the classic hammer-style meat tenderizer which flattens out meats while breaking down its fibers.

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Using a Meat Tenderizing Tool

To use a bladed or needle-style meat tenderizing tool, simply press or roll it over your cut of beef or steak until you have covered all areas of your cut. Make sure to do this evenly across both sides of your cut so that they get an even amount of pressure.

For hammer-style or reversible style tendersizers, place your piece of beef on top of a cutting board or any flat surface and pound away at it using moderate force until it becomes flatter and thinner.

What Can I Use as A Meat Tenderizing Tool?

If you don’t have access to specialized tools such as those mentioned above, there are other ways to achieve similar results without them. You can use any heavy object like rolling pins or cast iron skillets as alternative options.

Why Use A Meat Tenderizing Tool?

The main reason for using these tools is simple: they help make meats more flavorful by breaking down their fibers and making them easier to chew. Tenderizing meat also helps it cook more evenly, making sure that all parts of the meat are cooked through.

How Does A Meat Tenderizer Tool Work?

Meat tenderizers work by breaking down the connective tissues in meats, which makes them more tender and easy to eat. Bladed and needle-style tenderizers puncture holes into the meat’s surface, while hammer-style ones flatten out meats while breaking down its fibers.

What Does A Meat Tenderizer Tool Do?

A meat tenderizer tool breaks down tough fibers in meats, making them more tender and flavorful

Different Types of Meat Tenderizer Tools: Mallets and Bladed/Needled Models

Mallet Tools: Ideal for Tenderizing Larger Meat Cuts

Such as steaks and roasts, a mallet tool is the perfect choice. This type of meat tenderizer features two flat surfaces, one with raised bumps or ridges, that are used to pound the meat and effectively break down its fibers. Mallets come in various sizes and weights so that you can choose one that suits your needs.

Using a mallet tool is easy. Simply place the meat on a flat surface such as a cutting board, cover it with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent tearing, then use the mallet to pound it until it reaches the desired thickness. For best results, start at the center of the cut and work outward toward the edges.

Needled Models: Perfect for Thin Cuts of Meat

If you’re working with thinner cuts of meat such as chicken breasts or pork chops, a needled model may be more suitable. These tools feature sharp stainless steel needles that penetrate deeply into the meat and create tiny channels through which marinades can flow. This process not only tenderizes but also infuses flavor into your meats.

Using a needled model is straightforward. Simply press down on the tool firmly over each section of meat until all areas have been covered. Be sure to clean your needle tool thoroughly after each use to prevent cross-contamination.

Bladed Models: Great for Flattening Meat

Bladed models feature sharp stainless steel blades that flatten and tenderize meats quickly and efficiently. They are ideal for creating even cutlets from unevenly shaped pieces of meat such as chicken breasts or pork loins.

To use a bladed model, simply press down on the tool firmly over each section of meat until all areas have been covered. The blades will pierce through any tough muscle fibers while flattening out thicker parts of the cutlet.

While these models are great for tenderizing meat, their sharp blades can also be used to score the surface of meats. This process creates tiny cuts that allow marinades to penetrate more deeply, resulting in a more flavorful and tender end product.

What’s the Difference Between a Meat Tenderizer and a Meat Pounder?

Meat Tenderizer vs Meat Pounder: What’s the Difference?

Meat tenderizers and meat pounders are two essential tools in any kitchen. While they may look similar, they serve different purposes we will explore the key differences between a meat tenderizer and a meat pounder.

Purpose of Meat Tenderizers

Meat tenderizers are used to break down the fibers of tough cuts of meat, making them more tender and easier to chew. These tools come in various shapes and sizes, but most have small blades or spikes that penetrate the surface of the meat. The act of piercing the flesh causes muscle fibers to break apart, which makes it easier for marinades or seasonings to penetrate deeper into the meat.

One popular type of meat tenderizer is a mallet-style tool with multiple rows of sharp blades on one end. This design allows for maximum coverage while minimizing effort needed by the user. Another type features long needles that puncture through thick cuts like flank steak or round roast without flattening them.

Purpose of Meat Pounders

On the other hand, meat pounders are used to flatten and thin out pieces of meat evenly. They’re also known as “meat pounder flatteners” because their primary function is pounding and flattening meats like chicken breast or pork chops so that they cook evenly throughout.

Meat pounders typically feature a flat surface made from metal or wood, with some models having textured surfaces for added grip during use. Unlike tenderizers, these tools don’t have blades or spikes designed to pierce through meats but instead rely on brute force to flatten them out.

Examples & Applications

While both tools can be used interchangeably in some cases, each has its unique applications in cooking different types of dishes.

For instance, if you’re making schnitzel or chicken fried steak where you need thin pieces of even thickness for frying, a meat pounder is the ideal tool. Similarly, if you’re making steak tartare or carpaccio where the meat needs to be thin and tender, using a meat tenderizer can help achieve the desired texture.

How to Choose the Ideal Type of Meat Tenderizer Tool

Consider the Type of Meat You Will Be Tenderizing

When choosing a meat tenderizer tool, it is important to consider the type of meat you will be tenderizing. Some meats are naturally more tender than others and may not require as much effort to break down the fibers. For example, chicken breasts are relatively easy to tenderize compared to tougher cuts of beef or pork.

If you plan on primarily tenderizing tougher cuts of meat, such as flank steak or brisket, you may want to consider a heavier-duty tool that can handle the task. A mallet-style tenderizer with large teeth or spikes may be more effective at breaking down tough muscle fibers.

On the other hand, if you plan on using your tenderizer mostly for chicken or fish, a gentler option like a needle-style tenderizer may be sufficient. This type of tool uses small needles to create tiny holes in the meat without completely flattening it.

Decide on the Level of Manual Effort You Are Willing to Exert

Meat tenderizers come in both manual and electric options. Manual tools require physical effort to use, while electric models do most of the work for you.

If you don’t mind putting in some elbow grease, a manual meat tenderizer can be an affordable and effective option. Mallet-style and needle-style tools are both available in manual versions.

However, if you have limited strength or mobility issues that make it difficult to use a manual tool, an electric model may be worth considering. Electric meat tenderizers typically use rotating blades or needles to quickly and efficiently break down tough fibers.

Determine the Frequency of Use

Another factor to consider when choosing a meat tenderizer is how often you plan on using it. If you only plan on using your tool occasionally for special occasions or specific recipes, a basic model may suffice.

However, if you frequently cook tough cuts of meat and rely heavily on your tool for achieving the desired texture, investing in a higher-quality model may be worth it. Look for tools made from durable materials that can withstand frequent use and cleaning.

Evaluate the Size and Storage Space of the Tool

Meat tenderizers come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to consider how much storage space you have available. If you have limited cabinet or counter space, a compact model may be ideal.

Consider the size of the meat you plan on tenderizing. If you often work with large cuts of meat, such as roasts or whole chickens, you may need a larger tool to effectively tenderize them.

Look for Additional Features

Some meat tenderizers come with additional features that can make them more versatile and user-friendly. For example, some models have interchangeable blades or attachments that allow you to switch between needle-style and mallet-style tenderizing.

Other features to look for include safety locks to prevent accidental injuries and ergonomic handles for comfortable use.

Set a Budget and Compare Prices Across Different Brands and Models

Meat tenderizers are available at a range of price points, so it’s important to set a budget before making your purchase. Consider what features are most important to you and compare prices across different brands and models before making your final decision.

Keep in mind that while cheaper models may be more affordable upfront, they may not last as long or perform as well as higher-end options. It may be worth investing in a higher-quality tool if you plan on using it frequently or for tougher cuts of meat.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Meat Tenderizer Tool: Surface Area and Ease of Use

Large Surface Area for Efficient Tenderizing

One of the key factors to consider when choosing a meat tenderizer tool is its surface area. A larger surface area allows for more efficient tenderizing of meat, as it covers a wider area with each strike. This means that you can tenderize your meat in less time and with less effort.

When looking for a meat tenderizer tool with a large surface area, consider one that has a wide head or base. A wider head will cover more surface area with each strike, while a wider base will allow you to apply pressure evenly across the meat. Look for tools that have longer handles, which will give you greater leverage and control over the tenderizing process.

Usability: Smooth and Textured Sides

Another important factor to consider when selecting a meat tenderizer tool is usability. Usability refers to how easy and intuitive the tool is to use, as well as how quickly it can get the job done.

Look for tools that have both smooth and textured sides. The smooth side of the tool is ideal for flattening meat, while the textured side is perfect for tenderizing. This dual-sided design allows you to tackle different cuts of meat and achieve optimal results every time.

In addition to having multiple sides, choose tools that are lightweight and easy to handle. Heavy or awkwardly shaped tools can make the task of tenderizing meat more difficult than it needs to be.

Material, Dimensions, and Weight

The material, dimensions, and weight of your chosen meat tenderizer tool can also impact its ease of use and efficiency in tenderizing meat. Some materials may be more durable or easier to clean than others; some dimensions may be better suited for certain types of cuts; some weights may be too heavy or too light depending on your personal preferences.

Consider these factors carefully when choosing your tool. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its durability and ease of cleaning, while plastic or silicone may be more lightweight and easier to handle. The width of the tool should match the size of the meat you will be tenderizing, while the weight should be comfortable for you to hold and maneuver.

Top Meat Tenderizers and Meat Pounders Available in 2023

Top Meat Pounders and Cubers for Effortless Tenderizing

Meat tenderizers are essential tools in every kitchen, especially having the right meat pounder can make all the difference in achieving that perfectly tender and juicy steak. In this section, we’ll discuss the top meat pounders and cubers available in 2023.

Top Meat Pounders for Beef and Other Meats

There are several options available on the market. The most popular ones include mallet-style pounders, textured pounders, and spring-loaded pounders. Mallet-style pounders are ideal for flattening meats like chicken breasts or pork chops while textured pounders create small indentations on the surface of the meat to help with even cooking. Spring-loaded pounders are perfect for larger cuts of beef as they require less effort to use.

One of our top picks for a meat pounder is the OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer. This tool features two sides – one flat side for pounding and one textured side for tenderizing. Its non-slip grip makes it comfortable to hold while its weight ensures that your meats will be evenly flattened.

Meat Cuber for Faster and More Even Tenderizing

If you’re looking to take your tenderizing game up a notch, then consider investing in a meat cuber. A meat cuber is designed to pierce through tough muscle fibers using sharp blades, creating thin channels throughout the cut of meat. These channels allow marinades or seasonings to penetrate deeper into the meat resulting in more flavorful and tender dishes.

Our top pick for a meat cuber is Weston Manual Meat Cuber/Tenderizer which has 31 stainless steel blades that can effortlessly pierce through any cut of beef or other meats.

More Buying Options For Different Budgets and Needs

Meat pounders and cubers come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. While some are designed for heavy-duty use, others are more suitable for occasional use at home. Depending on your needs and budget, it’s important to choose a tool that will meet your requirements.

For those on a tight budget, the Norpro Grip-EZ Meat Pounder is an excellent choice. It’s made of durable aluminum and features a textured surface for tenderizing meats.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more high-end, the Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer is worth considering. This tool has 48 stainless steel blades that can pierce through even the toughest cuts of meat with ease.

Fastest Delivery on Tuesday with 2-Day Shipping

Once you’ve decided on which meat tenderizer tool to purchase, you’ll want to get it as soon as possible so you can start using it right away. If you’re in a hurry to receive your order, then consider opting for fast shipping options like 2-day shipping.

At, we offer fast delivery services including 2-day shipping. Simply select this option during checkout and your order will arrive by Tuesday.

Fastest Delivery on Friday with 1-Day Shipping

If you need your meat tenderizer tool even faster than that, then our next-day delivery service may be just what you need. By selecting this option during checkout at, your order will arrive by Friday.

Free Delivery on Saturday For Added Convenience

For added convenience, we also offer free Saturday delivery services at Simply select this option during checkout and your order will arrive by Saturday without any extra charges!

Reviews and Tests of the Best Meat Tenderizers for Home Cooks

Best Meat Tenderizers for Home Cooks

Product testers and chefs have put the toughest steak tenderizer tools to the test, and we’ve compiled a list of the best meat tenderizers for home cooks. These kitchen gadgets make tough meat more tender, resulting in delicious meals that are sure to impress your family or guests.

Toughest Steak Tenderizer Tools Tested

The OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is a popular choice among product testers and chefs alike. Its double-sided design allows for both pounding and flattening of meats, making it versatile enough to use on everything from chicken breasts to beef steaks. The non-slip grip makes it easy to use even when hands are wet or greasy.

Another great option is the Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer. This tool uses multiple tiny blades to pierce the meat, breaking down tough muscle fibers and allowing marinades to penetrate deeper into the meat. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning after use.

Kitchen Gadgets That Make Tough Meat More Tender

If you’re looking for a gadget that does more than just tenderize your meats, consider the KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer Attachment. This attachment fits onto your KitchenAid stand mixer and features two different textured sides for tenderizing and flattening meats. It’s also made from durable aluminum that will last for years.

For those who prefer a more traditional approach, try using salt as a natural meat tenderizer. Simply sprinkle coarse salt over your meat before cooking, letting it sit for at least an hour before rinsing off any excess salt.

Kitchenaid Meat Tenderizer Attachment Reviewed

The KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer Attachment has received high marks from product testers thanks to its efficiency in breaking down tough cuts of meat. Its sturdy construction means it can handle even the toughest cuts with ease, while its two different textures allow you to choose between light or heavy tenderizing.

Dishwasher Safe Meat Tenderizers

Dishwasher safe options are always a plus. The OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer and Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer are both dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze after use.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

At The Spruce Eats, we take our product testing seriously. Our team of experts rigorously tests each product to ensure that only the best make it onto our list of recommendations. We also take into account user reviews and feedback to provide a well-rounded view of each product’s performance. When you choose one of our recommended products, you can trust that it will perform as promised and make your cooking experience more enjoyable.

The Best Budget-Friendly Options: OXO Good Grips Die Cast Meat Tenderizer and Grip-Ez Meat Tenderizer

OXO Good Grips Die Cast Meat Tenderizer and Grip-Ez Meat Tenderizer are two of the best budget-friendly options for those who want to tenderize their meat without spending a lot of money. These tools are perfect for anyone who wants to make their meat more tender and delicious, but doesn’t want to break the bank doing it.

One of the best features of the OXO Good Grips Die Cast Meat Tenderizer is its rubber comfort grip handle. This handle provides a slip-resistant grip, making it easy and comfortable to use. The tool also has a die-cast aluminum head with both flat and raised surfaces that can be used to tenderize different types of meat. According to Serious Eats, this tool is capable of tenderizing even tough cuts of meat up to 1.25 inches thick.

meat tenderizer tool

Similarly, the Grip-Ez Meat Tenderizer is another affordable option that features a silicone grip handle for added comfort and slip resistance. The tool has a dual-sided head with one side featuring pyramid-shaped points for tenderizing tougher cuts, while the other side has flatter points for more delicate meats like fish or chicken breasts.

Both tools are lightweight at just 12 ounces, which makes them easy to maneuver and control while you’re using them. They’re also very easy to clean – simply rinse them off in warm soapy water after use.

Using these tools is simple – start by placing your steak or cut of meat between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a resealable bag with some garlic cloves if desired. Then, use either the OXO Good Grips or Grip-Ez Meat Tenderizer to pound out any uneven edges on your steak until it’s an even thickness throughout. This will help ensure that your steak cooks evenly and stays juicy.

The Best Short-Handled Meat Pounder and Mallet-Style Meat Pounder: Rosle Meat Hammer

Heavy and Sturdy Meat Mallet: Rosle Meat Hammer

The Rosle Meat Hammer is a heavy and sturdy meat mallet that is perfect for pounding pork cutlets and other tough meats. Its angled head allows for greater control and precision when pounding, making it a great kitchen mallet for any home cook. The silicone handle provides a comfortable grip, even when using it for extended periods of time, and helps prevent hand fatigue.

Unlike a rolling pin or other pounder, the Rosle Meat Hammer’s heavy iron skillet can easily tenderize even the toughest piece of meat with great grain. It is designed to be used with one hand, allowing you to keep your other hand free to hold the meat in place while you pound away.

The angled head of the hammer allows you to get into tight spaces between bones or around curves in the meat without damaging it. This makes it ideal for preparing pork cutlets or chicken breasts that need to be flattened evenly so they cook evenly.

Silicone Handle Provides Comfortable Grip

One of the best features of the Rosle Meat Hammer is its silicone handle. Unlike wooden handles that can become slippery when wet, the silicone handle provides a secure grip even if your hands are wet or greasy from handling raw meat.

The handle also helps absorb some of the shock from pounding, reducing hand fatigue and making it easier to use for extended periods of time. This means you can prepare multiple cuts of meat without having to take breaks due to hand cramps or soreness.

Available at Williams Sonoma

The Rosle Meat Hammer is available for purchase at Williams Sonoma and is a must-have tool for anyone who loves to cook chicken or pork. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can be confident in its quality and durability.

Choosing the Right Meat Tenderizer Tool for Your Needs

In conclusion, selecting the perfect meat tenderizer tool can make a big difference in your cooking experience. Whether you are a professional chef or a home cook, it is essential to have the right tool that meets your needs.

When choosing between mallets and bladed/needled models, consider what type of meat you will be tenderizing. For tougher cuts like beef or pork, bladed/needled models may work better as they can penetrate deeply into the meat fibers. Mallets are ideal for thinner cuts of meat like chicken or fish.

It’s important to note that there is a difference between a meat tenderizer and a meat pounder. A meat tenderizer is designed to break down tough muscle fibers while a meat pounder flattens and thins out the meat. Depending on your recipe, you may need both tools.

When selecting a meat tenderizer tool, consider factors such as surface area and ease of use. A larger surface area will allow you to cover more ground quickly while an ergonomic handle will make it easier to grip and use for extended periods.

Some top-rated options include the OXO Good Grips Die Cast Meat Tenderizer and Grip-Ez Meat Tenderizer for those on a budget. For those looking for something more heavy-duty, Rosle Meat Hammer offers both short-handled mallet-style pounders and long-handled bladed/needled models.


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