Have you ever wanted to eat juicy and delicious steaks at home? Have you ever tried preparing it at home? Most of the people have failed the first time, as the steak cooked was chewy like rubber. If you still have to found a solution for making the best steak or uniform thickness meat slabs, a purchasing a meat tenderizer can help you. Most of the people would know a meat tenderizer and its advantages. Therefore, we would not be discussing those basic things in this article. However, I would be sharing a few important things that could help you purchase the best meat tenderizer available on the market today.
No one would prefer eating cooked meat that is chewy as hell. Purchase the best product and you no longer have to worry about this issue. Don’t forget to check my list for the Best Meat Grinder.
Why tenderize meat?
If seriously want to know deeply on why tenderize meat, you should understand the basic fact that raw meat in its pure form is hard and hard to cook or cut. One of the common issues is that raw pure meat does not cook evenly or is not easy to cut. Tenderizing is done to soften the meat and to make the meat into uniform thickness meat slabs. Uniform thickness meat slabs are cooked evenly and it is easy to cut.
Most of the processes involved in preparing delicious food demands tenderized meat. For example, rolling, stuffing, and skewering is best done if the meat used is tenderized.
What are the best ways to tenderize meat?
Tenderized meat is comparatively costlier than normal meat. One of the mean reasons for such a difference in the cost is that tenderized meat comes out after a number of processes and this costs money. If you do not prefer spending cash on tenderized meat, you can simply buy normal meat and tenderize it yourself within few minutes. Here are six ways that can help you tenderize meat.
=> Beat it – Pounding the meat with a mallet can efficiently tenderize the meat. One of the disadvantages of using this method is that if you overdo the process, the meat can eventually turn into mush.
=> Marinate with acid – if the meat is properly soaked in a marinade made of vinegar, lemon, yogurt, or buttermilk can efficiently tenderize the meat. For acquiring the best result, do not soak the meat in the marinade for more than 30-minutes straight.
=> Salt it – Keeping the tough cut meat in salt for a long time can break down the muscle fibers in the meat. All you have to do is, rinse the meat kept in salt, dry the meat, and then, cook it.
=> Marinate with enzymes – fruits like papaya, kiwi, Asian pear, and pineapple consist of enzymes that can tenderize the meat. All you have to do is puree these fruits, then add some favorite seasonings, and marinate it.
=> Slice the meat right – Not all chefs are good at slicing the meat to a thickness that can enable the meat to absorb more marinades. If the chef is clever with the knife tricks he/she can make shallow cuts across the surface of the meat that break up the proteins.
=> Slow- cooking – Apart from all the methods mentioned above, cooking tough cut meat with low-temperature heat for a long time can tenderize the meat. Connective tissues, tough fibers, collagen all break down at prolonged cooking. For best results, consider using a slow cooker or Dutch ovens.
Now, you know almost everything about meat tenderizing process. However, if you are considering purchasing a meat tenderizer today it is not as easy as you think. There are over thousands of meat tenderizer products from which you should select the best product. Based on a thorough study we have listed some of the key factors that could help you select the best product that can suit your needs.
- Type of tool
- Space in the kitchen
- The Frequency of use
- Material of construction
- Ease of using the product
Type of tool – As I have told at the beginning of the article, there are different methods that could be used to tenderize the meat. Yes using chemical or physical methods. Well, we will not be discussing the chemical methods. There are physical methods that can be used to tenderize the meat. PS: Physical methods here denote applying a pressure on the meat using a specially designed tool.
- Using a vertical standing machine that is commonly hand-operated/electrically operated.
- Using handheld smart tools that have blades or prongs designed in such a way that it penetrates the meat without actually cutting them into separate pieces.
- Using the traditional hammer or mallet, this comes with usable two sides. One side could be used for flattening the meat and the other side could be used to tenderize the meat.
However, not all products mentioned above are the same, the purpose of each method might be the same, but, the size of the product and the efficiency differs. It is totally up to you on which type tool to purchase.
Space in the kitchen – As I mentioned above, different tenderizer tools come in different size. A vertical standing tenderizer has a comparatively larger size that a handheld smart tool or a mallet. If you do not have considerably larger counter top space, do not purchase a vertical standing tenderizer. Always consider buying a hand-held smart tool or a mallet instead of vertical standing tenderizer if the space available is limited or considerably low.
The Frequency of use – Frequency of use is very important as would not be wise to purchase an expensive tenderizer tool for use in once a month. Do not consider buying an expensive tenderizer if you do not plan to use it frequently. On the other hand, if you own a restaurant, a joint, or if you are sure that you would be using the device frequently, consider buying an expensive product, as the quality of the product would be high.
Material of construction – Tenderizer tools apply a pressure on the meat to tenderize it, this makes the material of construction an important factor to consider. You will not appreciate a product that breaks or malfunction just after a few uses. Apart from this reason, materials like wood can prove unsanitary after a few uses; on the other hand, stainless steel material coated with non-stick coating will not have any sanitary issues. PS: some people prefer purchasing a product with wooden parts, for example, a mallet or a hammer with wooden handle. However, they later regret the decision as the handle breaks or the wood produces bad odor and looks bad.
Ease of using the product – To be frank, to my experience, a mallet or a hammer is the easiest usable tenderizer tool available on the market right now. This does not mean vertical standing tenderizing machines are hard to use. Manually operated vertical standing tenderizing machines are comparatively harder to use, but electrically operated vertical standing tenderizer machines are the best.
Price – In the above-mentioned factor “frequency of use”, I have already mentioned that it would be a waste of money if you purchase an expensive tenderizer machine and you hardly use them. Yes, tenderizers come at different price ranges. An electrically operated vertically standing tenderizer is comparatively costlier than a manual vertical standing tenderizer, a mallet, or a hand-held smart tool. It is very important that you consider all the above-mentioned factors first and then consider the price of the product.
Here is the list of 8 best meat tenderizer available on the market today.
1. Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer
The Jaccard Supertendermatic is a 48-blade tenderizer that comes from the brand Jaccard. Unlike any other type of tools, this tool will not have the issue of overworking the meat under any circumstances. The blades placed on this product tenderize the meat in such a way that it provides an excellent pathway for the marinade to be absorbed deeper into the meat. The manufacturer claims that this product and its tenderizing ability reduces the cooking time by 40% and reduce the shrinkage, therefore, evenly cooking the meat. The whole product is made of ABS plastic and comes in a size of 5-5/8 by 4-1/8 Inches.
- This product comes at a reasonable price
- There is no need to setup this product
- The tenderizer does not consume any space
- The blades on this product are replaceable
- The product has a complicated design and it is difficult to clean
2. OXO SoftWorks Meat Tenderizer
The OXO SoftWorks meat tenderizer is a hammer that comes with an excellent design. This tool is simple and yet very effective in tenderizing the meat. The OXO SoftWorks can be used for both pounding and tenderizing the meat as its one side is designed for pounding and another side for tenderizing. The manufacturer has placed an excellent non-slip handle on this product to prevent the product from slipping off from the hands. One of the notable things about this product is its dual functional feature and the ease of cleaning.
- One of the simplest tenderizing tool
- Excellent grips
- This product is easy to use
- The product is too heavy and therefore, requires manual work.
3. Norpro Professional Meat Tenderizer
This tenderizer from the brand Norpro comes with 24-stainless steel prongs that are efficiently designed to break down the meat fibers and allow the marinade to b absorbed by the meat. This tenderizer can improve the texture and taste of the meat. The manufacturer has placed an excellent quality spring in this product for enhanced prong movement. This product can be easily cleaned and the manufacturer recommends thorough hand washing.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- High-quality stainless steel prongs
- Reasonable price
- The product head size of very small which means more manual work.
4. KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer, Black
This KitchenAid meat tenderizer is made of aluminum and is one of the cheapest tenderizer available on the market today. This dual function product has its one side designed for pounding and other side designed for tenderizing. The manufacturer has placed excellent soft grips on the handle that avoids the product from slipping from the hand. This product also has a hanging hole on the handle end that makes it easy to hang on the wall when not in use.
- Easy to use
- The product is made of durable material
- Dishwasher safe design and material
- This tenderizer is lightweight.
- This product price is comparatively higher than the other hammers.
5. Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer, Heavy Duty Hammer Mallet Tool & Chicken Pounder, Black
The Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer from the brand Spring Chef is a hammer tenderizer. This product is made of aluminum and is easy to clean than any other mallets/hammers. The product like the few other products mentioned is designed to be used as both pounding and tenderizing. One side of the product is flat designed for pounding and the other side was textured for tenderizing.
- Dual function
- Textured surface for tenderizing
- High-quality aluminum made product
- Some customers have reviewed the product as a low-quality building material.
6. KLEMOO Meat Tenderizer Tool – 48 Ultra Sharp Needle Stainless Steel Blades
This KLEMOO meat tenderizer from the brand KLEMOO comes with 48 stainless steel ultra-sharp blades that tenderize the meat efficiently. This product can convert even the toughest meat into tenderized meat slabs. The product can reduce the cooking time to as low as five minutes. One of the notable things about this tenderizer is that it is easy to use and the blade size can be adjusted. The product comes in an ergonomic design.
- Ergonomic design
- This product is designed for heavy-duty use
- The blade size of this product can be adjusted.
- The product if not handled carefully can break.
- Complicated to clean
7. Flytt Meat Tenderizer,48 Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Blades for Steak
The Flytt Meat Tenderizer from the brand Flytt is made of high-quality ABS plastic and comes with 48 stainless steel sharp blades. The manufacturer has designed the product in such a way that the user has to apply minimal force on the product to tenderize the meat. The spring placed inside the product; retract the blade that has to be pressed into the meat with manual force. This tenderizer can reduce the cooking time by 40%. One of the notable things about this product is that even though it has a complicated design, it is dishwasher safe.
- Dishwasher safe
- 48 stainless steel blades
- Spring for retracting the blades from the meat
- The product comes with a cover for protecting the blades
- If the product is stored wet, the spring, the nuts and bolts will rust.
8. Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizers 56 Stainless Steel Blades
Unlike all the products listed above, the Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizers comes with 56 stainless steel sharp blades. The whole product is made of food grade plastic and the parts used are corrosion resistant. One of the notable things of this tenderizer is that it comes in a cylindrical shape. This product is easy to clean and has compact size; to clean all you have to do is simply soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes.
- Easy to clean
- Compact size
- 56-stainless steel shape blade
- Made of food grade durable plastic
- Some customers review the product as complicated to clean.
How to clean a meat tenderizer?
- Cleaning a tenderizer is often easy. But some designs complicate the cleaning procedure
- Remember that a tenderizer should be cleaned before and after use
- Once the tenderizer is used, disassemble the product and wash the product carefully
- Once the product is washed, dry the product.
- Do not reassemble the product without drying the product.
- Some products are dishwasher safe; clean those products in a dishwasher.
Always remember the basic fact that tenderizers should be cleaned thoroughly after every use and should be stored in a dry place. Never leave the product wet or unclean.
Do you still take long hours to cook your meat? Does your meat be still hard to chew? If yes, it is time to consider purchasing a tenderizer. If you need the best tenderizer, consider the list of products mentioned above.