Every day the market floods with mouthwatering models and features. For any buyer, the influx can be too much. If this overwhelming is familiar, then you have come to the right. In this article, we give you a breakdown of what you need to consider to select the best meat tenderizers from the plethora of others that are available in the market. And reading this meat tenderizer review is the first important step toward making the big purchasing decision.
It’s here that you’ll learn why features aren’t necessary, even though you mustn’t miss out on those that have to do with ease of cleaning, handling, flavoring, and cooking. But your cooking needs are all the most important because they determine whether you need to needle-tenderize or pound the meat to submission. All-in-all,
Top 5 Best Meat Tenderizers: Editor Recommended
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meat tenderizers reduce cooking time, improve taste, and make the meal more digestible and healthful. Continue reading to discover our selection of meat tenderizers and make up your mind afterward.
- 1 Best Meat Tenderizers Reviews:
- 2 1. Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer
- 3 2. Sportsman SM07492 Meat Tenderizer
- 4 3. Oxo Meat Tenderizer
- 5 4. Weston Meat Cuber and Tenderizer
- 6 5. Norpro Grip-EZ Meat Pounder
- 7 6. Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer
- 8 7. Norpro 7032 Meat Tenderizer
- 9 8. Cave Tools Manual Hammer Pounder
- 10 9. iPerfect Kitchen Meat Tenderizer
- 11 10 Klemoo Meat Tenderizer Tool
- 12 11. Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizer
- 13 12. Mr. Bar-B-Q Professional Meat Tenderizer
- 14 Buying Guide: Factors to Consider Before You Select the Best Meat Tenderizers
- 15 FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Meat Tenderizers
- 16 Q1. What Meat Cuts Require Needle Tenderization?
- 17 Q2. When Should You Needle-Tenderize a Meat Cut?
- 18 Q3. What’s the Best Way to Needle-Tenderize a Beef Cut?
- 19 Q4. Does Needle-Tenderized Meat Cuts Have Quality Issues?
- 20 Q5. Why Is It Important to Tenderize Meat?
- 21 Q6. What Meat Cuts Merit Tenderization?
- 22 Q7. Can You Do Manual Tenderizing Alongside Natural and Chemical Means?
- 23 Q8. Is Over-Pounding or Over-Slicing Good for Meat?
Best Meat Tenderizers Reviews:
1. Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer
Few hand-held tools are as gentle on your hand as this needle-style meat tenderizer. Boasting 48 razor-sharp blades, slicing through the inside of the toughest of meat cuts is almost effortless. Hand fatigue should be the least of your worries, as you won’t need a stronger hand to press it than a mallet-style meat tenderizer.
The ergonomic design of the handle ensures hand comfort and no slipping during use. And because the handle doesn’t dangle, its match with your hand is snug and comfortable. No matter whether it’s a shoulder clod or a whole ribeye roll, this beast can deliver. You can be sure seasoning, spices, or marinades penetrate inside the meat with effectiveness after tenderizing. This doesn’t just add to the flavor but reduces cooking time, as heat can easily penetrate through the channels you created using the tool. Jaccard Supertendermatic is worth every cent.
It doesn’t just feature a set of linear blades, but a lock and a guard to prevent accidental cuts and damages to the device when you store it in a drawer. The blades can also retract, so your finger won’t get hurt when you remove the tool from the drawer. And the good thing with these safety features is that they come at a reasonable price. So, next time you hit the store, you should consider this hand-held device.
- 48 extra-sharp knives
- Ergonomic handle design
- A lock and guard feature
- Reasonable pricing
- Effortless pressing
- Retractable blades
2. Sportsman SM07492 Meat Tenderizer
This Sportsman SM07492 Meat Tenderizer has a dual-purpose head. You can use the spiky side to drill holes in meat cuts while you can use the flat side to flatten and even out the surfaces. There are no parallels to this tool’s thinning and flattening of meat cuts. You can rely on this hand-held device to whack away at scaloppini, paillard, schnitzel, or saltimbocca. While whacking away at meat cuts, you benefit from a free cure of stress.
But it’s not just therapy that this tool offers you, but comfortable handling. All these invaluable benefits you get without spending much moolah. Boasting a heavy-duty aluminum head, Sportsman SM07492 Meat Tenderizer is more durable, stronger, and easier to clean in a dishwasher than the wooden mallet tenderizer. It’s also gentler to your hand muscles. However, you may need to press down harder on the meat cut to attain the same level of tenderness as the needle-style tenderizer.
The soft-grip handle may not offer as good a grip as the contoured handle, but its ergonomic design ensures comfortable handling, nonetheless. The best meat mallet is more cost-effective than a needle-style tenderizer if your budget is tight. While this hand-held device may be gentle on your pocket and hands, the risk of fatigue is more than a blade-style tenderizer but less than the wooden mallet counterpart. It’s the best go-to meat pounder for your money if you intend to make flat-cutlets.
- Dual-purpose head
- Soft-grip handle
- Effective stress-reliever
- Heavy-duty aluminum makeup
- Easy to clean in dishwashers
3. Oxo Meat Tenderizer
This hammer-like hand-held device offers you more than just thinning and flattening. It has therapeutic purposes. When you feel like releasing your pent-up frustrations after a long, hectic day, it’s among the best meat tenderizers to relieve you of stress. The flat side of the aluminum head helps you to reduce the thickness and increase the uniformness of the meat cut. And a thinner and more even meat cut is easier to cook, chew, and digest.
On the other hand, the spiky side helps you to slice through tough collagen and muscle fibers inside the meat. And that counts in your favor because heat finds its way through the loose tissues to give you a more flavorful meal. And a well-cooked meal is digestible and delicious. Cooking time reduces. And the contoured handle reduces the chances of slipping when handling, especially when your hands become wet. Unlike the wooden mallet tenderizer, you require less force to whack away at your favorite flat-cutlets. And this makes the Oxo meat tenderizer gentle on your hand muscles.
When you have the best meat hammer at your disposal, you won’t have to splurge on pricey meat cuts. You won’t have to worry about spending big on leaner and more tender meat. No. Instead, cheaper, tougher meat cuts like steak, brisket, chuck roast, or hock would be a breeze.
- Heavy-duty aluminum head
- Non-slip, contoured handle
- Easy to clean in dishwashers
- Dual-purpose head
- Effective stress relief
4. Weston Meat Cuber and Tenderizer
This blade-style meat tenderizer boasts 31 razor-sharp knives whose makeup is stainless steel. You’ll find great delight in one of the best meat tenderizers if you intend to marinate, spice, or season meat cuts. Featuring a crank handle made of heavy-duty aluminum, piercing through the toughest collagens and muscle fibers, is effortless. All you need to do is to rotate the crank handle a few times, and knives emerge.
This conserves more effort than pressing the top of one of the best meat tenderizers. Weston Meat Cuber is a worthy investment because its entire body and handle are made of durable and sturdy cast aluminum. You won’t have to splash your cash on expensive cuts for a long time when you possess this piece of equipment. Its worthy price tag makes this kitchenware unique.
It can be dismembered and mounted on kitchen countertops courtesy of two-piece housing and two 1.5-inch thick C clamps, respectively. And disassembly and compactness contribute to the ease of cleaning and storing. What’s more, stainless steel combs prevent jamming. And the all-metal meat tenderizer comes with stainless steel tongs to ensure safety. But it’s just safety that the stainless steel ensures, but hygiene. The food-grade coating on metals assures you of contaminant-free food, as knives can transmit germs from the surface into the inside of the meats where it’s usually undercooked.
- All-metal body and handle
- 31 razor-sharp, stainless steel knives
- Cast aluminum handle and base
- Two 1.5-inch thick C clamps
- Two-piece housing
- Food-grade coating
- Stainless steel combs
5. Norpro Grip-EZ Meat Pounder
While you may feel that this meat pounder is a bit overpriced for its simplicity, think again. What distinguishes Norpro Grip-EZ from other meat tenderizers is its dead-on maneuverability. Its weight is about right for flattening and thinning without wearing out your hand muscles. Norpro made it for one purpose: flatten and even out meat cut thickness. No more, no less. It’s its simplicity and maneuverability that enables you to whack away at the most uneven meat cuts into submission without suffering from hand fatigue.
Its stainless steel flat head and Santoprene vertical handle give you control over the force. And so, you can work fast, but your hands won’t feel fatigued. This makes it all the more valuable meat pounding equipment. And as you may well be aware, a thin and flat meat cut is easy to cook. It’s not just that heat distributes evenly across the inside of the meat, but cooking time reduces. Other than its effectiveness, the best beef tenderizer provides therapeutic benefits.
When you are stressed, angry, or frustrated and you want a punching bag, Norpro Grip-EZ is a great go-to scapegoat. And you would finish your business without hurting anyone or yourself. But it’s not just effectiveness, therapy, and safety that makes this meat pounder an attractive option; its mirror-polished stainless steel head ensures hygiene and durability because it doesn’t corrode or rust.
- Mirror-polished stainless steel head
- Dead-on maneuverability
- Therapeutic benefits
- Santoprene handle
- Vertical-style model
- Simple but effective
6. Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer
This gavel-like meat tenderizer has a head and a handle. One side of the head is flat while the other is textured. Both sides of the 2.4-inch long head occur on either side of the 9-inch long handle. It’s the textured side that you use to drill holes into the meat for seasoning, spicing, or marinating purposes. However, the holes may not be as many and deep as those made by a needle-style meat tenderizer. Nonetheless, the dual-purpose nature of the hand-held device makes it a valuable possession for any meat lover.
When you want to flatten and even out the thickness of the meat cut, you use the flat side. All-in-all, the Spring Chef meat tenderizer is better than a skillet, or nothing at all. Not only do you benefit from well-cooked and well-seasoned meat, but a flavorful and digestible meal. The solid aluminum makeup of the head with chrome plating ensures no meat sticks to the surface after cleaning. And so, it makes it easy for you to clean one of the best meat tenderizers in a dishwasher. The non-slip soft grip makes the device friendly to people with arthritic or injured hands. You can effortlessly pound meat because the heavy-duty aluminum head does the rest of the job for you. It’s suitable for pounding uneven meat like poultry, veal, or steak. Spring Chef’s beat hammer is a worthier spend on your dollars than pricey meat cuts.
- Solid aluminum head
- Non-slip soft grip
- Chrome-plated aluminum
- Dual-purpose head
- Dishwasher-safe design
7. Norpro 7032 Meat Tenderizer
Norpro are famous for making deceptively simple but highly convenient meat tenderizers. It’s no surprise that this hand-held device fulfills those criteria. Boasting a vertical-style model, Norpro 7032 is a must-have kitchen utensil for meat enthusiasts who intend to break down connective tissues in thin pieces of meat such as poultry, beef, or fish. Plastic makes up the two-inch-wide disk-shaped head, which bears 24 stainless steel prongs and tension springs between the handle and the perforated bottom disk.
The prongs emerge from the perforated bottom when you press down the meat tenderizer. They retract when you stop pressing down because of the spring-loaded mechanism. This way the tension springs assure safety from a cut when the kitchenware isn’t in use. The springs also minimize your effort when you press the blade tenderizer. And so, when you want kosher salt or marinades to find their way into the meat, you can rely on the reasonably-priced meat tenderizer to poke holes on your behalf.
Norpro 7032 is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the cooking and flavor of your meat cuts. But it’s not just the effortless needle-tenderizing that makes this piece of equipment attractive to professionals, but its lightweight and low-cost design. While the plastic handle may not be as durable and ergonomic as high-end tenderizers in the same category, the stainless steel prongs can survive to serve you another day.
- 24 stainless steel prongs
- Perforated bottom disk
- Spring-loaded mechanism
- All-plastic handle and disk heads
- Lightweight and low-cost design
8. Cave Tools Manual Hammer Pounder
This gavel-like meat tenderizer has a cylindrical head with spiky and smooth sides being on the opposites ends. A mix of stainless steel and sand-like substance constitutes the head. On the other hand, silicone makes up the handle. Cave Tools infused the materials in the cylindrical cylinder to reduce rattling and soften the blow for a comfortable feel on your hands when you pound meat cuts. And the weight of the heavy-duty steel reduces the force you need to apply to flatten the meat.
Anyone with a hand injury or arthritis will delight in the optimal weight of the best meat mallet. The silicone makeup of the handle improves grip, so when you when your hand gets sweaty or wet, the hammer pounder doesn’t slip and fall. But it’s not its weight that’s just right for the purpose; its size is just right for storage in drawers and suspension on a hook. And an infusion of an alloy of aluminum and zinc in the stainless steel makeup makes it easy to clean one of the best meat tenderizers on the planet. It also sterilizes the bacteria on the surface, so they don’t find their way into the most undercooked parts of the meat. But what’s more, Cave Tools gives you a free recipe book with 25 tips to improve your grilling and barbecuing.
- Shock-absorbing material makeup
- Non-slip silicone handle
- Free recipe book
- Aluminum and zinc infusion in stainless steel
- Sand-like infusion
- Dual-purpose head
9. iPerfect Kitchen Meat Tenderizer
When your sole purpose is to distribute rubs of seasonings, marinades, or spices evenly across the meat for a lump of flavorful and mealy meat, iPerfect Kitchen Meat Tenderizer is the most suitable kitchen possession you must have. With 56 stainless steel blades, the vertical-style meat tenderizer has a massive number that can reach out to the insides of meat cuts where heat and flavorings rarely penetrate. iPerfect Kitchen created this needle-style tenderizer for that purpose.
With more and deeper channels inside the meat, heat penetration is better; and cooking time reduces. Stainless steel blades sterilize the bacteria on the meat surface and ensure they don’t find their way to where heat doesn’t reach. Also, stainless steel is easy to wash; hence, it’s dishwasher-safe. With a built-in lock feature, you can store your equipment in the drawer, and the blades won’t emerge when something hard pushes against it. You can set the blades to enjoy control. And you can be sure your hands are safe from cuts when the plastic cap is present.
Not just that, but the cap serves another purpose: preventing the drawer from damaging the blades during retrieval. But it’s not just the caps that contribute to safety, but the ergonomic design, as well. Moreover, this meat tenderizer is worth every penny because it comes with amazing features and a free ebook Home Chef Kitchen Management.
- 56 stainless steel blades
- Dishwasher-safe design
- Built-in lock feature
- Protective plastic cap
- Ergonomic handle design
- Free ebook
10 Klemoo Meat Tenderizer Tool
As one of the most reliable and best meat tenderizers, Klemoo’s product is a kitchen gadget you should have at your disposal if you intend to reproduce the gourmet-like experience. Blades number 48, and have stainless steel makeup. Their sharpness is not in doubt, as they can slice through the toughest collagen and muscle fibers in steaks, chuck roasts, briskets, or hocks. All you need to do is to apply some small pressure on top of the meat tenderizer, and voila! Blades emerge to pierce the meat below, leaving deep perforations.
With them, cooking takes place faster, and flavorings can distribute evenly within and without the meat. While the germs and bacteria take advantage of this to find their way into the deepest recesses, but the stainless steel sterilizes them. Food-grade ABS plastic makeup of the handle also ensures hygiene. Well, you don’t just require a small force to press the blades, but the ergonomic design of the handle protects your hands from fatigue.
Even when your hands get sweaty or wet, the non-slip design ensures you don’t lose grip. No meat sticks to the blades, thanks to the stainless steel makeup. Thus, cleaning with a dishwasher is stress-free! What’s more, a cap that sits on top of the blades prevents you from accidentally touching them. You can’t ignore Klemoo when you hit the store to shop for the best meat tenderizers.
- Food-grade ABS plastic handle
- 48 razor-sharp, stainless steel blades
- Plastic guard cap
- Non-slip, ergonomic handle
- Dishwasher-safe design
11. Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizer
This unconventional, stamp-like meat tenderizer boasts 56 stainless steel blades. Its vertical-style model makes it the most suitable tool to punch holes in the meat cuts for flavoring purposes. These blades are sandwiched between a top disk and a bottom disk. It’s these blades that make it possible to poke holes in meat when you press the top with a small force just as you would with a stamp.
You can be confident the unique tool would break down the toughest collagen and muscle fibers in roast, clod, brisket, or ribs. Koncle made the meat tenderizer to reduce cooking time and to improve food flavor. Seasonings, spices, and marinades add flavor to food, but your meal can be more delicious and effective if they find their way into difficult-to-cook areas. And just as flavorings, heat must penetrate deep. And you don’t have to worry about durability and hygiene, as the stainless steel is sturdy and sterile to bacteria.
However, it may not be as dishwasher-safe as you might like. It can be a bit tedious to clean the blades. Anyone, whether you are a professional chef or a beginner, can find delight in Koncle’s needle meat tenderizer to prepare gourmet-style dinners. You won’t have to push the rub yourself, as the equipment does it for you. It gives you the biggest bang for your money since it features many goodies that just fit its price range.
- 56 stainless steel blades
- Vertical style model
- Stamp-like handling
- Perfectly weighted
- Sandwiched blades
12. Mr. Bar-B-Q Professional Meat Tenderizer
This stamp-shaped meat tenderizer has an easy-grip handle on top and a flat bottom with holes. Blades are extra sharp, and number 48. There are as many holes as the blades. And these blades come between the handle and the perforated bottom. These blades emerge upon pressing down the top to poke holes in meat cuts below them. Stainless steel makeup of the blades ensures durability and hygiene. And so, Mr. Bar-B-Q is a must-have kitchen possession for anyone who looks to add flavor to the meat.
It’s a reliable piece of equipment if you look to marinate chicken, fish, or beef. You don’t have to push the rubs, as the meat tenderizer does the job. But what makes Mr. Bar-B-Q unique is its ETL certification. You can be confident of reliable results when you use this meat tenderizer. Cleaning shouldn’t oblige you to disassemble the device, as it’s straightforward to use. Moreover, the easy-grip handle assures you of comfort when grabbing and pressing.
The arrangement of blades is linear, so storage may be a bit of a problem, although you have great control over the blade setting. When you retrieve the hand-held device from the drawer, the blades might emerge and cut your hands. This is a top-of-the-line product in its price category that any serious chef should have in possession. It’s worth every dime.
- Easy-grip handle
- 48 razor-sharp, stainless steel blades
- Linear blade arrangement
- Top-of-the-line product at affordable price
- No need for disassembly
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider Before You Select the Best Meat Tenderizers
Plenty of options are available in the market today. And more goodies continue to flood the market every day. When there are plenty of good choices, it can be a tough call to make the right choice. And nothing can be more confusing than to select a meat tenderizer on the basis of features. With similarities and overlaps of features, products from competitors can seem the same. And this can overwhelm any buyer. Thus, it all boils down to one thing: what exactly do you want out of a meat tenderizer?
If your concern is to create a gourmet-style meal, you need flavors to spread evenly in the meat. You need to needle-tenderize the meat cut. But if you want to reduce cooking time, then a tool that flattens and evens out the meat thickness can be a valuable kitchen possession. The best meat hammer can be more than enough. Some meat tenderizers specialize in what they do, but others are dual-purpose. For best results, professional chefs often prefer specialized kitchen equipment. However, they may miss out on the therapeutic benefits of a meat mallet if they opt for a meat tenderizer that specializes in distributing flavorings across the meat. But the winners are usually hygiene, safety, and ease of handling and cleaning.
Thus, it can be crucial to look at whether your equipment has an ergonomic design and whether it’s dishwasher-safe. Does it have a protective plastic cap to safeguard your hands and fingers against cuts? Does the handle have a non-slip grip? Well, there are plenty of considerations. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider before you make up your mind.
This is a must for anyone. More so for anyone with injury or arthritis on fingers and hands. A handle that’s comfortable on your hands can enhance the quality of your cooking experience. Nothing can be more important than ease of handling. The best meat tenderizers absorb vibration and reduce fatigue when you whack away at your favorite flat-cutlet, whether it be scaloppini or saltimbocca.
More than that, the handle must ensure you have enough grip when your hands become wet or sweaty. And so, the handle must have an ergonomic design to keep working without wearing out when you increase speed. Choose a contoured handle if you use a mallet-style meat tenderizer to flatten or thin meat cuts. It would prevent the mallet from slipping and falling during tenderizing. But when you are using a blade-style meat tenderizer, consider the size of your hands.
The best go-to kitchen gadget is the one that’s a snug fit to your hands. If it doesn’t fit your hands, then it’s likely to dangle when you use it. A model loaded with tension springs can also combat hand fatigue. These springs don’t just reduce fatigue; they retract the blades when you stop pressing down against the meat cut. All-in-all, a contoured handle with a non-slip grip, spring-loaded mechanism, and ergonomic design reduces hand fatigue and safeguard your hands from cuts. And the handle must have just the right weight that does the rest of the meat pounding job for you.
Your Cooking Needs
This is an important consideration. Your choice would depend on what exactly you want to do with your kitchen gadget. If your cooking involves barbeques or grills that use lots of spices, seasonings, or marinades, then a needle-style meat tenderizer is what you need. It’s the best go-to kitchenware for you because it pierces the meat to create channels through which the flavorings pass. Some equipment does the job of inserting rubs on your behalf and hence saves you time. Heat also passes through the channels to enhance the quality of your cooking. They enable heat to penetrate areas that would have been difficult to cook when channels are absent.
Therefore, needle tenderizers improve not just the taste but ensure difficult-to-cook areas receive heat. These difficult-to-cook areas are where bacteria reside. Heat kills germs and bacteria. Thus, you enjoy a flavorful and healthful meal that’s digestible. On the other hand, a hammer-like meat tenderizer evens out and flattens the thickness of the meat. One advantage of the meat mallet over the blade tenderizer is that concerns for transfer bacteria and germs from the meat surface to the interior are absent. There are also no concerns that the meat would lose nutritious juices.
On the other hand, a lump of needle-tenderized meat has concerns for hygiene and loss of nutrients. It’s why you need to consider whether stainless steel makes up the blades or prongs. Stainless steel sterilizes the bacteria and is easy to clean. It also contributes to dishwasher safety. However, a needle-style meat tenderizer requires less hand strength than the mallet-style meat tenderizer. Also, mallet-style tenderizers are often dual-purpose because they have the spiky and flat sides on the head to pierce and flatten meat, respectively. The blade-style meat tenderizer is not nearly as effective to flatten meat as the hammer meat tenderizer.
Ease of Storage and Cleaning
Blade arrangement determines the ease of storage. It’s easy to store circular than linear blades, but the latter gives you more control over the setting. And this has to do with the ease of retrieval, whether you stored the meat tenderizer in a drawer or hanged it on a hook. A blade with a spring-loaded mechanism doesn’t just reduce hand fatigue; it prevents accidental cuts, especially when you reach out to retrieve the kitchen gadget for use. Stainless steel blades are easy to clean.
A well-priced meat tenderizer is worth every cent. When you use it, you feel like the price is just the right for your needs. And this feeling can differ between people because people have different needs. While a product may delight you, it may not delight another person in equal measure. A meat tenderizer that’s worth your money meets your needs. Professional-grade meat tenderizers tend to be costlier than normal-grade tenderizers. And the ones that specialize can seem simple. They don’t have extra features that you don’t need. They just have what you want, even though someone who hasn’t found a use case for them may feel that they are a bit overpriced. Hence, the price is relative.
Guard and Lock Features
Every buyer wants control over what they use. And a meat tenderizer isn’t an exception to the general rule. A lock gives you control over the setting if you use the needle-tenderizer. With the lock, you can open or close the blades. And this helps to boost your productivity. On the other hand, the plastic cap that rests above the blade is an important safety feature. It safeguards your fingers against cuts and prevents the drawer from damaging the tool.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Meat Tenderizers
Q1. What Meat Cuts Require Needle Tenderization?
Just about any other beef cut. But tougher cuts would give you better results than softer cuts. Toughness can reduce multiple times when you needle-tenderize inside and outside rounds, chuck tender, strip loin, and top sirloin. And that can add value and desirability to the cheap cuts.
Q2. When Should You Needle-Tenderize a Meat Cut?
As soon as you slaughter the animal. Needle tenderization works best on raw meat. You must do this before aging and packaging. This can help increase shelf life and make the meat more palatable. Aging contributes to tenderness, but tenderization makes the meat juicier and more flavorful. You can also needle-tenderize steaks before cooking. But if you want to improve texture and cook yield, needle-tenderize before injection. You can also needle-tenderize a roast after you tumble it. This helps to reduce shear force values.
Q3. What’s the Best Way to Needle-Tenderize a Beef Cut?
Well, it depends on the frequency of tenderizing and piercing the meat cut, as they count toward shear force values. But speed doesn’t affect a shear force value. Single or multiple passes of blades through a round-eye or tenderloin meat cut can lead to more or less tenderness. But tenderness improves with the frequency of passes, even though improvement is marginal; hence, not worth your time and money.
Q4. Does Needle-Tenderized Meat Cuts Have Quality Issues?
Issues can arise with needle-tenderized meat cuts. And these issues have to do with packaging, cooking and purge. Shelf life and purge can reduce slightly, but they have minimal effects on the overall meat quality.
Q5. Why Is It Important to Tenderize Meat?
Not all meat cuts coming out of the local counter are tender. And the tenders are a bit pricey. But when you run a tight budget, it’s reasonable to opt for the less expensive cuts. However, cheap cuts are tough and may require some mechanical, chemical, or natural means to make them more tender. Enzymes and proteins naturally tenderize the meat. Substances like marinades, kosher, and sea salt chemically tenderize the cut. And the meat mallet and needle tenderizers involve manual tenderization. The latter demand your physical strength. Whatever the means you choose, all have merits and demerits. But it’s the mechanical means that opens up the recesses of the meat to the flavors that contribute to the taste of the cut. Flatter and thinner cuts cook faster.
Q6. What Meat Cuts Merit Tenderization?
Tougher meat cuts are cheaper. Parts of an animal like brisket, rib, chuck, and loin all have denser muscles because they get the most workout. And so, the parts nearest to the horns and hooves are the cheapest while the parts nearest to the ribs and tenderloin are costliest. It’s the collagen and muscle fibers that are responsible for the toughness. And if they are broken down, the meat cut becomes tender. A meat tenderizer helps to loosen the tough proteins to reduce cook time and improve the taste. Needle-tenderized meat cuts are also easier to marinate. Of course, you whack boneless and skinless like veal, chuck, and steak from poultry, beef, and fish to make flat-cutlets. But you don’t need to tenderize soft cuts like fillets and tenderloins.
Q7. Can You Do Manual Tenderizing Alongside Natural and Chemical Means?
You may use a combination of the methods, but you may not be able to gauge the results correctly. Needle-tenderizing can work well with enzymes. But combining can also bring unintended consequences like mushing and over-tenderization. And as you know, mushy meats don’t taste good. For best results, stick to one method. Braising takes time, but it’s effective at converting collagen into soft gelatin. Enzymes denature meat proteins, but enzymatic action occurs naturally during the aging process.
Q8. Is Over-Pounding or Over-Slicing Good for Meat?
It isn’t. Overdoing whacking or piercing can cause loss of nutrient-rich juices and destroy the attractiveness of the meat. While frequent pounding or slicing leads to better outcomes, you shouldn’t overdo it.
In this meat tenderizer review, you have learned that your choice of the kitchen gadget depends on your cooking needs and whether it gives you the biggest bang for your moolah. It’s not about features. No. It’s about what the tool can do for you at the price. But more importantly, some features can contribute to the comfort, safety, and hygiene of tenderizing, storing, and cooking. And these features have to do with ease of cleaning and storing, ease of handling, ease of cooking, and ease of flavoring. And so, the next time you hit the store, choose from among the best meat tenderizers wisely.