Whether the meat that you just bought out from the market is cheap or expensive, getting the best taste out of it won’t solely rely on its price tag. You probably didn’t realize that even the cheapest meat sold out there can be as tender and flavorful as the expensive meat right on the next counter. Given that you followed the right process of meat preparation with the complete ingredients already ready for pouring doesn’t guarantee that the meat will be as good as the one you’ve followed from your cookbook. Believe us when we say that it’s not all about what you put into it but also what you do with it.
To attain the right consistency and tenderness of any meat, it needs to be tenderized first before it undergoes cooking. This is where the meat tenderizer comes in. Commonly known as meat mallet or meat pounder, this easy-to-use handy kitchen tool will make the meat not only tender but also easier to digest and chew. It basically tenderizes or softens the part of the meat for easy cooking and consuming. It works perfectly for tough-to-cut steaks or beef especially when the dish is for boiling or frying. Aside from that, it can also pound dishes that requires being thinned or widened like the burger patty.
A meat tenderizer comes in three common styles. First is the blade tenderizer that’s constructed with blades or nails to puncture or cut the fibers of the meat. Second is the potato-masher-like that features a short handle and a large metal block that can be either of pyramid-shape or smooth face for tenderizing the meat. Last is the most common of the three that resembles a hammer or mallet, hence the name meat tenderizer mallet with a single wood or metal handle and two-faced block – one smooth-surfaced and one jagged-surfaced.
Cave Tools Meat Tenderizer Mallet Tool
One common problem of meat tenderizer mallets is it’s not dishwasher-friendly. But with the Cave Tools Meat Tenderizer Mallet Tool, you won’t have any problem cleaning this one every after use. Cave Tools is giving its customer five reasons why you should get this meat tenderizer mallet. One, as mentioned, it’s already dishwasher safe thanks to its stainless steel design that easily drains the oil of the meat. Two, the mallet doesn’t way too light that needs more pounding work nor too heavy that could hurt your arms. Three, the silicone handle is comfortable to hold due to its non-slip grip.
Four, the overall size measuring at 11 x 3 x 2.3 inches is perfectly sized for easy storage, and which can also be hanged via its hook. Five, it’s considered as one of the secret recipes of chefs that make unique meals easy to cook with this tenderizer. Aside from tenderizing, it also works well for crushing nuts (not that nuts you silly!), ice, and hard candies with ease. To cap it off, it comes with 25 professional recipes containing step-by-step instruction and video tutorials for cooking meat that’s good for everyone.
OXO SoftWorks Meat Tenderizer
Reigning as the best seller under the category of meat & poultry tenderizers, the OXO SoftWorks Meat Tenderizer can tenderize every meat that you can find out there with its slim form factor yet durable and strong pounder. Just like the most meat tenderizer mallet, the one from OXO has a black metal finish for its two-faced block for tenderizing and flattening. The smooth side serves for pounding while the jagged surface is for softening. The rubber handle makes it perfect to use even with wet hands and almost the upper half portion slims and roughs for added force and grip.
Cleaning this after use won’t be a problem as it’s marked with dishwasher safe. The main attraction here will be the unusual thin aluminum rod that connects the base and the handle. With a measure of 2.5 x 2 x 10 inches, it only weighs 12.8 ounces light.
OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
A great meat tenderizer mallet simply needs to be straightforward at first glance as if you already know what to do once you see it. The OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is one that kind that even newbies can use despite seeing it for the first time. OXO considers their meat tenderizer mallet as a dual-purpose tool for flattening meat cutlets and softening meat without a sweat. The smooth flat side makes it ideal for pounding or flattening meat for consistency during cooking while the textured surface side is meant for beating tough meat for tenderizing meat.
Durability-wise, it’s more durable and sturdier as it’s built on just one-piece of aluminum block all over. The handle, on the other side, features a non-slip grip even when being used with wet hands. It even has the textured-blind style on the handle that further increases grip during pounding. This allows for maximum force whenever you’re tenderizing meat. The end has a big hole that can be hanged together with your kitchenware.
Norpro 165 Grip-EZ Meat Hammer
The square-based designed meat mallet is very common nowadays. If you’re looking for a more latest design, the Norpro 165 Grip-EZ Meat Hammer might just fit your liking that instead of adhering to the tired square shape, it’s built on a circle shape this time for better consistency when pounding. Even with the change of heart (or shape), it still tenderizes the usual meat like beef, pork, chicken, and venison. The design continues to copy a real hammer whereas the flat surface and the jagged surface remains. Overall, it measures 10-inch or 25.5cm weighing 15.5 ounces, making it not very light nor very heavy to the touch.
The handle is made oversized for better feel when pounding while the adding finger indents to give better grip for extra force when needed. On experience, it’s as if you’re calling to order in court instead of tenderizing a meat.
KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer
To complete the list of best tenderizer meat mallet, the KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer will stand out the most with its unusual one-base design. This meat tenderizer mallet needed only one block of aluminum grade material to construct the head down to the handle. Starting with the head, it’s much sleeker and yet bolder with one side for flattening and the other for tenderizing. The head flows and continues to the handle immediately, however, the handle is not covered in a rubber grip but it only slaps a pair of rubber on both sides for gripping.
Differences aside, the hole for hanging the kitchen tool is still present. It also works perfectly for spices that needed to be crushed. The bold meat tenderizer measures 11-inches long and weighs 12.8 ounces only. Cleaning-wise, it’s hand-wash capable only.
What to Look For
Even with the countless number of meat tenderizer mallet available to purchase, the basic function which is to flatten and soften meat can be provided by each, making it very easy to choose from, you can even pick one while your eyes are closed since it’s going to get the job done. The differences will only come down to a few things: design, handle and feature.
- Design – while the functions remain similar, the design, however, differs from one another, sometimes even significant differences can be seen. Mostly, the mallets have square heads while others have a circular head, regardless of the two, both are able to get the job done. It’s just a matter of preference. Where it matters is when it’s too heavy or too light. Having too heavy meat mallet can make your arms tired during pounding whereas too light will require more pounding that sometimes, makes you tired due to an extended time of use. Checking the right weight is the key to making pounding much easier for you so you should be able to test this one out before getting one.
- Handle – the handle bears importance when it comes to gripping. The better the grip, the more control you have during pounding. When you have better control, the more power you can give to crush or flatten whatever meat you have. The handle should fit just right on your hands that allow for your thumb and middle finger to reach when you try to wrap your hands around the mallet. The rubber material should also be present if you don’t want it to slip out of your hands, especially when you’re handling oily raw meat.
- Features – there aren’t many special features included with meat mallets. Only one special feature can actually be considered special. And that’s the ability to be dishwasher safe. Dishwasher safe makes it easier to clean and remove the bacteria as well as the oil from the handle and the whole mallet itself while the hand wash will require manual cleaning to ensure everything is bacteria-free.
Meat tenderizer mallet doesn’t only work for flattening or softening the meat, but it can also crush spices or small ingredients as an added functionality. While almost every kitchen tool with a relatively-sized block of wood or metal can work as a tenderizer, the right tool still works more efficiently than others. Just keep in mind the design, handle, and features that come with it to be able to take full advantage of the kitchen tool.