9 Best Meat Tenderizers

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best meat tenderizer

The best meat tenderizers can transform an inexpensive, tough piece of meat into a gourmet dish. These tools are used in restaurants and by professional chefs around the world.

If you’ve ever wondered why meats served in a restaurant tastes so much better than what you make at home, then wonder no more. The secret to making a juicy, delicious piece of meat is a tenderizer. 

Tenderizers work by breaking down meat fibers when makes the meat easier to chew. It also helps to flatten the meat, which results in reduced cooking time.

Tenderized meat also allows marinades to penetrate the better as well. If you are a meat lover, then you absolutely need a meat tenderizer in your kitchen tool drawer. 

Quick Summary Of The Best Meat Tenderizer Tools

Jaccard 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer, Original Super 3 Meat Tenderizer, 1.50 x 4.00 x 5.75 Inches, White
Razor sharp knife blades cut through connective tissues that make meat tough; Made of white ABS plastic, the tool measures 5-5/8 by 4-1/8 inches
$25.09
Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer , Sturdy Aluminum Construction, Stainless Steel Blades
The 31 stainless steel blades tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat; The 2 piece housing disassembles for easy clean up
$124.99
Rösle Stainless Steel Meat Tenderizer, 11-inch
11-Inch meat tenderizer for pounding out meat, poultry; Made of 18/10 stainless steel with satin finish handle
$44.20
Cuisinart Barrel Meat Tenderizer
Soft-grip handle; Durable stainless steel head; Dishwasher safe for easy clean up; Lightweight for prolonged use
$20.81

Best Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizers transform the toughest cut of meat into a melt in your mouth sensation.  The best meat tenderizer will feel comfortable in your hand and easy to use. 

1. Jaccard 200348 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer

Designed by the master butcher, Andre Jaccard, the Jaccard needle tenderizer features 48 stainless steel knives with double edge sharpness. The razor-sharp blades effortlessly cut through the connective tissue in tough meats, leaving you with tender meat that cooks 40 percent faster.

Beloved by professional chefs since 1962, Jaccard’s original hand-held meat tenderizer is the secret tool to make virtually any cut of meat more palatable.

  • Tenderizes any cut of meat, including beef, chicken, veal, turkey and wild game
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Backed by Jaccard’s limited lifetime warranty

2. Farberware Professional Dual-Sided Stainless Steel Meat Tenderizer with Comfort Grip Handle

This multifunctional tool tenderizers meats as well as mashes cooked food like potatoes, yams, pumpkin, and squash. It features a comfortable and heat resistant nylon coating that will not damage nonstick surfaces. The angled blades effectively scrape sides of bowls and pots while mixing and mashing.

Although we consider this is one of the best meat tenderizers on the market, it’s not designed to tackle think or tough cuts of meat. Rather, the tool is best for mashing and incorporating smaller and softer meats while cooking. 

  • BPA free
  • Heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Safe to use on all types of cookware 
  • Easy to use and clean

3. XSpecial Meat Tenderizer Tool 48-Blades Stainless Steel

Similar to the Jaccard needle tenderizer, this version by XSpecial also has 48 stainless steel blades in an ergonomic case. Its blades are adjustable so it can penetrate different thicknesses of meats.

It also features an easily detachable base plate that allows you to deep clean the blades.  It’s slightly less expensive than the Jaccard brand and is available in black and a fun, bright green color. 

  • Sharp blades for easy penetration
  • Heavy duty
  • Adjustable blades size
  • Easy to clean

4. Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer

The Westen tenderizer is a crank-style tool that tenderizes pounds of meat with a few turns of the handle. The outside of the meat tenderizer tool is made from cast aluminum construction.

It features 31 ultra-sharp stainless steel blades that pierce through the toughest connective fibers, leaving meat tenderized. This tool is ideal for making cubed steak, schnitzel, or chicken fried steak.

  • Includes stainless steel tongs for safe use
  • Stainless steel combs also included preventing jamming
  • One-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

5. Rösle Stainless Steel Meat Tenderizer

The Rösle is a mallet-style tenderizer designed for optimum performance, comfort, and appearance. It’s made of 18/10 stainless steel with a satin finish handle and a circular shape mallet head. It’s heavy-duty but ergonomically designed so that it won’t tire you out as you pound away.

Rösle is a German-based company known to produce the finest quality professional cooking tools and kitchen utensils. The tenderizer is on the pricey side, but it does come with a lifetime warranty. 

  • Sturdy, balanced, comfortable in the hand
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lifetime warranty

6. Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer

The mallet-style tenderizer features a square-shaped mallet head and a non-slip grip handle. Mallet tenderizers feature a flat side for flattening meats and a spiked side for tenderizing. The tool by Spring Chef is made from solid aluminum with chrome plating.

Its soft-grip handle is great for those with arthritis or other hand/wrist issues. It’s a durable and economical tool that will make a versatile addition to your kitchen.

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Non-slip handle
  • Ergonomic

7. HIC Harold Import Co. 21006 Wooden Meat Tenderizer

Made from FSC-certified beech wood, HIC’s Wooden Meat Tenderizer is a replenish-able, responsible, and eco-friendly tool. Although it’s not made from stainless steel, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

It’s a mallet-style tenderizer with a flat and spiked side on the heard. Like all mallet tenderizers, it’s designed to cut into the muscle fibers of tougher cuts and pound thinner cuts flat.

This tool is not dishwasher safe. It’s handwash only and occasionally needs a coat of mineral oil to keep it from cracking and discoloring over time.

  • Eco-friendly
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight

8. Cuisinart CTG-04-MT Barrel Meat Tenderizer

Cuisinart is a kitchen industry powerhouse. This tenderizer is part of the company’s Barrel collection, a custom line of tools designed with ultra-comfortable handles with a professional, sophisticated look.

The mallet-style meat tenderizer also features a zinc alloy head for added durability and a black soft-grip, stainless steel handle that is rounded for comfort. The nylon is heat resistant up to 425 Fahrenheit and completely dishwasher safe. 

  • Soft-grip handle
  • Durable stainless steelhead
  • Dishwasher safe 
  • Lightweight for 
  • Limited lifetime warranty

9. Premium Heat Resistant Meat Chopper

For mashing, while you cook, you need a tool designed to chop and separate ground meats. This chopper breaks minced meats and cooked vegetables quickly and easily.

Made from high-grade materials, this kitchen utensil features four blades and a straightforward design that keeps food particles from being trapped in its blades.  It cleans easily in the dishwasher and is available in an array of fun colors. 

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Lifetime guarantee

Things To Consider Before Buying A Meat Tenderizer

There are several styles of meat tenderizer out there for doing different jobs. There are four basic styles of tenderizers: flat, spiked, crank, or needle. Each style has it’s pros and cons and depending on your needs, one (or two) will work for you.

Types of Tenderizers

  • Flat—Technically, flat pounders aren’t tenderizers, but they can break down muscle fiber a bit. Practically every mallet-style tenderizer has a smooth side pounder and a spiked side. Although it is possible to find a stand-alone flat pounder.  Its main job is to flatten out the meat into cutlets. They are also multiuse. You can use a flat pounder to smash nuts and garlic, pit olives, crush spices, and even break ice. Flat pounders aren’t designed to handle thick cuts of meat.
  • Spiked—Spiked pounders are typically found on the opposite side of a flat pounder der on a  mallet-style tenderizer. A spiked pounder will break up tough tissue fiber in meat. 
  • Crank—This tenderizer clamps to your table. You feed a piece of meat through the top of the gadget and turn the crank. As the spiked rollers rotate, it pulls the meat through. As the meat passes over the spikes, the fibers are crushed between the rollers. 
  • Needle—These types of tenderizers use a cutting action to tenderize meat. They have several blades on a spring-loaded hand-piece. As you press down, those blades make dozens of little cuts, taking apart thick muscle fibers.

Design

Once you determining the type of tenderizer that will work best, you should consider its design. Design is more than just its looks. It’s how it feels in your hand and how easy tackles the job at hand.

The best meat tenderizers have a practical design and easy to handle. Choose one with an ergonomic non-slip handle that is comfortable to hold. A comfortable handle will give you better control and make the tenderizing process easier.

Durability

Meat tenderizers use kinetic energy supplied by the user to break down the fibers in the meat. Because of all the downward force, the tool needs to be able to hold up to the constant pressure.

Well made tenderizes will be made out of durable materials such as stainless steel, plastic, and wood. 

Blades

Needle style meat tenderizers use blades to break down muscle fiber. The blades are spring-loaded and can be arranged in a tight circle, is a square shape, or in a linear straight line.

The number of blades varies depending on the tenderizer’s design. However, the more needles the tenderizer has, the faster your meat will be tenderized.

Safety 

Many meat tenderizers have metal components and razor-sharp blades. Make sure you consider one that will be easy for you to use and that it comes with a protective cover for storage.

Maintenance

Cleanability is vital when it comes to any tool that’s in contact with raw meat. The tenderizer should be easy to clean in the dishwasher or by hand washing without the risk of puncturing a finger or hand.

You should be able to access every nook and cranny. Leaving behind any small bit of meat can harbor bacteria.

Final Thoughts

The best meat tenderizer will save you time and money. With this handy tool, you can purchase less expensive cuts of meats and make them just as tender as a gourmet steak you get at a restaurant.

It also speeds up cooking time of thicker cuts so you can get dinner on the table faster. If beef, chicken, lamb, or pork are part of your weekly menu, a meat tenderizer will help you create meat dishes that are tender and full of flavor.