The best meat tenderizer

Utensils & Tools

The basic process of tenderizing a piece of meat means breaking up the muscle fibers that toughen a meat cut.

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What is the best meat tenderizer?

A meat tenderizer is a great cooking tool that can take your meat’s flavor and texture to the next level. For some cuts of meat, a tenderizer won’t be necessary. For others, a tenderizer is crucial for getting cooked-to-perfection results.

The need for a tenderizer will vary based on the type of meat and cut quality, and there are some cuts of meat that naturally lack the softness of tenderloin. With the help of a great tenderizer, you can end up with a delicious piece of meat every time.

After researching meat tenderizers available on the market, we have selected a list of the best ones. At the top of our list, you’ll find the KLEMOO Meat Tenderizer, a tool that will help you turn every piece of meat into a buttery bite.

What to know before you buy a meat tenderizer

For those who haven’t thought about buying a meat tenderizer before reading this brief guide, the tenderizer may seem like a complicated tool for professional chefs. That’s not the case. The meat tenderizer can be a helpful cooking tool that anyone can use regularly. However, before using it, you need to take into consideration a couple of factors.

Types of meat tenderizers

There are several methods to tenderize your meat. Some of them are more complex than others and usually require more time. The organic way of tenderizing your meat is with salt, tenderizing powder or even pineapple juice. Even though these can give your meat a softer texture and a more seasoned flavor, they can take up to two hours to work correctly.

If you want something more immediate, there’s the classic mallet and the modern mechanical meat tenderizer. Both these designs are relatively straightforward and easy to use. You’ll only need a couple of minutes to tenderize your meat.

The classic mallet consists of a wood or aluminum hammer with a spiky surface that lets you soften the mean by striking it. The mechanical tenderizer is a device with a varying number of blades that pierce the meat when you press it against the meat.

What to know when looking for a meat tenderizer

Safety

If you’re only familiar with a meat tenderizer’s mallet design, you may not know that most modern meat tenderizers use dozens of tiny blades to tear the meat. The blades are used to penetrate the meat, making it easy for you to marinate and season it. This also reduces cooking time.

Since meat tenderizers have dozens of blades, you must think about your safety when looking for the best model. Some options keep the blades outside, while others have a retractile system that prevents you from getting hurt.

Ease of use

Whether you’re using a mallet or a mechanical meat tenderizer, this tool must be as easy to use as possible. The mallet usually requires more effort than the mechanical alternative. For that reason, we recommend you use a mechanical meat tenderizer with sharp blades and a comfortable handle.

Cleaning

When looking for a great tenderizer, always have in mind that it is easy to clean. Since this is a cooking tool that can gather pieces of raw meat and, in some cases, bacteria, you need to have a meat tenderizer that you can easily clean with a brush, water and soap. Remember, always be extra careful when cleaning the blades of your meat tenderizer.

How much you can expect to spend on a meat tenderizer

Meat tenderizers are not a luxury. Even if you’re looking for a great brand that works to perfection and has high durability, you shouldn’t be spending more than $15. Some meat tenderizers can go up to $25, but we think it’s unnecessary to spend that much.

Meat tenderizer FAQ

Why are meat tenderizers useful?

A. Some cuts of meat don’t need to be tenderized. However, not all cuts of meat are soft. Also, higher-quality pieces of meat that won’t require a tenderizer usually cost more. So, if you want to replicate the texture and quality of tenderloin, you’ll need a meat tenderizer.

How does a meat tenderizer work?

A. All meat tenderizers have the same function: to break down the fibers that keep a piece of meat hard. Whether it is tenderizing powder, pineapple juice, mallets or dozens of tiny blades, meat tenderizers work by tearing apart meat fibers.

What’s the best meat tenderizer to buy?

Top meat tenderizer

KLEMOO Meat Tenderizer

KLEMOO Meat Tenderizer

What you need to know: A big meat tenderizer that works perfectly for big cuts of meat.

What you’ll love: Aside from its size and sturdiness, it has 48 stainless steel blades that will let you soften your meat with minimal effort.

What you should consider: As with any meat tenderizer of this type, you have to be careful of cutting yourself with the blades.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top meat tenderizer for the money

Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizer

Koncle Professional Needle Meat Tenderizer

What you need to know: An excellent meat tenderizer that softens any cut of meat.

What you’ll love: It’s practical, easy to use and safer than the usual meat tenderizer.

What you should consider: It’s not the best tenderizer for large pieces of meat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer

OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer

What you need to know: A traditional meat tenderizer mallet with a steel core that’s the easiest tool to use.

What you’ll love: High durability, comfortable grip, intuitive use and easy to clean.

What you should consider: Even smaller than the Koncle Meat Tenderizer, so it’s not the best choice for large pieces of meat. However, it makes up for this with a simple and comfortable design.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Juan Sebastián Torres Pardo is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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