Meat Tenderizer Tools For The Juiciest Steaks

We all know that buying naturally tender meat cuts costs more and that serving good meat on a budget can be a challenge.

But, this doesn’t mean you can’t tenderize meat in your kitchen easily and save money in the long run using the meat tenderizer tool.

Pounding is one of the common methods of tenderizing meat because of the quick and easy delivery.

It works simple-it damages the connective tissue it flattens and thins out the meat, helping it cook evenly and faster.

For this, you use a specialized tool known as a meat tenderizer or pounder which resembles a hammer-you hold it in the hand and pound the meat with its head.

It makes the meat easier for chewing and digestion and it’s best for steaks and other harder meat cuts like chicken breasts.

Meat Tenderizer and Tenderized Raw Meat

However, finding the meat pounder can be difficult because of the abundance of products available this is why Knife Verge exists to help you find the best products and to learn more about this useful cooking tool!

What is a Meat Tenderizer/Pounder?

A meat tenderizer or a meat pounder is a hand tool that is used to tenderize meat during preparation before cooking.

Although shapes and models vary, there are three most common types used for meat tenderizing.

The first is a tool similar to a hammer and it can be constructed of wood or metal and has dual heads and a shorter handle. One head side is usually flat and the other has rows.

The second is a form similar to a potato masher with a short handle and a larger metal face which can be smooth or textured.

The third form is a blade-powered tenderizer with a series of small blades or nails which puncture the meat and help tenderize it.

Choosing the best one depends on numerous factors, but all three are a great choices.

Why do I Need a Meat Tenderizer?

To make juicy meat, whether we’re talking about beef steak or chicken breasts, you need to tenderize it.

This can be achieved with the meat tenderizer tool. This tool softens the fibers and improves the meat’s digestibility and chewiness.

It’s best to use it when working with tougher steak cuts or when you’re frying or broiling meat. With a meat pounder, you can easily widen and thin out schnitzels, steaks, etc.

How to Properly Use a Meat Tenderizer?

The pounding usually begins with the coarse side of the mallet to help break the tissues and fibers and tenderize it. When it’s enough, the smooth side is used to flatten out the steak.

If you’re dealing with especially tough cuts, a powdered meat tenderizer may also be necessary while pounding.

Usually, these powders are made of papaya or pineapple extract and help in the process of breaking the meat’s fibers.

What are the Advantages of a Meat Tenderizer Tool?

Besides helping you prep meat and save money, these tools can also enhance their flavor by pushing the marinade further into the meat.

Plus, these tools are quite versatile and not limited to meat only- you can use them to crush garlic, crush spices and ice, and even mash potatoes.

What are the Best Ways to Tenderize Meat?

Although we can’t say that there is one single optimal method of meat tenderizing because this depends on numerous factors, there are some ways that are better than others.

Below, check out some of the most common methods of meat tenderizing.

Meat Pounder

Physical meat tenderizing with a pounder is one of the best choices, especially for tougher meat cuts.

It helps break down muscle fibers easily. However, remember to not exaggerate with the pounding and turn the meat into a mash!


Some cuts are excellent steaks for the grill, but oh how tough they can be! So, a little marinade will go a long way.

Some acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice help break the proteins and prep it for the grill. Avoid leaving meat in the marinade for long as it can make the meat too soft.

Good Old Salt

Whether you marinate or not, it’s pivotal to put salt on meat before cooking it.

This is because salt pulls out moisture and creates natural brine. The meat will take on a deeper red color. You can salt the meat for up to 24 hours before.

Rest It

Meat resting plays a pivotal role in reducing toughness and dryness. Go with 10 minutes per pound of roasts.

The juice will go into the meat rather than spill out on the cutting board, making it tougher and drier. 

How Does Meat Tenderizing Work?

Every meat cut consists of muscle fibers that are connected to each other by proteins we know as collagen.

The process of tenderizing stands for the breakage of these long muscle strands and softening the collagen until it becomes gelatin-life.

The soft gelatin goes into the meat and makes it tender and adds moisture and juiciness.

Pounding is one of the best methods for tenderizing, as well as the chemical reactions that happen when the meat is exposed to powders or marinades.

Factors to Take into Account for a Good Meat Pounder?

As with any other product, there are some decisive factors to research before the purchase. Here are the most important features you need to take into account before choosing the best pounder for you.

Blade or needle tenderizer

This handheld tenderizer has blades or needles on the bottom and when you press it from the top, the blades pop up and micro-pierce the meat and break down the fibers.

Although it puts low pressure on the hands and requires less human effort, it can’t flatten out meat like a mallet can.

Mallet-like tenderizer

This hammer-like tool often has two surfaces, one textured and the other one smooth. It’s simple to use, affordable, and good on the hands.

Still, it does require more human effort than the needle option, but the results are amazing.


A meat hammer has to have an ergonomic handle, otherwise, hand fatigue and joint ache will ensue fast. Therefore, go with the model that boasts a contoured handle and a non-slip padded grip.

It should also fit well in your hand and snuggly so that you’re in full control.

Retractable blades

When the blades aren’t exposed when you’re not using the tenderizer, the risk of injury is lower.


Some models may come with a plastic cap guard which extends over the blade and optimizes the safety during storage, but also protects the tool from damage when in the drawer.

How to Clean Meat Tenderizer?


Clean it with dish soap and a brush and leave it to air dry and wipe it clean. If it’s wooden, don’t place it in the dishwasher, otherwise, you can.

Opt for a bleaching solution every month for disinfection or a combo of baking soda and lime water.

You can cover the meat with nylon to prevent the mallet from getting too dirty.

Blade Models

If it’s dishwasher-safe, rinse it in the top drawer.

If you clean it manually, remove all the removable parts and run them under hot water, and then use soap and a sponge.

Rollerblades & Cubers

Disassemble the machine and remove the cover, rolls, and wrenches and soak them in a hot solution with detergent.

Scrub the blade and other parts carefully and then rinse them and dry them before reassembling.

Meat Tenderizer Tool Reviews

1. Jaccard Blade Meat Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Premium materials used
  • Durable
  • Good on the hands
  • Easy to clean

This blade tenderizer helps lower cooking time by up to 40 percent. It does this by speeding up and increasing the absorption of the marinades.

It’s a great choice for both home and professional cooks. It features 48 double-sided razor-sharp stainless steel blades which make the pounding efficient, no matter how hard the meat is.

It’s comfy and good on the hands and won’t cause tiredness.

The stainless steel is premium 301 and has 48 Rockwell hardness. Customers praised it the most for being sturdy, easy to use and are made of premium materials.

Feel free to use it with chicken, beef, pork, veal, etc.

2. OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Constructed as one piece
  • Made from sturdy aluminum
  • Handle padded with rubber
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Dual-purpose tool

This hammer-like meat tenderizer is a dual-purpose tool which helps you flatten and tenderize the meat effortlessly.

The head consists of two different texture sides- the smooth one is intended for the pounding process whereas the other one optimizes the tenderizing.

The tenderizer is sturdy and durable thanks to its one-piece aluminum construction. The handle is padded with quality rubber for comfort and it’s non-slippery, even when using it with wet hands.

It also features a hanging loop for easy storage without taking too much space in your drawers.

Customers who bought it praised it the most for its durability, easy holding, and easy use.

3. Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber & Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Cubes & tenderizes
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t clog meat
  • Coated for food safety

This heavy-duty tenderizer and cuber will maximize marinades and help you bring out the yummiest flavor of meats. You can tenderize pounds and pounds of meat by the only couple of turns of the handle.

It’s durable and features steel combs that won’t clog the meat. The machine is coated for optimized food safety.

The 31 extra sharp stainless steel blades easily pierce through the connective meat fibers and leaven even the hardest of meat.

If you want to cube the meat, run it again a second time. Although it’s more expensive, it’s a smart choice.

It lasts for a long time and it’s versatile-great for home or professional cooks. Customers who bought it gave it the most kudos for being sturdy, simple to use, and durable.

4. JY COOKMENT Meat Tenderizer with 48 Blades

Highlighted Features

  • Great value for money
  • Extra comfy & wide handle
  • Simple to use
  • Extra sharp stainless steel blades
  • Easy to clean

If you want a meat tenderizer that boasts amazing quality and ergonomic design, this one is a great choice. It has a wide and comfy ergonomic handle which doesn’t slip.

Its use is so simple-you just grab it by the handle and press it down into the meat. The blades will break the fibers of the meat and tenderize it effectively.

After use, just soak it in some soapy water for a bit and then rinse it off and dry it to have it ready for next time.

The tenderizer comes in a neat package making it a great gift for your family or friends. The 48 extra-sharp blades are made from stainless steel and the other material used is ABS non-toxic plastic.

5. Mercy Shopping ZXZ Meat Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Not too expensive
  • Wide & comfy handle
  • 48 sharp stainless steel blades
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use

This meat tenderizer helps you cut through the meat’s fibers without changing its shape or appearance. Press it using the comfy handle several times for juicy and flavorful steaks.

The 48 blades are made of premium stainless steel and they won’t rust or corrode. The blade’s tip is polished and will preserve its sharpness and optimal performance no matter how frequently it’s used.

The padded handle increases the comfort and safety is also optimized thanks to the blade which retracts when pressure isn’t being applied.

You can wash it by hand or in the dishwasher. Customers who bought the product loved it the most for being easy to hold, easy to use, and sturdy.

6. XSpecial Meat Tenderizer Tool

Highlighted Features

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn’t pulverize meat
  • Easy to use
  • Food-safe plastic & stainless steel used
  • Ergonomic handle

This is a tool that every cooking enthusiast should have in their kitchen to prep delicious meat. It has 48 meat tenderizing blades that do the work perfectly.

Unlike other low-quality tenderizers, this one won’t damage and pulverize your meat, but make it juicer.

You just hold it by the handle and press it down into all parts of the meat. The 48 needle tenderizer blades are made of durable stainless steel.

The plastic used is food-safe and the tool is ergonomic and doesn’t require additional force to tenderize, which makes it great for those with joint problems.

We really appreciate the unique detachable design that enables deep cleaning-you easily take it out to clean the blades easier and then put it back. The tenderizer is also dishwasher-safe.

7. Checkered Chef Meat Hammer Tool

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to hold
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Sleek design
  • Dual purpose
  • Inexpensive

If you want to get some juiciness from your chicken or beef steaks without spending too much, this meat tenderizer is ideal for you. It’s designed to do the work for you and you needn’t invest additional hand effort.

The head features two sides-one is flat for pounding and the other is textured for tenderizing. Thanks to the soft and rubberized handle, you’ll feel comfy holding it, no matter if you’re left- or right-handed.

The tool is sleek and coated with non-stick protective material so it can be dishwasher-safe. The metal is protected and you can easily take care of it.

The handle has a hanging loop for easy hanging and worry-free storage.

8. Spring Chef Heavy Duty Meat Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Comfy grip
  • Plated with chrome
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cook up to 50 percent faster thanks to this affordable quality tenderizer. It’s ideal for beef, veal, chicken, etc.

It’s designed to do the work for you and you needn’t put in a lot of elbows or joint action. Combined with its soft handle grip, it’s an ideal tool for those with arthritis.

It comes with two sides on the head-smooth one for flattening meat and the textured for tenderizing. You can also use it for other things like loosening up frozen food packages, peeling garlic, cracking nuts, etc.

Let’s not forget the solid aluminum construction with chrome plating which works better than wood and can be washed in hot water. You can therefore safely rinse it off in the dishwasher.

The handle is quite long and has a good and comfy grip and it won’t slip.

9. Kitchen Aid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer

Highlighted Features

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Padded handle
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use

This tenderizer is constructed of aluminum and it’s lightweight, strong, and durable. It has two sides-one smooth for flattening and the textured one for tenderizing.

The whole piece is constructed using cast aluminum whereas the handle is additionally padded with Santoprene for extra comfort and safety.

To preserve its optimal quality and functionality, wash it by hand-it’s the easiest and best for it.

The handle is ergonomic and features a loophole to ease the storage.

You can use it with all meats. Customers who purchased this tool gave it the most praise for being a sturdy and durable tool, as well as one that’s easy to use and hold.

10. KEISSCO Meat Tenderizer & Pounder

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to hold
  • Easy to clean
  • Thick
  • Dual-use
  • Versatile

This tenderizer offers great quality and it’s constructed of chrome-plated zinc and it’s strong, durable, well-balanced, and non-porous.

The flat side is ideal for flattening out meat whereas the one with teeth is for tenderizing the tougher cuts. You can easily swap through surfaces thanks to the reversible disc.

This is a tenderizer designed to last and the handle is made extra comfy to fit in any hand size and enable extra comfy grip.

Since it’s made of dishwasher-safe chrome, it’s very easy to maintain it and keep it clean. However, don’t forget to remove the plastic gasket which isn’t dishwasher-safe before cleaning it.

Customers praised it the most for being sturdy, easy to use, and good on the hands.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, for delicious meat prepping, we need to have a meat tenderizer. This can be a mallet or a blade model, both of which help tenderize and flatten out the meat, making it juicer and softer.

Although we can purchase thinner pieces of meat, they do tend to be more expensive; on the other hand, by prepping our steaks, we can save money in the long run.

Knowing the importance of this kitchen tool, we at Knife Verge decided to compile a list of the 10 trending models currently- we presented different types for everyone’s preferences.

A good thing about these tools is that they’re not overly expensive and they’re quite practical, easy to use, and versatile.

With this in mind, if you regularly prep meat and you appreciate juicy schnitzel or steak, investing in this tool is a smart choice.

If you’re not keen on spending too much, our budget pick will be excellent. Otherwise, if you want nothing but the premium, our top pick will meet all your needs, for sure!

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