There are three vital steps that go into the creation of any meal. First, you gather your ingredients, second, you prepare them. Then, finally, you get to cooking. Steps one and three get most of the attention, but the second is just as important. And if you’re cooking meat, particularly a choice cut of steak, you’ll find a tenderizer an incredibly useful tool for preparation.
There are three main types of meat tenderizers. One resembles a mallet with dual heads, another a potato masher, and the third a hand-held instrument with tiny blades. The first two soften the meat, while the third punctures it and cuts into its fibers. Whichever style you choose, the general purpose is the same: to break down a tough piece of meat so that it’s easier to cook, flavor and eat. Each style goes about this in a different way, so you’ll want to get one that feels the most effective, comfortable and safe to you.
Ready to up your steak game? Then it’s time to invest in a dedicated tenderizer. Here are four of the very best available on Amazon.
1. Jaccard 48-Blade Meat Tenderizer
The point of tenderizing meat is to bring out its flavor and make it easier to eat. And few tools are better at this than Jaccard’s. The company’s offering uses 48 tiny stainless-steel blades to cut through the connective tissue of tough meat, effectively ensuring that it absorbs your marinade of choice. Not only does this result in a better tasting piece of meat, but it also significantly cuts down your cooking time.
2. Keissco Reversible Meat Tenderizer
Meat tenderizers don’t need to look good, especially considering they’ll be used for mashing up raw food. But there’s no reason they can’t be a bit glamorous in their own right. Take, for example, Keissco’s tenderizer. It’s a chrome-plated tool with an elegant yet ergonomic design that will stand out for all the right reasons. It works pretty well, too: The tenderizer has a reversible head so you can tenderize the meat and pound it down with one simple adjustment. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
3. OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
When you think of a meat tenderizer, you’re probably thinking of a mallet similar to OXO’s. Like the brand’s other pieces of cookware, it combines style and performance in one easy-to-use package. It has a dual-head design, one for tenderizing meat, the other for pounding it down to size. The mallet is made from a single piece of heavy-duty aluminum what will last and is wrapped in an ergonomic rubber handle that won’t slip from your hands.
4. Chef Master Meat Tenderizer
Tenderizing meat isn’t just about brute strength. Blade tenderizers, like Chef Master’s model, take a different tact, using their sharp blades to poke holes in meat rather than just mash it down. This cuts through the muscle fiber, reducing cooking time and making it easier to chew. It also allows marinades and spices to better soak into the cut. Bonus: The tool has a comfortable grip and an intuitive design that will keep your hand away from the sharp stainless-steel blades.