If you’re a big meat lover, you know it can be expensive to get the best cuts of meat. So how can we get juicy, tender meat when we’re on a budget? A great way to achieve this is by using a meat tenderizer. And no we’re not talking about the seasoning blends.
By using a tenderizer, you can break down any tough connective tissues to ensure you’re getting the best flavor possible.
A meat tenderizer is an essential kitchen gadget for any meat fan. Whether you opt for a mallet-style tenderizer or a blade style, they will make any cut of meat softer to chew and absorb any flavorings, marinades, and seasonings for a better tasting dish.
How We Tested and Compared These Products:
We scoured the internet for the top-rated products, read reviews, and compared features to comprise a list of the best meat tenderizers on the market. We’ve considered durability, function, ease, and value when compiling this list of meat tenderizers.
We’ve also categorized the products in different ways such as ‘most comfortable’ and ‘best value’ so you can quickly find exactly what you’re looking for.
Best Meat Tenderizer
1. Best Overall: Keissco Reversible Meat Tenderizer
Material: Zinc alloy
Dimensions: 3.31 x 3.31 x 3.94 inches
Keissco’s heavy-duty chrome-plated meat tenderizer is a stylish and efficient addition to any kitchen. Unlike most mallet-style tenderizers, this reversible tenderizer works more like a stamp as the hand is on top. It relies on its weight (2 pounds) to help you pound without the risk of getting wrist fatigue.
Additionally, it provides a generous 3-inch work surface that gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Although the handle is a smooth surface, its tapered design fits comfortably in your hand and feels secure - however, it can slip slightly if your hands are wet or greasy.
You can use the flat side to flatten chicken breasts for a more even cook, or use it to crush nuts, cookies, cereal, and more. So, you could even use Keissco’s product for baking!
The teethed side is engineered to tenderize tough cuts of meat. The little holes it creates are perfect if you’re adding seasoning to add a greater depth of flavor to your meal. Just be sure not to pound too hard in case you tear the meat.
About the Company
Keissco is a leading kitchen utensil company available through Amazon. In addition to their meat tenderizer, they also supply wine bottle openers, cheese graters, can openers, and more. Their products are designed to make your life easier and provide you with long-lasting tools that will help you get creative in the kitchen.
Does it Deliver?
Keisso’s reversible tenderizer is one of the most popular and highly rated products on the market right now, and it is easy to see why. Must customers praise this tenderizer on its ability to pound just about anything!
The heavy-duty product goes above and beyond when it comes to smashing, flattening, and tenderizing.
- Reversible disk so you can flatten or tenderize meat
- Can be used to crush other foods such as garlic and nuts
- Ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip
- Dishwasher safe (be sure to disassemble and remove plastic gasket before putting in dishwasher)
- Heavy-duty chrome-plated zinc for a longer lasting product
- Handle can be slippery if hands are wet or greasy
- ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED: Ergonomic handle provides leverage and a comfortable grip, perfect for beef, veal, poultry, game, tender braciole, chicken fried steak, cordon bleu, weinerschnitzel and more
- PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN QUALITY: Made from chrome-plated zinc, weighs nearly 2 pounds (835 grams), well balanced, strong;
- FLAT SIDE: Use the flat side to flatten chicken breasts so they cook evenly, or to crush cookies, crackers, cereal, nuts and other food to use in recipes
- TEETHED SIDE: Tenderize tough cuts of meat with the toothed side of the Meat Tenderizer.
- DESIGNED FOR DISHWASHER: Crafted of washable chrome with a zinc core.(Please take off the plastic gasket before putting in the dishwasher)
2. Most Comfortable: OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
Material: Aluminium head with non-slip silicone on the handle
Dimensions: 9 x 2.38 x 1.88 inches
When it comes to comfortability, it comes as no surprise that OXO’s Good Grips tops the list. Opting for a traditional hammer-style meat tenderizer, OXO pairs a sturdy aluminum head with their trademark grippy handle, to ensure you can keep a sturdy grip on the tenderizer.
By opting to use aluminum, OXO ensures the tenderizer is fairly lightweight, making it easy for just about anyone to hold. It’s also well-balanced, which means you can go to town when pounding without getting wrist fatigue.
Its double-sided design means that you can both flatten and tenderize, and can easily switch between the two without having to disassemble the product.
About the Company:
The kitchenware company OXO is not to be confused with the Oxo who make the stock cubes. This is in fact a rather different company. OXO was founded in 1990 by a father and son duo after the matriarch of the family, Betsy, suffered from mild arthritis and struggled to hold kitchen utensils.
The Farber’s then dedicated their time to create the “Good Grips” collection of kitchen wares, which were specifically designed to help people have a firmer, and comfortable grip on the products they used.
In addition to designing ergonomic kitchen utensils, OXO also donates 1% of its annual sales to support environmental nonprofits.
Does it Deliver?
In terms of performance, it’s hard to fault the OXO Good Grips. Its lightweight design and soft-grip handle promote comfortability, and many customers find they can use the product without getting wrist fatigue. The flat side has enough of a curve at the edges to result in a uniformly flattened piece of meat.
In addition, the textured side is just sharp enough to break up the connective tissue, however, it doesn’t pierce the meat if what you’re looking for is optimum marinade absorption.
Despite being advertised as a dishwasher safe product, the OXO Good Grip is NOT made to withstand a dishwasher. Customers who have put the product in the dishwasher have found the aluminum has tarnished.
As this product needs to be hand-washed, be sure to sterilize properly to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Soft-grip handle is comfortable in hands, and grooves ensure product doesn’t slip during use
- Lightweight aluminium design stops wrist-fatigue from occurring
- Double-sided design enables you to flatten and tenderize meat
- Despite product description, it is actually not dishwasher safe
- Textured side is not sharp enough to pierce the surface of the meat for marinade absorption
- Textured side is optimized for tenderizing meat
- Smooth surface is ideal for pounding meat
- One-piece aluminum construction for durability and strength
- Handle is non-slip, even when hands are wet
3. Best Blade-Style Tenderizer: JY COOKMENT Meat Tenderizer
Material: Stainless steel blades with a plastic handle
Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.3 x 5.9 inches
Unlike mallet-style tenderizers which tend to have a dual function, a blade-style tenderizer’s sole purpose is to tenderize a piece of meat for marination.
The sharp blades pierce the flesh to allow marinades and seasonings to soak into the meat more effectively. JY Cookment’s product is generously sized and does a great job of tenderizing even the toughest cuts of meat.
The design opts for a thick handle, with finger indentations to ensure you have a strong grip on the product. There’s also a protective sheath, so as you push down you won’t be able to pierce yourself with the blades.
It also boasts three rows of 12 stainless steel blades which puncture tough meats easily, without tearing. They can cover up to 3 inches of the surface at once, which will help you get the job done quickly and effectively.
JY Cookments states that this product reduces cooking time by up to 40%, as marinades can be easily absorbed into the meat in around 5 minutes. So not only would you be investing in a durable product, you will also be saving yourself a lot of time in the kitchen.
In addition, JY Cookments have ensured that this product is dishwasher safe, so you won’t have to worry about sustaining any injuries when hand-washing the product. However, if you don’t own a dishwasher, the product can be easily cleaned and sterilized when soaked in warm, soapy water.
This tenderizer also comes with a plastic cover, keeping the blades clean and out of harm’s way during storage.
About the Company:
JY Cookment is a kitchen utensil manufacturer that aims to bring professional kitchen quality utensils to your own home. They opt for stainless steel designs to bring you high-quality and long-lasting products that guarantee a job well done.
If you’re a big barbeque fan, it’s worth checking out JY Cookment’s product range so you can totally dominate the grill!
Does it Deliver?
JY Cookment states that this is a professional kitchen-grade meat tenderizer, and according to the reviews it definitely delivers just that.
The stainless steel blades are perfectly sharp and do a great job at piercing tough cuts of meat. The holes it creates are great for marinating as they produce tender and succulent dishes.
Overall this is a great tenderizer, and can make even the cheapest meat cuts taste absolutely sublime!
- Dishwasher safe
- Stainless steel blades are durable and sharp
- Ergonomic, non-slip handle
- Reduces marination time by up to 40%
- Hollow handle which retains water if it is not properly drained
- TO BE A PROFESSIONAL CHEF-This meat tenderizer can creates tiny channels within the meat and break down the connective tissues which make meat tough and chewy.
- EASY TO USE AND CONTROL- Our meat tenderizer is ergonomic design with a comfortable, non-slip handle. Simply press down on the top and the sharp blades cut through the toughest fibers of your particular cut of meat.
- REDUCE MARINADE & COOKING TIME- These tiny channels within the meat allow marinades to be fully absorbed into the meat in just about 5 minutes. They also allow heat to penetrate more quickly to reduce cooking time by up to 40%. Less cooking time means less loss of natural flavors and juices.
- EASY TO CLEAN- After using this meat tenderizer, just soak in warm soapy water after a few minutes and wash it.
- HIGH QUALITY JY COOKMENT-JY COOKMENT Brand with beautiful package, High quality can be as a good gift choose.
4. Best Mallet-style Tenderizer: Rösle Stainless Steel Meat Hammer
Materials: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 11.02 x 1.97 x 2.28 inches
Unlike other mallet-style tenderizers, Rösle's hammer opts for a round head, which prevents any sharp edges from tearing the meat.
In addition, it has one of the smallest surface areas on the list, measuring at just 2 inches in diameter, but it can easily pound the meat to an even thickness.
Not only does this tenderizer have a sleek style and mirrored finish, but the stainless steel material also makes this a heavy-duty mallet. The flat side can not only flatten chicken breasts, but it is very effective in breaking down chicken bones in legs and wings.
The textured side features short spokes which can help break down the connective tissue in even the toughest of meat cuts, however, it doesn’t poke holes in the flesh.
The handle of this mallet-style tenderizer is quite narrow, and the stainless steel handle does not have a grippy surface - it can feel slippery with greasy or wet hands. In addition, it may not be comfortable for those with limited hand mobility, so keep that in mind.
About the Company:
Rösle is a German-born company known for its beautifully designed products. Since 1888 they have used German engineering to produce the finest quality professional kitchen tools which can also be used in your own home kitchen.
Not only does Rösle prioritize performance, but they also prioritize style. All their products use the highest grade 18/19 stainless steel, which creates durable and heavy-duty products that have beautiful mirrored finishes.
Does it Deliver?
This Rösle tenderizer certainly packs a punch in the kitchen, as many customers find that the heaviness of the product means they apply little to no effort to get their desired results. This is a high-quality product that constantly performs, is easy to clean, and is long-lasting.
This is a little on the pricier side, but if you’re willing to invest in a product that you can be sure will last, it is definitely worth it!
- Heavy-duty stainless steel design which can also crush bones
- Dishwasher safe
- Can be hung on any kitchen hook/peg
- No crevices for bacteria to hide
- Cannot pierce meat’s flesh for marinating purposes
- No handle grips which can feel slippery if hands are greasy
- 11-Inch meat tenderizer for pounding out meat, poultry
- Made of 18/10 stainless steel with satin finish handle
- Sturdy, balanced, comfortable in the hand
- Safe to use in dishwasher. Made in China
5. Best Value for Money: Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer
Material: Aluminium head with soft grip handle
Dimensions: 11.4 x 3.3 x 1.5 inches
This mallet-style tenderizer is made from a durable aluminum material that is coated in an anti-corrosion chrome finish. Spring Chef pairs its heavy head with a soft grip handle, which offers a comfortable grip and prevents the tenderizer from slipping during use.
The weighted head means you don’t have to use a lot of pressure to get your desired results, so there’s no need to worry about wrist fatigue.
Like a lot of mallet-style tenderizers, Spring Chef’s product features both a flat side for flattening and a textured side for tenderizing. It also has a decent surface area, meaning you can get the job done quickly, and the rounded edges prevent any tears.
About the Company:
Spring Chef is a kitchen utensil manufacturer that specializes in creating ergonomic products which can be used by all. Often opting for soft-grip handles, they prioritize comfort and accessibility, as they want those with mobility restrictions to still be able to use their products.
From vegetable peelers and cheese graters to dough rollers and tenderizers, Spring Chef offers a wide variety of premium products at low prices.
Does it Deliver?
This meat tenderizer is a great inexpensive tool to have in your kitchen. Many customers find the soft-grip an asset as they can comfortably and effortlessly pound at their meat cuts.
There seem to be no complaints when it comes to doing its job, however, some customers have found it can be a little difficult to clean. If you are hand washing it can be a little tricky getting the meat fibers off of the sharp points.
All in all, this is a great tool to use at home, and as one of the cheapest options on the list, it definitely delivers to the same standard as pricier alternatives.
- Double-sided head designed to flatten and tenderize meat
- Sanitary and corrosion-resistant chrome plating
- Dishwasher safe
- Heavy-duty and weighted
- Soft grip handle to promote a secure grip
- Great for those with reduced mobility in their wrists/hands
- Great value for money
- May break if used on thicker pieces of meat
- Unable to pierce holes in meat for marination purposes
- Cook Up To 50% Faster - Amazing hammer tool to reduce your cooking time and let you enjoy perfectly and evenly cooked chicken, steak & veal that is juicy, flavorful and so tender you can cut it with a butter knife.
- Be The Envy Of Your Less Equipped Friends - Do yourself a favor and get this so you can make dreaded dry chicken breast a thing of the past. Use your favorite spices and seasonings and let this mallet pounder do the rest.
- Allows Gravity To Do The Work - Heavy duty without requiring a lot of "elbow grease" or tiring your hand. The soft grip handle is great for those with arthritis. It needs very little effort to practically do the job itself thanks to its weighted head.
- Great For More Than Just Tenderizing - While you can still use the smooth side to flatten meats and poultry for even cooking and use the textured side to tenderize and better marinate your meats, you can also use it to loosen packages of frozen veggies, prepare cracked crab, loosen garlic skin, crush garlic, nuts and hard candy and even break up ice cubes for drinks and make bread crumbs.
- Better And Healthier - Solid Aluminum construction with chrome plating works much better than wood and can be washed in hot water for healthier cooking. It's Dishwasher Safe and easier to clean than other types of tenderizers in which meat can get stuck on many tiny blades and be impossible to remove.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between blade-style tenderizers and mallet-style tenderizers?
Blade-style tenderizers tend to puncture meat, whereas mallet-style tenderizers break down connective tissues. If you’re looking to get the best marination results out of your tenderizer, it is best to opt for a blade-style product.
However, if you want to flatten meat - such as chicken breasts - then a mallet-style tenderizer is the product you will need.
Although both methods work effectively, blade-style tenderizers can be less sanitary as they’re harder to clean as there are more areas for bacteria to hide.
What types of meat can I tenderize?
Most tenderizers will be capable of tenderizing any type of meat. Some of the most common meats people tend to tenderize are chicken, steak, pork, lamb, and fish.
It’s worth noting that some tenderizers require you to remove any bones before using the product. However, there are some which are strong enough to also crush bones (like those in chicken wings/legs).
Are meat tenderizers dishwasher safe?
Whether or not a meat tenderizer is dishwasher safe depends entirely upon each individual product and the materials they are made out of.
Stainless steel tenderizers are generally dishwasher safe, but products that use aluminum or zinc can tarnish during a dishwasher cycle.
In general, it is better to have a tenderizer that can be placed in the dishwasher as you can ensure the product is sterile and any harmful bacteria from raw meat has been eradicated.
Be sure to check the product descriptions, and other customer reviews to check if a meat tenderizer is dishwasher safe.
Can I use a meat tenderizer for other purposes?
The great thing about meat tenderizers is that you can use them for a multitude of purposes. If you have a mallet-style tenderizer, you can use it to crack seafood shells, crush garlic, prepare bread crumbs, smash nuts, break the ice - the list is endless!