Meat tenderizer

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An example of a meat tenderizer in use
Stainless steel meat tenderizer
Example of a blade tenderizer in action

A meat tenderizer or meat pounder is a hand-powered tool used to tenderize slabs of meat in the preparation for cooking. Although a meat tenderizer can be made out of virtually any object, there are three types manufactured specifically for tenderizing meat.

  • The first, most common, is a tool that resembles a hammer or mallet made of metal or wood with a short handle and dual heads. One face of the tool is usually flat while the other has rows of pyramid-shaped tenderizers.[1]
  • The second form resembles a potato masher with a short handle and a large metal face that is either smooth or adorned with the same pyramid-shaped tenderizers as found in the first form.
  • The third form is a blade tenderizer that has a series of blades or nails that are designed to puncture the meat and cut into the fibers of the muscle.[1]

Tenderizing meat with the mallet softens the fibers, making the meat easier to chew and to digest.[1] It is useful when preparing particularly tough cuts of steak, and works well when broiling or frying the meat.[2] It is also used to "pound out" dishes such as chicken-fried steak, palomilla, and schnitzel, to make them wider and thinner.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Madhusankha, G. D. M. P.; Thilakarathna, R. C. N. (2021-02-01). "Meat tenderization mechanism and the impact of plant exogenous proteases: A review". Arabian Journal of Chemistry. 14 (2): 102967. doi:10.1016/j.arabjc.2020.102967. ISSN 1878-5352.
  2. ^ Gwyther, Pamela (2001). The Beginner's Cookbook. Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 1-4054-3689-1. OCLC 233261474.