If you’re looking for an effective way to tenderize your meat, this is the best meat pounder america’s test kitchen for you.
Meat pounders are an essential tool in any kitchen, and the best one for your needs will depend on what you plan to use it for. We’ve looked at some of the best meat pounders on the market and given our top pick, as well as a few runner-ups.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional wooden mallet or something with a bit more power like the cast iron option, we’ve got you covered. So, don’t wait any longer – head over to Amazon and buy yourself the best meat pounder america’s test kitchen today!
List of Top 4 Best Meat Pounder America’s Test Kitchen on Amazon
What is a meat pounder?
A meat pounder is used to flatten thin pieces of meat such as chicken breasts, pork chops or even thick cuts of steak. They typically have a smooth side and a textured side. The textured side is not usually sharp but rather has nubs or small bumps so it presses into the meat. It’s important to note that a meat pounder does not tenderize meats.
A meat tenderizer works by puncturing the meat with little blades to break apart tough fibers and make it more palatable. If a recipe indicates you need to “pound your chicken breast until half its original thickness” this would be a task that requires a meat pounder, but if the recipe tells you to sprinkle your chicken with some Cajun seasoning and grill it then use any flat bottom object such as a drinking glass or skillet, these are tasks that only require something like a rolling pin or even large mug.
Reviews of The Best Meat Pounder America’s Test Kitchen
Top 1 – KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer
The KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer earns our top choice for many reasons, from its affordable price point to practical hammering style. This device comes with a flat face on one side and a spike side on the other.
Hence, this best meat pounder america’s test kitchen offers exceptional durability. Its flat side is perfect for flattening out and making your cutlets super thin to nearly half the cooking time. The other side, spiked face, is handy for tenderizing – breaking fiber bonds and tearing the meat’s connective tissue for an easy marinade and softer result.
Still, this tool can be used to crack nuts, peppercorns, shellfish, hard candy, spices, and more.
This unit is made of aluminum, responsible for its lightweight and fatigue-free handling. Despite its lightweight, this meat pounder is incredibly durable and robust.
On top of that, the KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer features an ergonomic handle with a soft, silicone rubber for safe, comfortable handling. The handle comes with a hole to allow users to hang up for easy storage and access. While this cast aluminum meat pounder is a breeze to clean, the spiked end can require a little extra effort to remove the stuck pieces of meat.
On the downside, the handle is somewhat thick and can be a bit challenging to handle for people with small hands. Also, its lightweight design means you have to invest more power to achieve desired results.
- Affordable price point
- Versatile design – flat and spiked face on either side
- Ergonomic handle with hole
- Hassle-free to clean
- The handle can be uncomfortable to wield because of its thickness
- Lightweight design requires more power to pound
Top 2 – NEW OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer
Next, our favorite is OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer with a hammer style and a reasonable price tag. Like our top choice, this model is a 2-in-1 tool featuring a spiked side for tenderizing and a flat side for flattening your beef, pork, and chicken.
The spike side has its teeth arranged in a pyramid style to allow users to easily break down fibers and get the meat ready for marinating and cooking. The other side, smooth end, has an ample flat surface area to let you beat your meat flatly for a quick, even cooking.
One of the things to like about this america’s test kitchen meat tenderizer is its sturdy, rugged handle offering comfortable, easy grip and safe handling. Also, the non-slip handle makes it safer to use with wet hands. Even better, it’s angled to offer maximum wielding force without getting fatigued.
In addition, the head has the right weight to do an excellent pounding job. More so, the OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is easy to clean and dishwasher-friendly for a convenient cleaning experience.
One primary drawback of this model is the small-sized teeth, which tend to trap little chunks of meat. Also, some users find controlling this gadget a tad awkward due to its angled head.
- Reasonable price point
- 2-in-1 flattener and tenderizer
- Angled head for minimal effort
- Soft, non-slip handle
- Dishwasher safe
- Small-sized teeth
- Awkward to control because of the angled head
Top 3 – Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer
It’s hard to go wrong with the Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer. It comes with a hammer style and a generous price tag. Like other options on this list, this gadget comes with a tenderizer and a flattener.
The spiked side has pointy teeth to allow the meat pounder to break up the muscle fibers for juicy, flavorful, and tender cuts of meat. The other side is perfect for beating your meat flat for quick and even cooking.
That’s not all: you can do more with this tool like crush nuts, hard candy, and garlic. Also, it is handy for losing garlic skin, breaking up ice, and making bread crumbs. The handle is comfortable to grip for safe handling.
While its head is weighted, this america’s test kitchen meat tenderizer is, overall, light; thanks to its chrome-plated aluminum construction. Its lightweight makes it easier to control but requires more force for proper tenderization.
The Spring Chef Meat Tenderizer is a breeze to clean. Plus, it can be tossed into your dishwasher for a convenient cleaning experience.
Sadly, this tool’s spiked size accumulates bits of meat as you pound, which means regular cleaning. The flat side’s edge might likely cause a tear while trying to flatten and smooth out your cutlet.
- Lightweight and easy control
- Easy to grip and comfortable handle
- Hammer-style with a flat side and spiked side
- Generously priced
- The flat side’s edges are a bit sharp
Top 4 – Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel Meat Pounder
If you are not a big fan of the hammer-like meat pounders, you want to consider the Norpro Grip-EZ Stainless Steel Meat Pounder. This 28-ounce tool comes in a vertical style to offer the perfect wielding force and control combination.
The heft and shape are perfect for pounding meat into uniform thickness to smooth out your chunk of meat for quick, even cooking. This gadget is made of stainless steel for durability and easy maintenance.
It has the right weight to make pounding quick, but its overall small size makes it easier to handle and maneuver for great precision.
- Stainless steel construction
- Heavy for minimal effort
- Small size for easy maneuverability
- Right heft and shape for a perfect mix of force and control
- It’s best to hand wash
Top 5 – Norpro Meat Pounder
With a unique design, the Norpro Meat Pounder comes in handy for flattening out chicken breasts, pork, and other cuts of meat. With its heavy disk, this model pounds your cutlets into even thickness for a shorter cooking time.
This best meat pounder america’s test kitchen features chrome-plated zinc alloy for durability and a mirror finish for a scratch-free surface. This gadget has an interesting visual and a heavy flat head for quick work. Above all, it’s easy to clean and offers excellent value for money.
- Heavy, flat-shaped head for quick work
- Constructed with chrome-plated zinc alloy
- Unique handle design for minimal effort
- Easy to clean
- On the heavier side
What Types Of meat pounder’s are there?
There are three common types of meat pounder’s. The first is a metal kitchen mallet-style meat pounder. This style is good for pounding chicken and other meats, but it can damage delicate items like mugs or plates.
The next type of america’s test kitchen meat pounder is the “Italian” style typically made with a wooden handle and a cast iron head. While this style does not have the nubs on the side of its head like traditional meat pounders, it is still just as effective at tenderizing meats. It can be used to flatten cuts of beef or pork chops while still protecting dishes from being damaged by dropping them! An Italian styled meat hammer may be a good choice for a basic meat pounder.
The last type of meat pounder is one with a flat head and no handle. This style is only used for flattening out meats, but it can still be very effective at doing so if the edge of the head is sharp enough. These types of meat pounders are usually made from stainless steel or aluminum and may have ridges or small protruding blades on the side to help tenderize tougher cuts of meat. The lack of a wooden handle makes these varieties much more versatile than traditional styles because they can be used on delicate items without fear of damaging them! But you must watch out for your fingers when using this type of hammer, while it lacks nubs or bumps.
What are Meat Tenderizers Used For?
Meat tenderizers are used for breaking down tough proteins and making them more palatable. Much like a meat grinder, a meat tenderizer has many sharp prongs on the end of its handle and makes it easy to press those prongs into thick cuts of your favorite meats or poultry. Many types of meat tenderizers come with textured surfaces on the head which will help make your meats even more flavorful as you pound them down.
The best way to use a metal meat tenderizer is to first lightly salt the surface of your cut of beef or pork then place that side down on a cutting board or counter top. Place either end of your mallet-style rawhide meat pounder onto the piece you’re flattening and simply push down on it with a slight sliding motion as you do so. Be sure not to press too hard or the meat will tear and tear apart under your mallet’s pressure, just enough to flatten out the surface of your cut
Meat tenderizers are used by professional chefs to help make dishes like fajitas more delicious! While it may seem like overkill to use one for this simple task, if you’re planning on marinating your meats before putting them into this dish then using a heavy duty mallet-style meat pounder is likely the best way for you to go. These types of meat pounders can usually be found for between ten and twenty dollars at most kitchen stores but try looking around online because sometimes there are discounts available!
Meat tenderizers are also great for use on tough pieces of poultry that you’ll be grilling or baking. Pounding the surface down will allow your marinades to soak further into your meats before you cook them, giving them a delicious flavor! Simply set up your meat pounding station just as you would if you were using it on beef or pork and pound away.
Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Meat Tenderizers America’s test kitchen
When you’re trying to figure out what meat tenderizers are best for your kitchen, there are a few things that you should look at before making any purchases. One of these is the head shape and size. Some people like using mallet-style meat tenderizers while others may prefer the ones with a more rounded face so they have a better grip when pushing it onto their meats.
Here’s a tip: if you do choose to go with a metal mallet-style meat tenderizer then make sure that the tool has a smooth surface or textured side so your meats don’t get torn apart when being flattened under the pressure from its tiny spikes. Place either end of this device on top of your cut and push down lightly until it pops through the surface. Then, continue to pound your meat with a slight sliding motion until it reaches the desired thinness.
Metal or Plastic?
Another thing you should consider when trying to purchase the best meat pounder america’s test kitchen is whether they’re made of metal or plastic. While both materials are quite durable and can be professional quality products, some will prefer one over the other depending on what they’re planning on using their tools for. Metal ones tend to last longer but can be more difficult to clean while plastic ones may break easier but tend to be dishwasher safe (which is always nice!)
Can I use my Meat Tenderizing Hammer On Non-Meat Foods?
To answer this question, we should probably define what a meat tenderizer actually does. Originally, this kitchen utensil was designed for use with meats in order to tenderize them. This is because the mallet-style tools are able to flatten out tough microscopic fibers that are found in most types of meat. These fibers usually attach themselves to the proteins in your meat when they’re cooked which can make them tougher to chew on.
However, there are newer versions available called “fruit” or “vegetable” tenderizers which have a slightly different design. They have either one smooth head with ridges on one side while the other end has two rounded ends. You can use these devices with any type of fruit or vegetable you want but keep in mind that their original purpose was not intended for fruits and vegetables even though it can technically double as one.
Other Options of Meat Tenderizing Tools
If you’re not interested in using a mallet on your meats for whatever reason, there are other options available on the market. One is to purchase a professional meat tenderizer that’s shaped like a small hatchet or cleaver with sharp blades that will easily cut through your meats. Others may opt to use one of these devices on certain occasions when they need something more powerful but you should only do this if you know what you’re doing since they can be dangerous if used improperly.
Electric vs Manual?
Another type of meat tenderizers out there are the electric variety which usually feature rotating heads with tiny spikes protruding from it. You place either end of these devices onto your meats and then press the button to turn it on. It’s best for larger cuts of meat since its rotating action is a bit more powerful than manual types but these can be difficult to clean.
FAQS on best meat pounder america’s test kitchen
Q: Is there a certain size I should get?
A: There really isn’t one that’s better than the other. It should simply depend on what you’re planning on using it for and your personal preference. If you want to be able to use it for larger cuts of meat then go with the larger sizes but if you only plan on tenderizing smaller pieces then a smaller one will probably work fine. Some can even be used for both medium sized and large ones so they might be a good choice if you want something versatile.
Q: How many prongs should my mallet have?
A: For kitchen purposes, try going with something that has at least 2-3 prongs; any less may not do an effective job. If you want something that gets the job done quick then perhaps go with one that has 4 prongs or more but keep in mind they may not be as versatile.
Q: Are manual ones better than electric ones?
A: This is completely up to your personal preference. Some people enjoy using manual types because it can give them a bit more control over how much tenderizing they want while others like the ease of use (and faster results) found with electric types. We recommend choosing whichever one you feel more comfortable working with since both can get the job done effectively if used properly.
Q: Which designs do professional chefs use?
A: There really isn’t one which is popular among all professionals; mostly because this comes down to personal preference. The designs found on our list above range from simple mallets to more complex but overall effective types. It’s best to go with whatever seems like it will be the most convenient for your kitchen since the design of the meat tenderizer should not affect how well it can get the job done. You may also want to consider what kind of material you want since some are made out of stainless steel while others are made out of silicone or polypropylene plastic.
Q: Should I buy an electric type if I cook a lot?
A: This is completely up to your personal preference; there are benefits and downsides to both manual and electric types. Manual models are good for smaller cuts while electrical ones work better for larger pieces. It’s really just a matter of what you feel more comfortable with and how much money you want to spend on the gadget.
Q: Do these work for all types of meat?
A: The best meat pounder america’s test kitchen can get the job done effectively on just about any cut of meat you have including beef, chicken, pork, fish, lamb, etc. Just be aware that some tend to work better than others depending on the toughness of the meat so try not to buy one that is too specific or else it may not get the job done as well as you want. Some are even designed for specific types such as turkey so keep your personal preferences in mind when looking at different models since this can affect how well they will tenderize your food.
Q: How do I know what tenderness level my meat is at?
A: The main way to tell how well your meat has been prepared would be to look at the number of individual fibers. If you can see a lot of short, skinny strands then it usually means that your meats are too tough. You should be able to feel them with your fingers but some people may need something stronger to help break down these fibers. Softer meat, on the other hand, will have longer and wider fibers that are easier to cut. Try looking for something that is specifically designed for tougher meats if this is an issue or simply cook it longer until the fibers are broken down enough for your liking.
Q: How do I clean my mallet?
A: This will depend on the materials it is made out of. Most are dishwasher safe so you should be able to clean them quickly and easily in this machine but other models may require a bit more work. Some types are simple enough that you can just wipe them down with a damp cloth while others have grooves where bacteria may get stuck so you need to soak it in hot water for a few minutes until they soften up.
We recommend not keeping your mallet in the sink/dishwasher for too long since these appliances tend to get very hot which can damage some types of plastic if exposed for too long. Some are even made out of stainless steel so polishing it every once in awhile with metal cleaner would not be a bad idea.
Q: Are these dishwasher safe?
A: Most are but it again depends on the materials used to make them so you may want to double-check before running it through your machine. If not, then just simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and you should be good to go. Keep in mind that some mallets may come with grooves where bacteria can get stuck so if this is an issue for you, then we recommend washing them by hand instead of using the dishwasher.
We’ve spent more than 60 hours researching and testing meat pounders, looking for the best meat pounder america’s test kitchen. In our tests, we found that the KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer is a great all-around option with four different models to suit every budget. It has an ergonomic handle, which makes it comfortable to use over long periods of time.
The stainless steel construction also means you won’t have any trouble cleaning it after using it in raw meats or other kitchen tasks. With this quality tool in your kitchen arsenal, you can easily create restaurant-quality dishes at home!
If you want to learn about how much these products cost before making a purchase decision, be sure to read through our buying guide.