Meat tenderizer imparts a soft texture to raw hard meat so that it can be cooked easily. Tender meat also enables you to cook soft and juicy meat dishes. The uniform thickness of the meat also helps in cooking evenly, which enhances its taste. There are various models of meat tenderizers in the market. Some of the factors which must be considered while selecting a meat tenderizer have been discussed here.
Design of the meat tenderizer
Hammer or mallet style meat tenderizers pound the meat to break up the connective tissue. The meat can be pounded to preferred thickness by using a handle that operates the mallet or hammer. This type of tenderizer has a smooth side to pound chicken and other kinds of soft meat and a textured side to pound harder kinds of meat.
Another kind of meat tenderizer has an array of small blades that tenderize the meat by cutting into it. The blades are operated by a flat handle. The blades can be either arranged in a circular manner or in a linear manner.
The type of design you want depends upon your individual preferences.
The weight of the meat tenderizer is related to its ability to tenderize the meat to the right thickness and texture. Thus, the weight should be high enough to ensure that the meat is imparted the preferred texture and thickness without much effort on your part. However, you should not select a meat tenderizer, which is heavy enough to make it difficult for you to handle.
The handle is an important component of the meat tenderizer because you need to operate the handle to pound or cut the meat. The handle should have an ergonomic design, which makes it comfortable to use. The material of the handle should also prevent accidental slippage so that you do not injure your hand while operating the handle. The tension generated by the handle should not be so much that it creates hand fatigue, especially when large quantities of meat need to be tenderized frequently.
Whether you are using a meat tenderizer having blades or mallet or hammer type meat tenderizer, safety is an important factor because your hands need to be protected against the sharp blades which can cut your fingers or the heavy hammer which can cause a fracture. Some of the safety features to look for in a meat tenderizer are as follows.
- Locking mechanism which locks the blades or hammer in a position. The user can lock and unlock whenever desired.
- Plastic cap used in meat tenderizers having blades. The cap covers the blades when the tenderizer is not in use. It prevents accidental contact with the blades and also protects them against damage and dirt.
- Retractable blades which come out only when required and retract back into the tenderizer after use. This way, the blades are never exposed all the time.
Both mallet/hammer and blade type meat tenderizers come in contact with raw meat, which results in meat particles being stuck between the blades or on the surface of the hammer/mallet. Thus, frequent cleaning is important to prevent contamination. Dishwasher, safe meat tenderizers are easy to clean.