• 10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Meat Tenderizers in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)

Tenderized meats are softer and easier to cut. The meat also becomes porous, making it easier for the marinade to seep into the flesh. Some open channels in the meat with tiny blades, which means the meat cooks faster and stays tender. If you dislike the use of powdered meat tenderizers, you might be on the lookout for a tool to soften meats. But which is the best for you: a mallet or hammer type like Mom used to use, a needle-type like chefs prefer, or something else, like a roller or meat cuber?

Of all the tenderizers we looked at, our favorite was the Jaccard 48-Blade Tenderizer. Its sharp needle-like blades, ergonomically-designed handle, and ease of use made it stand out. Check out the other products on our 10 best list, and make sure to read our buying guide, so you know how to choose the right one for your needs.

Featured in this article

Jim Quast
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 05-04-2022
Table of Contents

How We Chose Our Products

How We Chose Our Products

To choose the best meat tenderizers, we took into consideration the following:

  • What type it is
  • The weight, for hammer or mallet types
  • The dimensions and number of blades for needle types
  • How easy it is to clean
  • Any extra features

Don't forget to check out our buying guide after the products to make sure you have all the information you need to make a good decision about meat tenderizers.

Compare the 10 Best Meat Tenderizers

Jaccard 48-Blade Tenderizer 1


Keissco Reversible Meat Tenderizer and Pounder 1


Weston Meat Cuber and Tenderizer 1


Westmark Robusto Meat Hammer 1


Jim Beam Rolling Meat Tenderizer 1

Jim Beam

Jaccard  Meat Maximizer  1


KitchenAid Meat Tenderizer 1


OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Bladed Meat Tenderizer 1


Chef Master Professional Meat Tenderizer 1

Chef Master

Norpro Tenderizer Pro BX 1



48-Blade Tenderizer

Reversible Meat Tenderizer and Pounder

Meat Cuber and Tenderizer

Robusto Meat Hammer

Rolling Meat Tenderizer

Meat Maximizer

Meat Tenderizer

Good Grips Easy-Clean Bladed Meat Tenderizer

Professional Meat Tenderizer

Tenderizer Pro BX


Best Blade Tenderizer With Durable Construction

Best Heavy Tenderizer That's Comfortable to Hold

Best for Chicken-Fried Steak, Schnitzel, and Cubed Meats

Best Dual-Sided Mallet for Both Thick and Thin Cuts

Best to Tenderize Without Destroying Flat, Thin Meats

Best for Easy and Thorough Cleaning

Best Lighter-Weight Mallet for Flattening and Tenderizing Meats

Best for Safe and Comfortable Use

Best for a Secure Grip When Tenderizing Big Cuts

Best Meat Tenderizer for Targeted Use

TypeNeedle2-sided pounderTabletop cuberMalletRoller with spikesNeedleTextured and smooth hammerBladeNeedleNeedle
MaterialStainless steel, plasticChrome-plated zinc alloyCast aluminum, stainless steel bladesCast aluminumStainless steel, woodStainless steel, plasticAluminum, TPE rubberStainless steel, plasticStainless steel, plasticStainless steel, plastic
Size, weight4.5 x 6 in.3.25-in. head diameter, 1.8 lbs. About 13 x 13 x 6 in. assembledAbout 1 x 1 x 8.5 in., 1 lb.7.5 x 2.25 in.4.5 x 6 in. overall2-in. head, 9.5 in. longAbout 1-in. blades, 3 x 2.25 x 4 in. overall2-in. blades7.5 x 2 x 2 in. overall
FeaturesTop shelf dishwasher-safeDishwasher-safeComes with tongs and counter clampsDishwasher-safe, hanging hole-Removable blades, blade cover, top shelf dishwasher-safeHanging holeSafety lock, dishwasher-safeBlade cover, dishwasher-safeHanging hole

10 Best Meat Tenderizers

Take a look at the 10 best meat tenderizers below. We've made sure to include a variety of styles! We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.

*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast.

MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Size, weight4.5 x 6 in.
FeaturesTop shelf dishwasher-safe

KeisscoReversible Meat Tenderizer and Pounder


Type2-sided pounder
MaterialChrome-plated zinc alloy
Size, weight3.25-in. head diameter, 1.8 lbs.
TypeTabletop cuber
MaterialCast aluminum, stainless steel blades
Size, weightAbout 13 x 13 x 6 in. assembled
FeaturesComes with tongs and counter clamps
MaterialCast aluminum
Size, weightAbout 1 x 1 x 8.5 in., 1 lb.
FeaturesDishwasher-safe, hanging hole

Jim BeamRolling Meat Tenderizer



TypeRoller with spikes
MaterialStainless steel, wood
Size, weight7.5 x 2.25 in.
MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Size, weight4.5 x 6 in. overall
FeaturesRemovable blades, blade cover, top shelf dishwasher-safe
TypeTextured and smooth hammer
MaterialAluminum, TPE rubber
Size, weight2-in. head, 9.5 in. long
FeaturesHanging hole
MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Size, weightAbout 1-in. blades, 3 x 2.25 x 4 in. overall
FeaturesSafety lock, dishwasher-safe
MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Size, weight2-in. blades
FeaturesBlade cover, dishwasher-safe
MaterialStainless steel, plastic
Size, weight7.5 x 2 x 2 in. overall
FeaturesHanging hole

How to Choose a Meat Tenderizer - Buying Guide

Our buying guide will explain the essential details you need to know before buying a meat tenderizer. You want a tool that can tenderize many cuts of meat and give you control over the results!

Know What Type of Meat Tenderizer Works for You

You may be most familiar with a hammer or mallet type of tenderizer, but you can also consider a needle type, or even a roller. Each is different when it comes to ergonomics, ease of cleaning, and the kinds of meat they work best with.

Hammer-Type Tenderizers Are Great for Especially Tough Meats

Hammer-Type Tenderizers Are Great for Especially Tough Meats

A mallet or hammer tenderizer has a head and handle made of wood or metal. The head will usually have one flat side and one side with sharp cone- or pyramid-like spikes. The textured side is ideal for tenderizing meats and opening holes to allow marinades to penetrate, while the smooth side can flatten and even out meats like chicken breasts.

Some mallet tenderizers have two textured sides with pyramid or cone spikes. One side will have larger spikes for tenderizing thick cuts, and the other side will have finer spikes for flattening meats or tenderizing thin cuts.

When choosing, consider the weight. A heavier mallet will be more efficient, but also harder to use for those with arm or grip weakness. And, remember all that pounding will inevitably lead to messy splatters. Cover the meat with wax paper or plastic wrap to minimize this.

Needle Tenderizers Work Great for Meats That Require Marinating

Needle Tenderizers Work Great for Meats That Require Marinating

A needle tenderizer has multiple thick needle-like blades or prongs attached to a handle. They work best if you want to marinate meat for grilling. The blades are sharp enough to break down tissues and fibers, even on tougher meats, and soften them. This allows the marinade to absorb better into the meat. 

This type of tenderizer doesn't require a lot of effort since sharp vertical blades quickly puncture and tenderize meat. This tool also has a spring mechanism that lets you control the tension as you press into the meat, reducing fatigue on your hand. So, people with arthritis find this style of tenderizer more convenient. 

Needle Tenderizers Work Great for Meats That Require Marinating

Longer blades will work on thicker meats better, but for thin cuts, this type of tenderizer can just tear the meat apart. The number of blades also matters! For regular tenderizing tasks, 20 to 30 prongs are ideal. For bigger cuts of meat, get a tool with at least 48 sharp blades.

Needle or blade types work well for meat with large pieces of fat or gristle, which resists pounding. The cuts made by the blades will reduce the shrinkage of fatty areas during cooking. They can also easily pierce chicken skin, giving you that sought-after bite-through experience.

However, blades make a needle tenderizer challenging to clean. Try holding it under running water to remove pieces of meat stuck between the blades, or look for one that's dishwasher-safe.

Pounders Are Ergonomic

Pounders Are Ergonomic

A meat pounder looks like a potato masher with a short handle and a slightly bigger head. They are easy to hold since the weight is distributed centrally. Some pounders come with a reversible head; the head's smooth side is ideal for flattening meats, and the texturized side tenderizes thick cuts.

They have similar advantages and uses to a mallet or hammer tenderizer. Look for one that weighs as much as you can handle, since the heavier it is, the less force you'll need to provide.

Cubers and More Are Better for Mass Production

For commercial purposes or those who cook for a crowd, a meat cuber is useful. The machine consists of a two-piece housing with stainless steel blades and a crank handle. It has stainless steel combs that prevent the meat from getting caught in the blades. Once you feed the meat into the top, you rotate the crank to tenderize the meat.

These also provide an easy way to prepare schnitzel, cube steaks, and chicken-fried steak. You can use them on tough pork chops or steaks before grilling, too.

Make Sure It's Durable and Easy to Use

Make Sure It's Durable and Easy to Use

Aluminum and stainless steel are commonly used for hammer-style tenderizers. This type can usually go in the dishwasher, but if it has rubber or plastic on it, check the instructions to make sure it doesn't require special care. Wooden mallets should be washed by hand.

Needle tenderizers typically have stainless steel blades that will stay sharp and resist rust, but their bodies are often plastic. They can be tricky to clean, so you may want to buy a small brush, and check reviews to get tips from users.

Regardless of what type you’re buying, look for a non-slip handle. This ensures that the tool won't slip if your hands become greasy or wet during the process. 

More Tools for the Perfect Steaks and Roasts

Now that your meat is tenderized, it's time to cook! Check out some of our favorite tools that can make cooking meat much easier. 

Amazon's Best Selling Meat Tenderizers

Want to see more options before you decide? Check out Amazon shoppers' favorite products for tenderizing meat and poultry.

In Collaboration With Executive R&D Chef Jim Quast

Jim Quast
Executive R&D Chef
Jim Quast

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Biji Ravindran

Updated by: Susan Lucier-Ogawa, 1/6/2022

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