Tools used to reduce the toughness of meat fibers in a cut of meat. The tools resemble a hammer-like utensil typically made of steel or similar alloys. The tools have a head on them with a flat or point-protruding surface that is pounded into the meat to break apart the meat fibers. Breaking the meat fibers softens the meat, making it easier to chew.
This kitchen utensil, usually in the form of a mallet with a flat or point-protruding shaped surface, is used to pound against the meat in order to break apart the tough fibers. Commonly called meat pounders, these tools are made of wood, steel or plastic composites and may be formed into square, round or oval shapes. If a meat tenderizing tool is not available, a small skillet will also work well, using the outside flat bottom of the pan to pound against the surface of the meat. The term meat tenderizer may also refer to a commercial product, in powder form, that is sprinkled on the meat. The tenderizing powder contains enzymes that help break down the tougher fibers of the meat. The enzymes are often produced from pineapple and papaya extracts.