We all love the tender texture of arguably the most delectable and loved food throughout the history of man. Meat, as we’ve all enjoyed it at some point, needs to be not only tasty but tender. But did you know that you can channel all of your busy day’s aggressions towards tenderizing your evening’s cut of beef? Yes, the mallet allows you to pound on the meat on a chopping board! More on this later.
There is more than a single type of meat tenderizer. In this article, we shall learn how to clean the most common types of meat tenderizers, so that you can check if you’ve been doing the job well, but before that, we begin with the common types of meat tenderizers and how they work:
3 Best Meat Tenderizer Cleaning Tools
- Wet Brush Hair Brush Original Detangler
- Method Sea Minerals Dish Soap
- Clorox Clean-Up CloroxPro Disinfectant Cleaner with Bleach
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Types of Meat Tenderizers
Meat tenderizer tools work on basically the same principle- tearing or cutting across the muscular fibers, or the grain, to make the meat softer for cooking and chewing. It is also reported that meat tenderizer tools open up the tissue increasing marinade absorption by up to 600% while cutting the cooking time by 40%. Still, if done properly, tenderized meat tastes better than whole meat chunks. This is due to the uniform penetration of spices and heat during cooking.
There are more than a couple of meat tenderizer tools. We shall be looking at the VARIOUS types and how they work.
1. Traditional Mallet
Probably the oldest of all tenderizer tools, a meat mallet has over the years evolved into variants that have special applications. The mallet is basically made of wood or metal, but metal is preferable for strength and thus durability. The hammering part usually has two faces. One face has small pyramid-shaped projections and is called the major tenderizer. The other face is known as the flattener, and just as the name suggests, it flat and smooth.
There are two main variants of the mallet; the pounder and the swatter. The pounder is shaped in such a way that the handle projects vertically upwards when the too is resting on its pounding face. When using it, it is as if you’re using the side of your fist to pound the meat.
The swatter can be differentiated from just the name. It resembles a fly swatter and it’s lighter. It is the ideal option for training the young ones as it saves the countertop from dents otherwise made by heavier mallets.
2. Blade Tenderizer
Presumably the modern form of the traditional meat mallet, the blade tenderizer is a manually operated appliance. It is the size of an average human fist and has sharp metal blades that cut through the connective tissues allowing uniform cooking and the perfect margination.
The most popular in this class is the Jaccard meat tenderizer.
3. Rolling Tenderizer
As the name suggests, a rolling tenderizer makes use of a roller or rollers that have sharp projections on them. The appliance is worked manually by hand, turning the rollers and thus passing the meat between them. As the meat travels, the sharp projections on the rollers pierce the meat, breaking down the fibers. The pushing force also pounds the meat in between the rollers.
Heavy-duty Cube Tenderizer
Heavy-duty tenderizers are mostly used commercially. Your likelihood of having such an appliance in your household kitchen is quite narrow. The tool is used for breaking down the tough and chewy chunks of meat into smaller cubes that are tender and easier to prep.
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How to Clean a Meat Tenderizer Tool
You now know the various types of meat tenderizers. You may also have decided what type to go. Either way, you’ll need to get the tool clean. In fact, cleaning a meat tenderizer should be one of the most thorough cleaning jobs. I am going to teach you how to clean your tool, may it be a mallet or the rollerblades of a blade tenderizer.
How to Clean a Mallet
The meat mallet is the simplest to clean. Follow these simple steps to get it done:
What you’ll need:
- A small bucket
- Hot water
- Dish soap
- A coarse bristle brush
- Bleaching solution
- A dry cloth
- Fill the small bucket with the hot water and submerge the mallet in the water. Ensure you use a bucket sufficient for the mallet’s length. Do not let the mallet soak for too long or it’ll get ruined
- Apply the dish soap on the mallet and scrub with the coarse bristle brush.
- Rinse the mallet in running water and let it air-dry. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth or towel.
Every once a month, disinfect the mallet in a bleaching solution. If you do not have a bleacher, baking soda dissolved in lime water can also be used. You can also make it a habit to disinfect the hammer every time you clean it, instead of just once a month.
To save on cleaning time and avoid contamination, you can cover the meat in a saran wrap or wax paper. You could also consider covering the mallet itself if otherwise convenient.
Finally, never clean a wooden meat mallet in the dishwasher. It’ll develop cracks and warps too quickly.
How to Clean a Blade Tenderizer
The blade tenderizer requires the utmost keenness during the cleaning. A slight mishap could leave your fingers or hands bleeding from inadvertent cuts. Follow the steps below to get the job efficiently and safely done:
What you’ll need:
- A dishwasher
- Springs or levers
- Allen keys (wrenches)
- Hot water
- Silicone spray
- A soft long-handled brush
Method #1: In The Dishwasher
The easiest way of cleaning the blade tenderizer is by putting it in the dishwasher. You only need to put it in the top drawer. You do not have to have a high-end dishwasher for this task, the regular types are just enough for the job.
Whichever dishwasher you’re using, avoid drying the blade tenderizer on the heated dryer mode.
Method #2: Manual Washing
To clean the tenderizer manually, you’ll need to dismantle it.
- With the spring or lever, carefully remove the blades and run the hot water through them.
- Apply soap on the blades and scrub with a soft brush.
- Wash the other parts of the appliance and air-dry everything.
The rollerblades require a thorough cleaning job, so you need to take everything apart. This is how to get it done:
- Disconnect and dismantle the machine. For this, use the appropriate screwdrivers and Allen keys. You now have the pan, rolls, and meat guides as separate parts.
- Soak the parts in a hot detergent solution for about 30 seconds.
- Scrub the blade assembly and the other parts with the long soft brush. The long handle provides your hand with a safe distance when working on the blade assembly. Perform this step slowly and don’t tamper with the fixed components and parts.
- Rinse thoroughly in boiling water to sanitize and allow everything to air-dry.
- Once dry spray the metal parts with a food-grade silicone spray. This prevents the metal parts from oxidizing and thus degrading. You can also use grease, but not cooking oil.
Wrapping it up
At this point, cleaning your meat tenderizer should be the easiest thing. The steps above will certainly get you the job done. You, however, need to be very careful with the blades. If possible, wear cut-resistant gloves when cleaning blade tenderizers and Cubers.
It’s time to put the procedure to test. Happy cleaning!
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore