Not all meat cuts are equal. Some of them can be tough, like a flank or a skirt steak, or tender, like a tenderloin cut. A lot of it has to do with the presence of connective tissue in the muscle. If the muscle isn’t weight-bearing or it doesn’t get enough exercise, there’s less connective tissue which makes it tender.
That’s why meat from support muscles coming from the loin, rib, and sirloin sections are preferred choice cuts among meat shoppers. They’re easy to cook because they can take dry, high heat. And one can quickly brown them using a variety of quick-cooking methods like grilling, pan-searing, and frying.
Some cooks, however, like to work with tough cuts. Not only because these cuts are cheaper but also because they are tastier, especially when prepared correctly and cooked with care (meat cookbooks can make the process much easier). The reason for this is that working muscles tend to accumulate flavor extractives in their fibers.
But flavor and texture go hand in hand in a great dish. No matter how delicious it may be, if the meat is tough, there’s no fun eating it. That’s why tough meat needs to be tenderized well during the cooking process.
And there are lots of ways to do this. A creative chef can make use of marinades that utilize plant and fruit enzymes to soften the meat. Practical chefs make do with kitchen tools: manual or automatic meat tenderizers that thin and slice meat conveniently and quickly.
Of these two, a manual meat tenderizer is more popular because it's cheaper and can easily be stored in a kitchen drawer. There are three general types: the mallet, the needle, and the hand crank models.
Mallets and needle tenderizers are ideal for the occasional cook who has to deal with a tough cut of meat. Hand crank models though are best for tenderizing meat in bulk. Large households that often have to make do with shopping for tougher cuts of meat to meet their budgets will find a hand crank meat tenderizer to be an essential tool in their kitchens.
The best hand crank tenderizers are versatile machines. Not only will they effortlessly break down muscle fibers without destroying the meat, but they can also slice it so that it can be turned into jerky.
And during barbecue season, the tenderizer is your best bro in your kitchen army. Seasoned grill cooks know that running meat through a tenderizer before marinating improves flavor and transforms the texture of the barbecue so that it melts in your mouth.
In this list, I’m featuring the best of the remaining choices of meat tenderizers online. These models will do the job of making the meat so tender that they’ll cook quickly and still be flavorful. Here are my top 5 hand crank meat tenderizers.
Table of Contents
- Best Hand Crank Meat Tenderizers
- 1. Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer , Sturdy Aluminum Construction, Stainless Steel Blades
- 2. Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Attachment Clamp-on Meat
- 3. Paladin Equipment 2 in 1 Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer
- 4. COLIBROX Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Flatten Hobart Kitchen Tool
- 5. Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber &Jerky Slicer Set Manual
- How To Pick The Best Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer
Best Hand Crank Meat Tenderizers
- Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer , Sturdy Aluminum Construction, Stainless Steel Blades
- Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Attachment Clamp-on
- Paladin Equipment 2 in 1 Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer
- COLIBROX Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Flatten Hobart Kitchen Tool
- Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber &Jerky Slicer Set Manual
1. Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer , Sturdy Aluminum Construction, Stainless Steel Blades
This heavy-duty machine tenderizes the meat with 31 mini stainless steel blades. Similar to a pasta roller, the meat is fed into the top, before cranking the handle to make meat thin and tender. To produce cube steaks, run the meat through twice.
Its framework is made of aluminum while the rest of its parts are from stainless steel. It comes with a heavy-duty base, a two-piece housing, and two C-clamps that capable of mounting on counters up to 1.5” thick. It’s also equipped with a pair of stainless steel combs to prevent jamming.
Compact and easy to use, it also disassembles easily for quick cleaning. It also has a food-safe coating and comes with a pair of stainless steel tongs. This product has a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Jerky slicer attachment available but sold separately
- Blades are dishwasher friendly
- Aluminum body might be scratched if screws are attached too tightly.
2. Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Attachment Clamp-on Meat
This is a small but solid tenderizer that’s ideal for small kitchens. Its tenderizer needle tool can prep all kinds of meat up to 1/2 inch thick.
The frame material is made of plastic to protect the user from the aluminum metal rollers. It is equipped with an adjustable fixer and runs on a tightly occluded stainless cast iron gear. The crank handle, meanwhile, is made from smooth food grade ABS plastic. There’s also a clamp-on attachment included with the product.
- Easy to wash
- Rollers are not adjustable
- Some users found the opening too narrow for most meats
3. Paladin Equipment 2 in 1 Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer
This is a countertop meat-tenderizer unit that can also slice meat into the ideal size and thickness for making jerky. It works for all kinds of meat, including game.
Its tenderizer blades work from both sides so that it produces more tender cuts in less time. The slicing blades, meanwhile, are interchangeable. The maximum meat width is 4 inches and thickness is 0.8 inches.
It’s easy and safe to use. The hand crank is ergonomic for maximum torque and its wide chute includes a set of stainless-steel combs to prevent the meat from jamming the blades.
It has a durable cast aluminum body and includes a pair of C-clamps to help stabilize the unit to a countertop and a pair of stainless steel tongs. This comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- Versatile; can be used for making jerky
- Wide meat chute
- Heavy, at 11 lbs.
4. COLIBROX Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber Heavy Duty Steak Flatten Hobart Kitchen Tool
Made from durable cast iron, this commercial meat tenderizer can prepare meat up to 1/2-inch thick.
It comes with a plastic cover to protect the user and a clamp-on attachment for greater stability.
It will work on most meats, including venison. One user, however, cautioned using this for tenderizing chicken.
- Durable body frame
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Rollers are hard nylon plastic
- No way to control the thickness
5. Commercial Meat Tenderizer Cuber &Jerky Slicer Set Manual
This is a heavy-duty tenderizer unit that has a die-cast aluminum body, a fixed clip design, and a solid base that’s anti-skid and shockproof.
It has 16 pairs of blades that are made from Seiko sharp 420 stainless steel hob for high speed and uniform cutting. It’s suitable for making skirt steaks, side steaks, boneless steaks, round steaks, venison, chicken breast, as well as slicing meat for jerky.
It’s equipped with a wide chute, a pair of food grade 420 stainless steel combs to prevent meat jamming, and an ergonomic hand crank. It also comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Best for commercial use
- Easy disassembly for cleaning & maintenance
- Thickness can’t be adjusted
- No motor attachment
How To Pick The Best Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer
Hand crank models are generally made from metal, plastic, or a combination of both. There are models that have a framework that’s made from aluminum or stainless steel and there are others that use plastic to make it more lightweight.
This extends to the blades as well. The most durable ones are those that have stainless steel blades; they’re capable of tenderizing a large amount of meat. Plus, they’re easy to clean. Plastic blades, meanwhile, are best for small quantities of meat.
Also, check if the plastic is food grade and non-toxic. This is to prevent plastic chemicals from flavoring your tenderized meat.
Because a tenderizer has blades, it can be a dangerous tool for the uninitiated. So it's best to pick one that has a lot of safety features to minimize accidents.
Such features include retractable blades, locking mechanisms, and a plastic guard to fits securely over the blade section when it's not in use.
Hand Crank Design
The arm should be long enough so that it’s easy to turn the crank. The rotation should also be smooth.
It’s also best to look for one that has an ergonomic handle or at least one that has an anti-slip coating to ensure a firm and secure grip.
Some models will feature a motor attachment to give you more options in how to operate them. Others will allow an attachment that slices meat for jerky. Whatever you choose, pick the one that includes them as part of the product package because some manufacturers will sell them separately.
Easy to Clean
They should be easy to disassemble so that you can clean them easily after every use. The metal parts should be dishwasher safe for maximum sanitation, and the plastic portions should be easy to clean with a brush and hot soapy water.
Because this kitchen tool can be an investment, it’s best to pick one that has a warranty. A year is standard enough although the best choice should be one that offers a lifetime warranty.
Check also the product’s after sales service if it’s reliable by reading the user reviews on its product page. Some manufacturers have a spotty record and it’ll eventually be more trouble than it's worth to ask for a replacement since they’ll require you to shoulder the shipping costs.