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Beyond Tenderization: Creative Uses of Meat Mallet

Product Reviews, Blog

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We’re not saying you should stop pounding chicken breasts, just that there are a lot of other things you can do with your “meat” mallet.

A meat tenderizer, meat mallet, or meat pounder is an instrument for pounding meat to make it more tender and edible. During this process, the meat is also tenderized so that it can be cut up, mashed up, and broken up into smaller pieces. Thus, it is easier to use this meat to make meals like burgers, fried patties, etc.

Tenderizers are typically shaped like mallets or hammers, and they work by simply pounding the meat until it becomes much softer. Looking for the best meat tenderizer? we have a review you can check.

Meat Mallet to Smash Garlic

A mallet is safer than a knife for crushing garlic, and an average kitchen mallet has more weight, so the clove will get really crushed. If you add a few well-crushed cloves to these Instant Pot beans, you’ll hardly notice as they dissolve into the flavorful broth.

Meat Mallet to Bruise Lemongrass

To get the most flavor from these reedy stems, you want to expose their core, but usually you’ll want to pull the stem out at the end (like in this aromatic braised chicken leg recipe, which is also flavored with smashed garlic). The kitchen mallet comes to the rescue.

Crush Potatoes

What about the method of par-boiling small potatoes, crushing them into craggy discs, and then pan-frying them so that they attain a crispy fractured shell filled with the lightest potato fluff? Using a kitchen mallet will get you there faster and with less burning than smushing with the heel of your hand.

The Platonic ideal of potatoes is mallet-smashed potatoes.

Smash Ginger

A cookbook author says she’s been spoiled by her kitchen mallet ever since she received it for her birthday. She smashes the charred ginger flesh into a vat of broth for pho, exposing the tasty, fibrous flesh.

Tenderize Vegetables

We enjoy classic Sichuan dishes that include smashed cucumbers swimming in spicy, vinegary dressing. We also love Thai salads that begin with bashed green beans. The tangy green bean salad my colleague Anna Stockwell makes uses this method. Most recipes for this type of dish suggest smashing with a rolling pin, but that’s a bit unwieldy, and not everyone has a huge mortar and pestle set. An ordinary kitchen mallet has a hammer shape that makes the task easier.

Crush Ice

Some refrigerators do not come with ice crushers, which is a problem. The same applies to refrigerators without ice makers. In order to make her crushed ice cocktails, Maggie Hoffman fills a reusable zip-top bag with ice cubes, wraps it in a dishtowel, and hits it with a kitchen mallet. In the end, the bag is returned to the freezer after drinks have been made. The mallet comes out again for the next round to crush up any ice that has frozen together again.

Press a Sandwich

In order to create the best grilled cheese sandwich, press the sandwich firmly into the pan. There are many ways to force that sandwich into submission, including using a spatula and your own dwindling energy, or just putting a kitchen mallet on it and walking away to handle the soup or whatever needs attention. You can accomplish this task more easily with a disc-style mallet than a hammer-style mallet, but either would work.

Weigh Down Meat as It Cooks

While pounding meat into even thickness before cooking may seem to be a noble mallet-ian task, consider this fact: some proteins, such as fish fillets and pork chops, tend to bend in the middle as they cook. Instead of pressing it down with a spatula, just place the mallet on top of the cooking protein right away (don’t press, the weight of the mallet will be enough) and avoid the frustration altogether.


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