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Mister Tenderizer

Reviewed by Elliot Essman

I received my Mister Tenderizer device just a few days ago. I tend to be wary of single-use gadgets, but curiosity got the better of me. It took me about ten minutes to put the $25 hand-operated machine together, but now that I have experience, I can reassemble Mister Tenderizer in about thirty seconds. Adding the two “O” rings, which give the machine its oomph, is the most difficult part. Mister Tenderizer is small, so you needn’t disassemble it at all, since it fits entirely in the dishwasher, or even a fair-sized sink.

The assembled Mister Tenderizer clamps onto your kitchen counter, and here’s what you do with it: you crank your meats through the twin rollers, bristling with pyramid-shaped prods, to tenderize and to flatten, as the case may be. The machine comes nestled in twin plastic trays, which the documentation suggests are ideal for marinating your meats. The notion is that the increased surface area created by the tenderizing process enhances the absorption of flavors from the marinades. Like any product worth its salt (or any other seasoning) Mister Tenderizer suggests recipes, including marinades. I don’t have much patience for recipes developed for other people, but I put the machine through its paces with some boneless free-range chicken filets.

You need to guide your meats through this machine, otherwise they tend to roll around and into the rollers a second and third time. This takes some coordination, but doesn’t a chef require just that? Since you need a hand to operate the crank, each run of the device takes two steps. First, with your non-crank hand, you need to make sure the rollers have grabbed onto the meat. Once this has been determined, you need to use this same hand to guide the meat out the other end and lay it neatly on the tray. This is not difficult, once you give it a few runs. My chicken, which I marinated in Mojito sauce from Trader Joe’s, came out nice and tender with a quick broil.

If Mister Tenderizer has any drawback, it is that the crank handle is not anchored to the rolling device. It tends to come off in your hand in use. A small plastic pin would remedy this. The major advantage of the device—which remember, is quite small—is that it makes the flattening and tenderizing process uniform. Mister Tenderizer is not without its need to clean up (though it's relatively simple), but other methods of tenderizing and flattening are downright messy. If you flatten meats on a wooden cutting board with the side of a cleaver or a tenderizing mallet, using plastic wrap perhaps, you often get holes and irregular results. You then have some considerable cleanup, especially if you sanitize your boards the way you should.

For yummy chicken or steaks for the grill, Mister Tenderizer seems a good bet because it should allow me to up the quantity and maximize throughput, stretching a single batch marinade to its utmost, with simple cleanup (and no splattering). This is quite a useful product. Top -- Culinary Reviews Home

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