A meat mallet is a very useful tool to flatten out thick cuts of meat. This tool is a must-have for every at-home cook.
But what happens if you don’t have one at hand? Or, what if the one that you had at home just got broken all of a sudden? What can be used as a meat mallet substitute?
Well, no need to fret, there are a lot of other alternatives that you can use instead of a meat mallet, or a meat tenderizer.
Let’s take a look at a few of the options that we have, shall we?
Our Top 5 Substitute For Meat Mallet
Solution 1: A Rolling Pin
Every kitchen has a rolling pin. This is a very common kitchen tool that almost everyone has.
When you’re in a hurry and don’t have a meat mallet at hand, a rolling pin can be an amazing meat tenderizer alternative.
Just use the curved side of the rolling pin to hit the meat and flatten it out.
Solution 2: Heavy Books
We know this sounds weird, but you can use very heavy books to flatten out meat as well. Go for really heavy novels.
Then, wrap the book with plastic wrap to keep things neat. Use the plastic wrap coated book to flatten out chicken breasts, and even cuts of beef.
Keep in mind, you should only use this method if you have no other option as it can get messy and can also ruin your book.
Solution 3: Bottle
Do you have empty bottles lying around in the kitchen? These bottles can be a great variation to the typical meat tenderizer.
But, when using a bottle, you have to be very careful not to hit it too hard, or the bottle will break for sure.
Solution 4: Cast Iron Skillet
A cast-iron skillet is probably the nearest replacement for a meat mallet. No matter how hard you smash a cast iron skillet outside onto a slice of meat, it will not break.
Cast iron skillets are also very heavy, which makes them the ideal choice to tenderize meat fast and easy.
Solution 5: Shatterproof Measuring Cup
We all have fire escapes that we use to measure ingredients in. Some of these cups come in a very large size and are made of high-quality plastic.
If you have a shatterproof measuring cup that you are sure is durable and sturdy, you can also use it to flatten meat.
How To Tenderize Meat Without A Mallet?
If you don’t have a meat mallet at home, you can still tenderize your meat at home very easily.
Here are a few ways in which you can do so.
1. Use Alternatives
There are a lot of backup options for a meat tenderizer. For example, you can use a rolling pin, an empty wine bottle, or even a heavy book if needed!
Sometimes, you can wrap the chicken in a plastic wrapper and flatten it down using your palm. There are also a lot of DIY meat tenderizer options you can try out.
2. Slow Cook
If you don’t have any of these tools at hand, you can try and slow cook the meat.
Slow cooking the meat will ensure that the juices stay inside and the meat becomes soft.
This way, you don’t have to do any prep before cooking to make the meat tender.
Sometimes, marinating the meat in an acid-based marinade can help make the meat juicier.
It helps to hold the juices in, which ultimately gives you a more tender steak.
Meat Tenderizing Tips
So, you don’t have a meat mallet to make chicken breasts and steaks tender while cooking. What can you do now? Here are a few tips that we have that you can follow to get a juicy slice of meat!
1. Tenderize The Meat Yourself
The first thing that you can do is try and tenderize the meat by hand. For this, you will have to wrap the chicken in a plastic wrapper or a towel and push it down with the palm of your hands.
Put all forces into the push, and the meat should become a bit flat.
2. Let The Meat Rest
After cooking, you should let the meat rest. This way, the residual heat keeps on cooking the meat for a little longer and ensures that the inside is perfectly cooked and tender.
3. Slow Cook
Cook the meat in a slow cooker. In this method, the meat is cooked low and slow ensuring a better overall texture.
4. Slice Against The Grain
When you are cutting steak, always remember to cut the pieces against the grain. This will give you a softer and tender piece.
If you slice along the grain, the cut of the steak will feel very chewy and hard.
5. Use Powdered Meat Tenderizers
Nowadays, you can get powdered meat tenderizers that you just sprinkle on the cut steak.
After letting the powder sit for a while, the meat becomes ready to be cooked. A lot of people say that nothing works better than a powdered meat tenderizer if you want a juicy piece of steak.
Make an acid-based marinade and let the meat soak in it. Acidic marinades that have vinegar or lemon juice- help the meat become more tender while cooking.
Tips To Take Care Of Your Meat Tenderizer
If you want your meat tenderizer to last a long time, you have to take care of it.
Luckily, there are not too many things that you need to do to maintain this tool. Here are a few things that we can recommend.
1. Clean The Mallet
The first thing that you need to do after using a meat mallet is clean it.
You need to get rid of all the moisture and food off of the mallet. For this, you can soak a paper towel in warm water and then use it along with some mild dish soap to wipe the mallet clean.
2. Let The Mallet Dry
After washing the mallet, you need to let it air dry very well. Also, try to keep the mallet in a dry region where there is no moisture.
This will ensure that the mallet stays rust-free.
3. Clean With Bleach
There’s a lot of bacteria in meat that can get onto the mallet when you use it.
To get rid of this problem, you can soak the mallet in a bleaching solution. This will kill all the nasty bacteria and keep the meat mallet clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Use Canned Food To Tenderize Meat?
Food that comes in large sizes of a can, for example, canned meat, or pasta, we can use that on meat to tenderize it.
However, you shouldn’t use a can of food to tenderize meat. This is because the can will surely get some dents.
Besides that, there’s a high possibility of missing your target and hitting your hand with the food can.
2. Can I Use A Hammer To Tenderize Meat?
In basic terms, yes you can. But you should never use an actual hammer to tenderize meat.
There is a very high possibility that you will miss your shot and hit your fingers. If you hit your fingers with an actual hammer, you will end up in the emergency room of a hospital for sure. That is why people usually recommend not using actual hammers to tenderize meat. However, you can use the rubber hammer in this case.
3. What Can I Use Instead Of A Meat Mallet?
Well, a great alternative to a meat mallet is a cast-iron skillet or a rolling pin. If you don’t have any of these tools or the other alternatives either, you can always use your palm and force it down on the meat to tenderize it.
4. Are Meat Tenderizers Dishwasher Safe?
Some meat tenderizers are labeled as dishwasher safe. However, a lot of them are not. So, you should check with the brand that you are buying from to see whether you can wash it in the dishwasher, or not.
Don’t have a meat tenderizer in your kitchen? Don’t freak out! There are a lot of other choices that you can go with.
Starting from a very simple kitchen tool such as a rolling pin, do a more complicated one such as a heavy novel, you can use a lot of things as a meat tenderizer substitute.
Just make sure that you hit the meat, and not yourself!