Review of the Jaccard Meat Tenderizer, 48 Blade
While we were researching where to get good grass fed beef, we found a reference to the Jaccard Meat Tenderizer as the “restaurant chef’s secret to great steaks.” Intrigued, we looked further. The Jaccard uses lots of small but very little sharp blades to tenderize meat by actually making dozens of tiny little cuts that sever tough fibers, making the meat more tender. This is different from the traditional “Hammer with spikes” approach that most people use (if they tenderize their meat at all.) And yes, it is designed with safety in mind, so you would have to work really hard to cut yourself on it: the spring-loaded blades are held inside a guard and only come out when you apply strong pressure from above.
While some of the online hype is…well…hype, we’ve been using one of these for six months now and we can say it works! It won’t make a lousy, tough steak into a masterpiece, but it will pretty much take any steak and raise it up two notches toward excellent. So, steak that was a 1 out of 5 will at least be average, and average steaks can be great. It is also a LOT less messy than using a mallet, which tends to spray “meat juice” in all directions if used vigorously.
We’ve used ours on beef, chicken, and duck. The duck was not a success, because it was so small, bony, and thin-fleshed that the tenderizer really just flattened it out without cutting very deeply. On steak, though, the Jaccard shines. It flattens the meat, opens up channels for the heat to penetrate inside, and allows marinade to get all the way through. This is especially important for the “action steaks”: meat cut from the muscles the cow uses for standing and walking. The Top Round and Eye of Round steaks are some of the more common action steaks, and if you buy a cow we recommend you just have those ground into hamburger meat, but if you have them anyway, the Jaccard helps make them tender and edible, especially if you marinade them overnight after tenderizing. A good T-Bone or New York Steak goes from wonderful to utterly amazing with the Jaccard.
We like to use the Jaccard on both sides, and in both the X and Y axes, and yes, even diagonally, to get maximum tenderness. We then rub the steak in olive oil, sprinkle on simple seasonings, sometimes add a small bit of red wine, then if possible let it sit in a covered glass dish in the fridge for a few hours. The results are superb, and much better than just cooking. If you don’t have time to marinade, the Jaccard meat tenderizer works almost as well if you just throw the steak on the fire immediately.
You can find it lots of places, but we got ours on Amazon for about $26 with free shipping.
Bottom line: the Jaccard Meat Tenderizer really works, and it makes preparing gourmet quality steaks easier than we ever thought it could be. We highly recommend it.