The Cave Tools’ Blade Tenderizer is made from white plastic with 48 stainless steel spikes. The slotted base plate is also white and has spring loaded legs attaching it to the handle section. A clear plastic cover fits over the spiked section for safety. The whole item is approximately 6 x 5 x 1.6 inches.

If you haven’t used one before, a blade tenderizer is similar to a hole-punch but for meat, and makes lots more holes at once. The effect is similar to what you’d get by using a tenderizing mallet, but is much more civilized! It’s about as easy to use as well, instead of pounding you just position it on the meat and press down. The sharp spikes puncture the flesh, leaving tiny holes behind and breaking up the tougher connective tissue. This makes those budget cuts of meat more tender, obviously. Ok, this method might not relieve stress as well as a mallet does, but it is oddly satisfying when you get all the holes evenly spaced.

You can use a blade tenderizer on any meat of course, not just tougher pieces, and size doesn’t matter, it just takes a little longer. If the meat is particularly thick you might want to go in from both sides, but otherwise, a single pass is enough.

Another, or additional, use, is when marinating. The many holes allow the marinade to be absorbed deeper and faster than would normally happen. With a little practice, you can even pierce the meat only halfway through, for instance, leaving pockets for the marinade to settle into before cooking. By tenderizing and marinating those cheaper cuts of meat you can feed more people on the same budget and they probably won’t even notice.

A blade tenderizer does look like it would be a pain to clean, but this Cave Tools version is dishwasher safe so no problem there.

This blade tenderizer comes with a plastic safety cover as standard. The one on my model isn’t very secure, so I add a rubber band to it before I put it in the kitchen drawer, just in case. Cave Tools seem like a switched on kind of company and I’m sure they’ll sort out this minor problem if they haven’t already.

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