Jan 3rd 2018

Grinders Vs. Tenderizers: How To Care For Meat Prepping Equipment

Producing succulent cuts of meat isn't always a walk in the park. Sometimes the fibers are too tough and will produce a chewy slab of protein packed disappointment. If you are in the meat processing industry, you know all about the frustration of getting poorly tenderized meat. That's exactly why most meatpacking plants have an industrial meat tenderizer. To keep your investment in such quality machinery you need to clean and sanitize regularly. 

A trick of commercial meat grinders is that they work better when they are cold. Serious Eats even recommends putting every part of a meat grinder in the freezer, except for the motor, about an hour before using it. Likewise, keeping your meat cold before grinding will positively contribute to the longevity of your meat grinder. Will this trick also work for a tenderizer machine?

Ground Vs. Tenderized?
A commercial meat tenderizer machine is different from a commercial meat grinder. They serve two very different purposes. A meat grinder is made to grind less desirable cuts of meat into something more tender down the line. Ground beef, turkey, lamb, and pork are all examples of what happens when you put meat through a grinder. 

A tenderizer, on the other hand, treats potentially higher quality cuts. The tenderizing takes place when rough proteins are broken down before cooking. That way when you go to eat it, there will be much less chewiness.

Ask yourself this, are burgers tender? Imagine the most perfectly cooked burger you've had in recent memory. Was it tender? The answer is almost always yes. That's because grinders tenderize to the extreme. The best meat grinders see a lot of tough meat, then pulverize it. Chilling the meat, and freezing the grinder beforehand, helps the meat not stick to the machinery and break down much easier.

So, would freezing an industrial meat tenderizer help its longevity? Yes, but likely not as much as a grinder. Tenderizers tend to see less volume and higher quality cuts of meat, and they exert less force onto the meat to make it tender, not mushy. As a result, the same tricks won't work on both pieces of equipment.

So if you want to care for your meat prepping equipment and maintain your investment, our best advice is to simply follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Avoid overusing the machine and be sure to clean and sanitize it regularly.

If you're looking for a great way to improve your better cuts of meat, or if you have a lot of leftover cuts you'd like to use for burgers, give us a call today and check out the best commercial meat grinders and tenderizers on the market.