Words that you always to hear when you’re describing meat are “tender”, “juicy”, “moist” and “delicious.” So how exactly do you guarantee that it will turn out that way when you’re cooking? Well, you can season it with everything you have in your spice rack, but we don’t think sesame seeds and pumpkin spice will go so well with a steak (but who are we to tell you not to experiment?) There are better ways to get the most out of your cuts of meat and they more have to do with working the cuts the right way. With a meat tenderizer, you’ll be able to pound and flatten your meat to make it cook faster and retain the juice better. There are different types of meat tenderizers that work with all the various kinds of meat. To help you figure out which one is right for you, we’ve done our research and selected three of the very best. Without further ado, here are our choices.

Best Meat Tenderizer Mallet

With dual uses, thanks to the different components on each side, the KitchenAid Textured Aluminum Meat Tenderizer needs to be in your kitchen. This 9.5″ black mallet is made from aluminum construction that provides you with a powerful and sturdy, yet durable, tool. On one side, you have a textured area that is used for tenderizing meat when you hit it. You can optimize your strikes by creating some holes for air to flow into the meat, allowing you to minimize the time it takes to cook it. It has a checkered, raised pattern that will work the cuts of meat. The smooth side of the mallet is for flattening and pounding, perfect for making things like chicken or veal cutlets. You can also use that side to ground down spices, herbs and nuts to add as seasonings. We loved how lightweight it is and how it has a hole in the bottom of the handle, allowing you to hang it in your kitchen, so you know where it is at all times. It is backed by a lifetime limited warranty and a one-year hassle-free replacement guarantee, so KitchenAid is betting on itself and its products. It should only be hand washed after you’ve used it.

Best Hand Crank Meat Tenderizer

If you don’t want to have to whack your beef or pork cuts and you’re looking to make them thinner to optimize their cooking, then the Weston Manual Heavy Duty Meat Cuber Tenderizer could be right for you. When you’re marinating your meat, you obviously want it to soak into the meat to produce delicious flavors when you bite in. With this tenderizer, you’ll be able to perforate the meat, thanks to the 31 stainless steel blades you’ll run it through as you turn the crank. Even tough cuts of meat, like ones from the hind quarters, can be threaded through the tenderizer and come out ready to be cooked. It has two C-clamps, which we loved because you can mount it on a table or counter up to 1.5″ thick, so it won’t move while you’re using it. It comes in two pieces and is made from aluminum that is solidly built with a strong base. But it is also compact and easy to clean, making your life a whole lot easier. It has a food safe coating, so you aren’t at risk of eating anything bad for you.

Best Bladed Meat Tenderizer

For fast tenderizing and the ability to get your meat prepped in a hurry, try the Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer. These penetrating blades create tiny heat channels within the meat, which reduces cooking time by up to 40%. You’ll get juicier and tastier meat each time you use this tenderizer. We loved using it to create better pathways for your marinades to soak and lock that flavor inside. It will tenderize your meat evenly, so the entire cut and piece is handled properly. You won’t have to change the shape of the cut by flattening it. All you need to accomplish the perfect job is press down on the top handle and the blades will jolt downward. It’s made from white ABS plastic and measures 5 5/8″ x 4 1/8″, making it a great size to store easily in your kitchen drawer. The blades are made from stainless steel, so they won’t rust and they have double edge sharpness. Your meat will be primed for cooking after a few cuts from this tenderizer.