A tool used for tenderizing meat. This kitchen utensil, usually in the form of a mallet with a flat or point-protruding shaped suface, is used to pound against the meat in order to break apart the tough fibers. Commonly called meat pounders, these tools are made of wood, steel or plastic composites and may be formed into square, round or oval shapes. If a meat tenderizing tool is not available, a small skillet will also work well, using the outside flat bottom of the pan to pound against the surface of the meat. The term meat tenderizer may also refer to a commercial product, in powder form, that is sprinkled on the meat. The tenderizing powder contains enzymes that help break down the tougher fibers of the meat. The enzymes are often produced from pineapple and papaya extracts.
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