I made it a point today to read some of the negative reviews of the Jaccard Tenderizer on Amazon.
Let me work on this step by step.
- Will not tenderize a cheap steak! If the meat cutter cuts a ¾ inch thick steak he will cut it, if he knows what he is doing, against the grain. The easiest way to explain this is if you look at a flank steak or Beef brisket you will see that the meat looks like many red strings lined up next to each other making up the “steak”, so cutting the strings at a 90° angle is considered to cut against the grain. Now, as mentioned, the finished cut steak is cut that way, so the grain would be ¾ inch long. Now, in a lower quality cut, this could make the steak tough.
Using the Jaccard on this it makes sense that you are just punching holes into the meat without cutting the grain and making it more tender. To do that you would have to stand the steak upright and start punching it from the ¾ inch side, which is close to impossible without punching your fingers.
Using the Jaccard on a cheaper cut, you have to buy for instance a whole New York strip loin, punch it from the top and the bottom against the grain and then cut it into steaks.
- Getting surface bacteria from the outside to the inside! Legitimate point, so if you do not want to take the chance, cook it to a safe level, which I do recommend. As an old Kraut (born in Bavaria) I regularly love to eat some Steak Tartar, which was described on a TV show a few years back as a “Whopper, hold the Heat”. I have to say that I usually buy larger cuts and process my own meat and grind the hamburger from that, which eliminates some of the cross contamination that might occur.
As I mentioned in my original post about the Jaccard we used this machine at our meat store to punch seamed out pieces from the Sirloin Tip to use on our Shish-Kebobs, selling thousands and thousands of Beef Kebobs in the 20 years we had the store and in all this time there was never anybody getting sick from the meat, but we also never had any complaints about toughness of the meat, as a point, by the time the bacon we stuck on each side of the meat was done on the BBQ the meat was usually up to a safe cooking level, but the melting bacon grease was siphoned into the Jaccard cuts which increased the taste too!
- Piece of Junk! The machine I have is still the same that we used the last couple of years in the store (sold my store in 1999). It is still sharp and the occasional time I use it nowadays it will outlast my lifetime. I looked at them lately at stores and they seem to be the same quality they used to be.
- Can’t get them clean! If they are used the right way meat residue should not get into the handle and the machine needs a soaking in soapy water and a good rinse with some pressure behind it away from the handle.
- The blades bend! Again hitting it against the cutting board will bend the thin knives and make them dull in a hurry, just like touching a cutting board with a sharp knife makes the knife dull. If you are punching a thinner cut like a flank steak or the flat cut of a beef brisket use some caution and not that much pressure, this is a delicate cutting machine not a sledgehammer. Make sure the cut is boneless or again be careful if you punch a bone-in roast.
- The steak’s flavor did not improve! How can punching something improve the flavor? For that you have to buy a good quality of (IMHO) corn-fed USDA Choice or higher steak or season it and smother it with that, again IMHO, awful steak sauce. Even marinating will cure that problem. (A steak which I consider edible should have enough flavor of it’s own without adding any seasoning or sauce! So buy it when you can afford a high quality one and stick with pot roast the rest of the time). On the Shish Kebobs we sold we stuck pieces of bacon on both sides of the meat which added a lot of flavor without seasoning the meat itself.
In conclusion: Use this piece of equipment the way it is intended and you will not want to miss it.
Abuse it and you will throw it out soon!