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Mechanical tenderising produces a number of cuts in a piece of meat. This increases the surface area of extraction of muscle proteins and breaks up connective tissue. The result is a product that is easier to chew and more receptive to marination, thus increasing the value of the end product. Tenderising can also reduce the amount of trimming required, and contribute to the reduction of losses by preventing retraction during cooking.
Roller tenderisers produce superficial cuts on the surface of the meat. Needle tenderisers penetrate the meat, lightly cutting it so as to soften it without tearing or separating the muscles. Either method is useful for tough meat and carries similar advantages relating to cooking loss and marination. Tenderising meat is especially suitable as a preliminary for the further processing of whole muscle products.