I do not have a meat tenderizor. I want to fry my chicken breasts but need to pound out the meat. What can I use instead?


10 Answers 10


This might seem silly but, . . . I use my fist. I always cover my chicken with plastic wrap to contain the mess before I pound it. You can also glove up instead/as well.

I have found that punching it is just the right amount of force for the job. And the uneven surface of my knuckles acts as a meat tenderizer and breaks up the tissue just a little. (But not too much.)

  • 18
    This is my favorite technique when it's been a rough day at work, too.
    – ceejayoz
    Dec 17, 2018 at 21:21
  • 9
    i literally call my hands "meat tenderizers" Dec 17, 2018 at 21:31
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    I do this, too. I put the chicken on a dishwasher-safe cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound away. Dec 17, 2018 at 23:09
  • 3
    You really should add a picture of your meat tenderizers.
    – SnakeDoc
    Dec 18, 2018 at 21:40
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    I have done this, but with a gallon freezer bag. I was careful not to pop the bag open but otherwise it was very clean. Dec 18, 2018 at 23:56

Anything flat, non-breakable, and reasonably heavy would work: rubber mallet, rolling pin, flat-bottomed wooden bowl, etc. I would suggest protecting the meat and implement from one another with plastic wrap.

  • 24
    ... small skillet or frying pan... the list goes on and on.
    – Stephie
    Dec 17, 2018 at 16:05
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    A can of food (e.g. soup or beans), that you plan to open soon anyway since it may become dented during the process. Dec 17, 2018 at 18:45
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    I find that placing the chicken under saran wrap (clingfilm) and whacking it with a rolling pin does the trick just fine
    – Richard
    Dec 17, 2018 at 18:50
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    I've used bottles for similar purposes, in the past. Grab at the neck and strike with the bottom. I also always use some sort of plastic wrap or a nylon bag to protect the meat. For bonus points, put some seasoning inside it (e.g., salt and pepper).
    – VLAZ
    Dec 18, 2018 at 7:00

Put breast between baking paper, roll like dough with a rolling pin. If you have any spices/herbs/salt/pepper to add you can sprinkle then mid rolling as this will push them inside meat.


Put it between two plastic sheets, or inside of a zipblock bag big enough to accommodate the smashed size of the breast.

Then you're going to want to grab a skillet and beat that meat into submission. Cast iron is the classic here, but anything you can swing will work. Just make sure the skillet isn't hot or warm when you start assaulting that meat.


I've been known to cover with plastic wrap, lay my chef's knife flat along a piece of chicken, and then hit the flat of the blade with the heel of my hand. Obviously, stay away from the sharp / pointy parts; but that is easy to do with a big chef's knife. I typically only do this when I have one or two pieces of meat that need tenderizing (as anymore will tenderize you back!)


We designed ourselves a wooden block (remains from a 2" laminate floor joist) about 8" by 8", drilled a hole in one side, and screwed in a handle. When we use it, we wrap it around and around with plastic wrap to keep the meat clean.

We would then use this as an intermediate, placing the chicken breasts underneath it, and pound it with a 3 lb sledge hammer. Though it sounds a bit extreme, it is actually quite effective, works quickly, and does not damage the meat.


I've seen my mother use a Corningware plate or saucer in place of a meat tenderizer. She would just hold the plate sideways and pound out the meat with the edge of the plate.

  1. Iron Skillet (or another heavy pot/pan)
  2. Cutting board
  3. Rolling pin - really easy if you have the French tapered kind
  4. Big can of tomatoes...
  5. An empty wine bottle
  6. A pool ball (the kind you use on a table...not in the water!)

Bon Appetit!

  • 1
    you forgot to list rock (run it through the dishwasher first)
    – hildred
    Dec 19, 2018 at 23:34

First off, you'll definitely want your chicken between two sheets of plastic. You can either do this with two sheets of plastic wrap, or by putting it in a gallon ziplock bag (don't seal it though). The best alternative tool to use is a rolling pin as it's got no sharp edges (will break your plastic and can cut the chicken in half) and has weight and length to aid in leverage when whacking. Not everyone has a rolling pin, so if you don't just grab the largest heaviest can of food you have and slam it into the chicken. I wouldn't use any beverage cans, and especially not anything carbonated like soda or beer. I actually have a purpose built meat tenderizer and prefer using my rolling pin.


I have used a cast iron skillet against a cutting board. Plastic wrap or parchment paper to protect the surfaces...

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