Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Pound Meat and Poultery without Making a Mess

Often when I’m making a meat or poultry dish I choose to pound it out, for a variety of reasons. Many times it is because I want it to be thinner so it will cook evenly and quickly. Other times it is because I want the meat to become more tender. No matter the reason I have often become frustrated over the MESS it can cause on my counter. I really do not like working with meat all that much . . .

Not long ago I read a comment in a Cooks Illustrated magazine from a reader about the way she had solved the problem. It’s brilliant.

Inside a box of cereal or crackers the product is usually inside a bag. The bag is tuff as nails and hard to open. Turns out they make great bags for pounding meat in. It works like a charm.

· Prepare all meat by trimming and washing if necessary

· Place one piece of meat inside of empty cereal bag

· Fold open edge under or place a small strip of plastic wrap on the edge to seal it

· Pound meat with hammer until the meat is at the desired thickness for your recipe

· Remove it from the bag, set on prepared cutting board or plate and repeat with additional pieces of meat until you have finished them all

The cereal bags that I have used have held up for up to 12 chicken breasts each or more. That is one tuff bag. I have pounded more than I need for the recipe at hand, placed the extras in between butcher paper and then in a freezer zip lock bag and frozen it for later use. It’s a wonderful time saver.

We just don’t really eat much cereal and few if any crackers so my bags are precious (who thought I would ever be saying that!).

If you have any extra bags, send them my way.


  1. What a great tip! When I was in college, I pounded some chicken breasts for chicken cordon bleu. I couldn't figure out why it was all shredded....come to find out, I pounded it with the spiked side instead of the flat side of the mallet....ughh. Live and learn, huh?

  2. What a fabulous tip! We can go through a box of cereal every couple of days so if you want cereal bags, I can definitely hook you up. Although, I'm definitely trying this tip this weekend, so the next bag is mine.

  3. Brilliant!!!!! I can't wait to trip this, since I too am sickened by the mess when pounding out my chicken.

  4. I also hate working with meat and I'm always so scared that the juices are gonna fly everywhere! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. This is brilliant! It should be filed under the "Now why didn't I think of that category?" I pound my chicken in freezer bags, but the cereal bags are just plain "thriftier". This is the ultimate in provident living.

  6. That's exactly how I do it as well. What a coincidence!

  7. Who would have thought! I'm saving my cereal bags from now on.

  8. Great idea! Now I have a reason to start saving those cereal bags. I know someone who eats a lot of fiber cereal. Maybe she'll save hers for me too.

  9. That cereal bag idea is a great one. Now I just have to get myself a little meat mallet. I've been meaning to buy one for some time now.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  10. Oh I love this tip...I have always always hated pounding meat.

    Happy weekend my friend.xoxo

  11. What a great tip. We eat lots of cereal, now I'll save the bags.

  12. I've always used Ziplock bags but sounds like these would be more durable. Great recycling idea.


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