How we tested
Flattening a pork or chicken cutlet takes a steady hand and the right tool; otherwise, your dinner’s liable to be raggedy around the edges. There are two styles of meat pounders: those with vertical handles and those that are offset-handled (i.e. horizontally oriented). We tested five models, in both styles, priced from about $18 to just under $180. In the main, heavier models (approaching 2 pounds), with larger surface areas and vertical handles offered better leverage and control. Our first choice flattened cutlets quickly and easily with hardly any damage to the meat or our wallets.