After testing the viral meat smasher from TikTok, I’m left wondering how much ground meat some of y’all are making that you need a tool only for breaking up ground meat. I’m imagining households where every night is white people taco night.
At least once per week, my wife and I have what we call “turkey bowls.” Basically it’s spicy ground turkey in a bowl with air fried veggies. Easy, simple, healthy weeknight dinner.
But even having at least one night a week with ground meat, I just don’t get this meat masher thing. Is it really that hard to use a wooden spoon? Before I go any further, this is the meat chopper I’m talking about.
A thing for mashing meat and for mashing meat only.
Credit: Screenshot: amazon
This thing, somehow, is absolutely all over TikTok, a community that loves a good hack. People all over the app have been wearing how much easier it is.
People claim to love it.
Credit: Screenshot: Tiktok / @mcnick90
I set out to test the meat chopper because, who knows, maybe it would make turkey bowl night even easier. Here’s the TL;DR: Sure, the tool chops up meat, but not so much better than a spoon that you need to buy it.
When I first got my hands on a chopper — I opted for the $9.99 Farberware version(opens in a new tab), but many others exist — I was surprised by its heft. The thick plastic on the business-end was heavy, which, indeed, is helpful for breaking up meat.
I used it a few times over a few weeks. Here I am breaking up some ground beef, which I felt was the real test since that’s how so much of TikTok used it. (It’s a perfect shot of my arm blocking the frame, I know.)
The takeaway from my tests? The meat chopper works. But it’s not so good to make you think holy crap it saved me so much time and effort. It’s maybe like 10 to 15 percent more effective than a simple wooden spoon. Also on the plus side: it’s easy to wash, heat resistant, and dishwasher safe.
The meat masher is good at smashing meat but it’s not life changing.
But you know what a wooden spoon can do? Stir, mix, scrape, and, yes, also break up meat. The meat chopper is a single-use kitchen tool. You could try to use it to mix or stir but it’s frankly quite awkward. Not matter what, you’re going to end up dirtying a wooden spoon, or some other utensil, to get the meat out of the pan.
My general belief on any single-use kitchen tool is that it better be amazing at that one job. The meat masher is good at smashing meat but it’s not life changing.
Perhaps my opinion is colored by living in NYC with limited kitchen storage, where multi-use tools are a godsend. But even if you have unlimited storage, I don’t think it’s helpful to buy tool that’s just above average at one job. Sure, the smasher only costs ten bucks but ten bucks is still, you know, ten bucks. If you found $10 on the street, you’d be pretty psyched.
Now, if you’re meal prepping ground meats every week, or you’ve got kids who insist on countless taco nights, or there is some other reason you make a ton of ground meats, then I could see the chopper being a reasonable purchase. Over time, I think it’s somewhat increased efficiency would be worth the cost in dollars and storage space.
As for me, I think turkey bowl night will be returning to its classic wooden spoon ways.