Ultrahigh pressure (UHP) processing, a new non-thermal food processing technique, has high application potential for meat sterilization and quality improvement. Thus, it has attracted significant attention recently. However, because of several limitations it has not been widely used in the meat industry. This review discusses four aspects of the UHP mechanism: the effects of non-covalent forces, protein structures, cell structures, and water distribution in cells. Furthermore, ongoing applications of UHP and research into the improvement of meat tenderness, water retention, gelation and color, meat sterilization, and frozen meat quality by UHP are summarized. It is concluded that future research should focus on ways to improve the tenderness, water retention, and gelation of meat and meat products by UHP. To promote large-scale UHP application in the meat industry, meat-processing facilities would be required to upgrade their equipment and optimize the efficiency, range, and overall functionality of the UHP process for meat sterilization and quality improvement.