How To Tenderize Beef With Baking Soda?

To keep the meat tender, some of our recipes call for the use of baking soda and water. What occurs if you leave the solution on the meat for more than the recommended 15 to 20 minutes?

Baking soda and water raised the pH on the surface of the meat, which makes it more difficult for the proteins to bond excessively, keeping the meat tender and moist when it’s cooked. Our recipes, like our Vietnamese-Style Caramel Chicken with Broccoli, typically Indulge in the culinary art of transforming tough cuts of beef into melt-in-your-mouth masterpieces with the remarkable power of baking soda. This guide will delve into the science behind baking soda’s tenderizing magic, providing step-by-step instructions for both quick and extended marinades. Prepare to elevate your beef dishes to new heights of flavor and tenderness

Wet Brining with Baking Soda to Tenderize Meat
  1. Step 1: Dissolve Baking Soda into water. Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and ½ cup of water for every 12 ounces of meat.
  2. Step 2: Soak meat in solution for at least 15 minutes. …
  3. Step 3: Remove meat and rinse thoroughly. …
  4. Step 4: Cook as desired.

The Science of Baking Soda Tenderization

Baking soda, a common household ingredient, holds the key to unlocking the tenderness of beef. Its secret lies in its ability to raise the pH level on the meat’s surface, initiating a process known as “velveting.” This alkaline environment disrupts the tight bonds between meat proteins, preventing them from contracting and toughening during cooking.

Velveting Method for Quick Tenderization

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda per 1 pound of beef
    • 1/2 cup water
  • Instructions:
    1. Dissolve baking soda in water.
    2. Submerge beef in the solution for 15 minutes.
    3. Remove beef, rinse briefly, and pat dry.
    4. Cook as desired.

Extended Marinade Method for Enhanced Tenderness

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per 1 pound of beef
    • Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and other seasonings as desired
  • Instructions:
    1. Combine baking soda with seasonings in a marinade.
    2. Prick beef all over with a fork to enhance marinade penetration.
    3. Submerge beef in the marinade for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
    4. Remove beef, rinse briefly, and pat dry.
    5. Cook as desired.

Tips for Optimal Results

  • Choose the Right Cut: Baking soda is particularly effective for tough cuts of beef, such as flank steak, top round, and chuck roast.
  • Don’t Overdo It: While baking soda is a powerful tenderizer, excessive use can result in a mushy texture. Stick to the recommended amounts.
  • Rinse Before Cooking: Rinsing the beef after marinating removes excess baking soda, preventing an overly alkaline taste.
  • Cook to Desired Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the beef reaches your preferred level of doneness. Overcooking can negate the tenderizing effects.

How to tenderize larger cuts of meat with baking soda

For large steaks or whole chickens, baking soda is a great alternative because you can leave the meat out for a long time without worrying about overly breaking down the fibers, which can happen when using wet marinades. If you have a few hours for your roast to tenderize or want to prepare it the night before and leave it sit without worrying, baking soda works faster than salt too.

Start by measuring your baking soda. You only need 1% of your meats weight in baking soda to tenderize, so convert your cuts weight to ounces, and then measure out 1% of that in baking soda As an example, one tablespoon of baking soda weighs 0. 6 ounces is sufficient for 60 ounces, or slightly less than four pounds, of meat. Then, just follow these simple steps:

  • Use clean hands to rub the exterior of the meat with the premeasured baking soda.
  • Place your meat in a non-reactive container (such as a zip-top bag or glass bowl) and allow it to rest in the fridge for up to overnight.
  • When ready, take the meat out of the fridge and thoroughly rinse it with water to remove any remaining baking soda. Pat dry.
  • Cook normally using any recipe you would like.

Remembering to wash off the excess baking soda is crucial. It has already done its magic, and anything left over might give your meat a bad flavor.

How to tenderize smaller cuts of meat with baking soda

Because there is more exposed surface area on smaller cuts of meat, baking soda works well with them as well. This method is well-liked in Asian stir-fries because it uses a procedure called velveting to soften thin strips of meat. Making a slurry for a brief marinade before cooking is known as velveting, and it involves the use of either baking soda or cornstarch. Instead of using water, you can also combine baking soda with marinade ingredients like soy sauce to flavor and tenderize the meat.

You’ll need one teaspoon of baking soda for 12 ounces of sliced meat, such as chicken or beef. Just 14 teaspoon will do if you’re cooking very small pieces, like ground beef. You can reduce the amount of baking soda by half if you intend to marinate the meat also with other ingredients that tenderize, such as citrus juice or soy sauce. Then, follow these directions:

  • For every 12 ounces of meat, prepare a slurry by combining 12 cup of water or marinating liquid with your baking soda.
  • Mix your meat pieces with the slurry, then place them in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Up to 45 minutes is fine if you need.
  • Remove meat from the slurry, wash off, and pat dry.
  • Cook as called for in your recipe.

Baking soda can be your ticket to the most tender meat of your life, whether it’s small strips or a whole steak.

Make the Toughest Meat Tender! Easy, quick and very delicious!


How long can you tenderize beef with baking soda?

THE VERDICT: A baking soda treatment can be effective for fifteen minutes, but if your dinner preparation is interrupted, don’t worry if you need to extend that time a little. When cooking meat, a 15-minute (or slightly longer) soak in a solution of water and baking soda keeps the meat tender and moist.

How do you get the taste of baking soda out of beef?

Add a small amount of an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to balance the soda. Simply incorporate half a teaspoon of cocoa powder into the recipe if it calls for chocolate. Additionally, buttermilk can be used to mask the unpleasant flavor of baking soda.

How do Chinese make their meat so tender?

A brine solution can start working after at least 30 minutes, whereas meat only needs to soak in a baking soda solution for 15 to 20 minutes. Additionally, leaving the meat in the baking soda for a longer period of time won’t harm it, in contrast to over-brining, which can turn the meat stringy and mushy.

Can I use baking soda to tenderize other types of meat?

Yes, baking soda can be used to tenderize chicken, pork, and lamb. Adjust the marinating time and amount of baking soda based on the type and weight of the meat.

How long can I marinate beef in a baking soda solution?

For the quick velveting method, 15 minutes is sufficient. For extended marinades, refrigerate the beef for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.

Does baking soda affect the flavor of the meat?

When used in moderation, baking soda does not significantly alter the flavor of the meat. However, if too much baking soda is used or the meat is over-marinated, it can impart a slightly alkaline taste.

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