Cooking

Love Me Tender

How to use baking soda to make your meat more tender
Need to Know: Making Meat More Tender
Photo: Tasting Table

Whether you’re grilling or stir-frying, ending up with tender, mouthwatering meat is always the goal. Achieving said texture isn’t always so easy. Here’s a trick for tenderizing meat that you may never have heard before:

Use baking soda to tenderize meat.

This may sound weird, but stay with us. As Cook’s Illustrated explains, baking soda alkalizes the meat’s surface, making it harder for the proteins to bond and thereby keeping the meat tenderer when cooked.

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Here’s what to do with a large piece of meat you might grill or pan-sear.

① Rub the meat with baking soda.

② Let it rest in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 hours.

③ Rinse the meat thoroughly to remove all the baking soda.

④ Cook as desired, then bite into a seriously tender piece of meat.

 

MEDIUM RARE - Anything else is uncivilized.

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Here’s what to do with smaller cuts or slices you might stir-fry.

① Dissolve baking soda in water (for every 12 ounces of meat, use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and ½ cup of water).

② Soak the meat in the solution for at least 15 minutes.

③ Remove and rinse.

④ Cook as desired, then bite into a seriously tender piece of meat.

This technique works particularly well with smaller cuts of meat, since the baking soda has a lot of surface area to penetrate. You can use it with chicken, pork and beef.

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