Food - Drink
Why Soda Works So Well As A Meat Marinade
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson first brought soda-based meat marinades to a widespread western audience in 2001, when she cooked a mild-cured ham in Coca-Cola and encouraged fans to give it a try. It turns out Nigella had the right idea, because years later, we have a much better understanding of the virtues of soda marinades.
The reason soda works well as a marinade is because most sodas contain phosphoric acid, a chemical that not only acts a preservative, but can also break down proteins and connective tissues in meats. Just make sure not to marinate meat in soda for over eight hours, to avoid ending up with a mushier consistency.
It’s also important to note that soda marinades taste much better when you add other ingredients, such as soy sauce, vinegar, or bourbon, for more complexity. Two great sodas for trying this technique are root beer, which has complex flavors of anise and sassafras, and 7-Up, which is popular on grilled chicken in the Philippines.