Meat is a diet that provides its consumers with high-quality protein, as well as other nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, and zinc. As such, it is a nutrient-dense food that is essential for the growth, excellent health, and well-being of the consumer. But to reap all the nutritional benefits of this delicacy, you will need to cook it so it is soft and has a mouthwatering flavor.
And to achieve this goal, you will need to make the meat tender. In this recipe, we’re going to look at how to make meat tender using an ordinary ingredient – sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). So, be sure to read on for more information on the baking soda meat tenderizer America’s test kitchen technique.
How does baking soda work to tenderize meat?
Before we proceed any further, we should spare a few seconds to understand how baking soda works in this case. Baking soda alkalizes the surface of the meat by raising its pH value. When the pH value of the meat’s surface is raised, the charges on protein molecules will be altered.
To be more specific, the baking soda solution will create more negative charges on the protein molecules. There will then be repulsion between the protein molecules, and this prevents them from bonding. As a result, the meat will be tender during and after the cooking period. You will then have soft and tender meat for a meal. Of course, you have another alternative for tenderizing the meat, and that alternative is called velveting. See the details below for more information!
Tenderizing meat with baking soda
For larger beef cuts that you may intend to grill or pan-sear, you should do the following:
- Rub the entire meat’s surface with baking soda.
- Put the meat in a refrigerator and let it sit there for 3-5 hours.
- Rinse the meat’s surface with plenty of running water until no more baking soda is left.
- Cook the large beef cut using your desired method and serve!
For smaller beef cuts or slices that you might intend to stir-fry, you can follow the steps below:
- Make a baking soda solution. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to ½ a cup of water for every 12 ounces of beef cut.
- Soak the meat in the baking soda solution for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the meat and rinse it with plenty of water until no more traces baking soda solution is left on the surfaces.
- Cook the meat cuts using your desired methods and have a tasty and tender bite!
Important takeaways when cooking beef
1. If you’re intending to stir-fry your beef, you should cut it into bite-size portions. Flank beef could be the best for the stir-fry cooking technique for a few reasons. First, it is inexpensive and has a deep beefy flavor. Second, it is easy to cut into bite-size portions or pieces.
2. You can velvet the beef if you want Chinese Restaurant results. Velveting flank beef can yield stir-fry results that make the beef tender and supple. And to do this, you can start by placing the beef in a mixture of cornstarch, egg whites, and seasoning. Then you will allow the beef cuts to rest for about an hour. Velveting might be harder to pull off in a home kitchen.
Usually, it leaves the kitchen space messy. But you still have another option of making your beef cuts tender: tossing the beef cuts in a solution of baking soda and water. We have already covered this bit and you can use the baking soda meat tenderizer America’s test kitchen technique in this recipe. So, doing it should not be much of a challenge.
3. You can add soy sauce to the beef cuts for a rich flavor. One thing America’s test kitchen has done is to test the soy sauce. And we have found out that it is full of glutamates that builds a rich flavor in foods. What this means is that your beef cuts for stir-fry will be flavorful and have a mouthwatering taste if you add some soy sauce to them.
4. If you’re looking to make scallion pancakes, you should use boiling water. There is a good reason why you should use boiling water instead of cold water. But before we state the reason, you need to know that you will need only four ingredients here: flour, water, oil, and scallions. Now, let’s state the reason.
Okay. So, boiling water will cause the starch granules in the dough to swell after absorbing much water. This will leave the proteins in the dough with less water. And this is good since the protein will not be very sticky. Also, boiling water will straighten out some of the coils in the dough thus reducing the tendency to snap back when you’re rolling the dough out.
When cooking meat, making it tender, and mouthwatering tasteful is always the goal. And this is very useful when intending to cooking it using the stir-fry technique. But to make the meat tender, you will need just a little trick and know how to pull that trick off.
Luckily, we have already gone through the trick, and this will make sure that you can tenderize your meat without using fancy kitchen supplies. Just by using a baking soda solution, you can achieve a restaurant-level meat tenderness that will make your dinner worth remembering.
We have also included an alternative to using a baking soda solution to make beef cuts tender. Be sure to check it out. But we find that using baking soda is easier and that is why we are recommending it.
But if you don’t mind doing any hard task, you can be sure to use the velveting technique to tenderize your beef cuts. With the use of a baking soda solution, you can tenderize larger beef cuts as well as smaller ones. So, be sure to give everyone at your dinner table some tender and tasteful beef steaks.