The Complete Guide to Using Baking Soda for Meat Tenderizing

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If you’re on a culinary journey, the versatility of common household ingredients such as baking soda might amaze you. This white pantry staple, with its broad application in cleaning, oral care, and baking hides a secret talent. Believe it or not, baking soda is an excellent meat tenderizer. Let’s discuss the how and why of tenderizing your meat with baking soda.

baking soda on meat to tenderize
The Complete Guide to Using Baking Soda for Meat Tenderizing

Why Should You Tenderize Your Meat?

Firstly, you might wonder – why bother tenderizing meat? Well, tenderizing significantly enhances your gastronomic experience. When you break down the muscle fibers in the meat, it becomes easier to cut and chew. But, it’s not just about chewability. The process allows flavor-carrying juices to release easily, leading to a juicier and more flavorful bite. My discovery of the benefits of baking soda on meat at the Boat Basin Cafe Down Town in New York marked a revolutionary moment in my culinary journey.

The Secret Technique: What is Velveting Meat?

Velveting, as the name suggests, aims to achieve a velvet-like tenderness in the meat. This secret culinary technique involves our star ingredient: baking soda. This method is a popular technique in Asian cuisine often used to tenderize lean cuts of beef for stir-fry.

Its effectiveness lies in baking soda’s alkalinity, which influences the meat proteins in a way that retains moisture, resulting in the desired tenderness.

Baking Soda Meat Tenderizing Techniques

Cleanse with Baking Soda

In this guide, we will discuss two significant methods of tenderizing meat using a baking soda meat marinade recipe. Both techniques bestow their unique charm onto the meat under different circumstances.

The Time-Efficient Dry Brining

Dry brining is the faster method. The quick and easy baking soda meat tenderizing technique consists of applying the baking soda directly to the meat.

The Complete Dry Brining Process

Follow these simple steps to tenderize your steak or chicken cutlets through dry brining:

  1. Measure a baking soda meat tenderizer ratio of one teaspoon per pound of meat.
  2. Rub it thoroughly, ensuring even coating. Let the meat sit for 15-20 minutes. This waiting period allows baking soda to break down the tough meat fibers effectively.
  3. Remember to clean the meat thoroughly after to avoid any residual baking soda, which could bring an unwanted flavor.

Understanding Wet Brining with Baking Soda

Wet brining involves marinating the meat in a baking soda solution for several hours or overnight. While being more time-consuming, the wet brine method flaunts fantastic results for tougher cuts of meat.

Detailed Wet Brining Instructions

Let’s run down the simple process:

  1. Create your brine with a baking soda meat tenderizer ratio of one tablespoon per cup of water.
  2. Let your meat take a swim in this alkaline solution for several hours or overnight to let the process work its magic.
  3. Rinse your marinated meat under cool water to wash away any excess baking soda on the meat surface.

Why Opt for Baking Soda Over Saltwater Brine?

Why would you choose baking soda over saltwater brine? The answer is simple: it’s a question of time. Baking soda vs. saltwater brine, this quick and easy baking soda meat tenderizing technique not only speeds up the tenderizing process but also adds a depth to the flavor that traditional saltwater brine rarely achieves.

Unveiling More Baking Soda Meat Experiments

Apart from bringing traditional beef and chicken to life, baking soda can put a zing into other adventurous meats. Whether it’s a chicken gizzard recipe or tenderizing deer meat, you can certainly trust baking soda to play its part to perfection.

The Complete Guide to Using Baking Soda for Meat Tenderizing 1
Tenderizing Chicken Gizzards

Tenderizing Chicken Gizzards

Gizzards, owing to their tough nature, benefit greatly from a good tenderizing session using the wet brine method. Applying the same principles of an even coating of the baking soda solution and a thorough rinse afterwards will leave you with a well-tenderized gizzard, a real treat for the adventurous foodie!

Venison Worth Remembering

As we tread into game meats territory, particularly deer meat, baking soda continues to serve us well. From marinating big roasts to preparing venison jerky, baking soda can take the toughness and gamey flavor out of venison and turn it into a memorable meal.

The Versatility of Baking Soda In The Kitchen

The many roles of baking soda stretch beyond meat tenderizing tips. A small amount of baking soda can prevent your ground beef from drying out when preparing hamburgers or meatballs. The receptor-enhancing alkaline environment it creates betters browning and hastens the Maillard reaction, a fancy term that explains the favorable flavor during cooking.

From chicken cutlets to deer meat, the secret weapon hiding in plain sight in your pantry is baking soda. Increase your kitchen creativity by experimenting with baking soda in various dishes, and you’ll discover it truly is “culinary’s best-kept secret.” So the next time you’re wondering how to tenderize meat with baking soda for succulent results, remember this guide!


  1. How to Tenderize Meats Like a Pro
  2. Clever Uses for Baking Soda in the Kitchen
  3. Baking Soda Vs. Baking Powder
  4. Meat Tenderizing Techniques
  5. Wet Brining Vs. Dry Brining
  6. Secrets of Velveting Chicken
  7. Game Meat Recipes

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