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Japanese Cooking TIPS & HACKS: Brine The Meat In The Baking Powder Solution

How To Brine Meat Before Cooking With Baking Powder Without Salty Food & Recipes

I rarely have dried and chewy meat in my dishes since I use baking powder solution to brine the meat.

Doesn’t the old-fashioned brine way bother you to weigh the meat, find out how much salt will be needed, and how long the meat needs to be brined?

In my way, there is no need to weigh the meat, just need enough water to cover the meat, a couple of spoons of baking powder, and a little salt.

Today, dive into why baking powder can tenderize the meat and my brine recipe for everyday cuts of meat and holiday meals.

WHY DO I USE BAKING POWDER, NOT BAKING SODA

Simply, the meat will taste funky and bitter!

The Japanese often use baking soda in any situation from cooking to cleaning, so I researched if there was a way to use it as tendering meat.

I combined the wet brine with baking soda and the classic salt brining, and better result!

The chicken breast at that time came out tender and moist!

However, one issue was disappointed with the unique (unpleasant) bitter taste of baking soda that had penetrated the meat!

So, I got the idea to use “baking powder” instead of baking soda!

It was successful- super-tender and moist meat without an unpleasant bitter taste!

Why Baking Powder Can Tenderize Meat?

You can skip here if you want to keep away the cooking science from you.

Meat has the property of improving water-holding capacity by acidity and alkalinity levels.

Sodium bicarbonate contained in baking soda (powder) acts on the meat protein to tender.

It is even more effective when used in combination with water!

For example, white meat easily becomes dry when it is cooked since the part is made up of muscles (fibers).

Sodium bicarbonate expands fibers and makes room for moisture.

Therefore, the white meat will be tender and moist with both action of Sodium bicarbonate-tenderizing and moisturizing.

Don’t Be So Meticulous About The Ratio

FOR 1-QUART OF WATER, ADD 2 TBSP OF BAKING POWDER AND 1 TBSP OF SALT (2/3 TBSP OF NATURAL SALT), UP TO 4 lb MEAT.

If the water is not enough to cover the meat since it changes depending on the size and shape of the meat and the types of container, so go ahead and add water.

You don’t need to add the extra baking powder or salt.

I usually use the basic ratio for up to 4 pounds of meat, and the double recipe for anything over that.

Add 1 tbsp of baking soda only when you add more than double the water from the recipe or want to marinate the meat weighing more than 4 lb but less than a whole turkey.

How Long To Brine Meat With Baking Powder Solution

You don’t need to worry about the brining time so much since the salt concentration is low in this baking powder solution.

In my experience (or maybe I just was lucky,), I have never gotten the salty meat even after 48 hours.

Anyway, technically, how long should you bring the meat?

You’ll be fine to remember to brine the meat overnight (8-12 hours) ideally for common-sized meat.

For a small batch of meat or chopped/sliced the meat can be ready for 2-4 hours brining. (but, the brine time is longer is better.)

For a lump of big meat like a whole/half turkey, brine the meat between 24 hours to 48 hours.

Only when using this method on beef steaks, you may want to consider the brining time since it can over-tenderize them if you like the “meaty” texture.

Do You Need To Rinse The Brined Meat?

It is not necessary to rinse off the solution.

According to USDA, rinsing raw meat is not recommended. (*1)

This does not help get rid of all the bacteria. It also causes bacteria to spread to the sink and other surfaces.

However, you can tap dry if desired.

General Safety Tips For Brining The Meat

Follow these important food safety tips.

  • To avoid bacteria, always brine the meat in the fridge.
  • Make sure all meat is fully soaked in the solution.
  • Do not brine any longer than 48 hours.
  • Do not reuse the brine
How To Brine Meat Before Cooking With Baking Powder Without Salty

Japanese Cooking Hacks From My Kitchen: Brine The Meat In The Baking Powder Solution

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
LEARN HOW TO USE BAKING POWDER TO BRINE MEAT (NEVER GET SALTY)! Why baking powder can tenderize meat? Using baking powder can bring meat not only tender but also moist and juicy. It's the easy brine for chicken, turkey, pork, and maybe beef. (If you like meaty texture, I don't recommend brine beef steak🥩)Thankfully, I never have the terrible dry, tasteless, rubbery chicken (breast), turkey, and pork chops, since I use my secret brine with baking powder.
Prep Time 5 minutes
The Brining Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day

Ingredients  

  • 1 quart water (*1 L)
  • 2 tbsp Baking Powder *not baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Salt *⅔ tbsp of natural salt

Instructions 

  • Dissolve salt in the boiled water if needed.
    *Boiled water is not on the list. Use ½ cup or less boiled water to dissolve the salt. You can skip this step.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add water and salt, and mix well until the salt is dissolved.
  • Add baking powder, mix them well.
  • Let the solution cool down if needed when using boiled water to dissolve the salt.

How To Brine The Meat

  • Pierce the meat on both sides as much as you can with a fork.
  • Soak the meat in the baking powder solution. If the water is not enough to cover the meat, add water without adding extra baking powder and salt.
  • Brine the meat for 8-24 hours while flipping the ingredients occasionally. (You can reduce the bringing time down to 4 hours if you use a small portion or small chunks.)
  • Rinsing off the baking powder solution is not really necessary. Wipe off the solution with kitchen paper before use if desired.

Video

Notes

*Edited on January 2022.
©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Beef, Chicken, Easy, marinade, meat, Pork, Tips & Hack

WHAT YOU CAN MAKE WITH TENDER MEAT

Personally, I like use baking powder solution for CHICKEN BREAST & PORK LOIN.

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