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How To Brine Meat Before Cooking With Baking Powder Without Salty; Japanese Cooking Hacks From My Kitchen

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

Thankfully, I never have the happening like the terrible dry, tasteless, rubbery chicken (breast), turkey, and pork chops, since I use my secret brine with baking powder.

Surely, you have ever brine the meat in your way to make tender meat.

Yet, have you ever been bothered by measuring meat, calculating saltwater concentration, and getting salty dishes when missed the brining time?

I really want to share how I brine the meat in my secret way, which you don’t have to worry about any measure meant and you never get salty meat for dinner.

You will need baking soda, salt, and water. In my way, brining meat should be from 8 hours to overnight. Besides, it will be done for 4 hours with a small portion or thinly sliced meat.

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

How I Found Using Baking Powder In The Brine

Since it is not so common to cook a whole chicken in Japan, I didn’t know “brining” to tenderize meat in my cooking life until I learned to cook it!

I tried to brine meat a few times, but I was not happy about the measuring process and results.

The Japanese often use baking soda in any situation from cooking to cleaning, so I started to research there was a way to tender meat using it.

I found the wet brine with baking soda and expected a better result!

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

However, it was not satisfied me moreover, I was disappointed with the unique (unpleasant) bitter taste of baking soda that had transferred to the meat!

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

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

Why Baking Powder Can Tenderize Meat?

Simply, make use of the power of food science, you can easily get the best chicken breast, turkey, a monster pork chop!

So, you can skip here if you want to keep away the 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, the 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.

How Long To Brine Meat With Baking Powder Solution

In my way, you don’t worry about a general brine time rule because my brine doesn’t have the salt concentration as the regular brine. (my brine is 1.5% and the general brine is seemed to be 5-10%.)

I mean, I have never gotten the meat salty even it brined for 48 hours.

Also, the great point of using baking powder instead of baking powder is that the meat will not be bitter even after the 24-hour brine.

So, how long should you brine the meat?

Basically, leaving the meat overnight (8-24 hours) is an easy rule to remember.

Besides, you can finish brining the small portion of meat or thinly sliced meat for 4 hours.

Pro-tip; pierce the meat when you want to get a quicker result before brining.

However, you don’t want to leave a beefsteak in the brine for hours since the baking soda can break down proteins too much.

From the point of view of the texture, you may need to adjust the brining time or may want to find other ways to tenderize meat. (Here’s my Japanese tips to tenderize meat in this post.)

Contrary, I brine a half-turkey for 48 hours and it never gets salty.

My Secret Brine Recipe With Baking Powder

The basic ratio for my special brine with baking powder is 2 tbsp of baking powder and 1 tbsp of salt to 1-quart water.

Make sure to fully dissolve the salt in the water so I recommend doing using boiled water before mixing up other ingredients.

My apology for my saying “fully”, you may be not able to see fully dissolved salt when especially using natural kosher salt.

I am not so picky about it because the baking powder will not be fully dissolved anyway.

So, I change the position of meat occasionally while brining.

  1. Dissolve salt in boiled water.
  2. Mix baking powder and cold water.
  3. Combine saltwater and the baking powder solution. (*watch out the baking powder sometimes react actively by the warm salt water…which means it can make a mess. )
  4. If you need to use the brine immediately, add ice to cool it down.


marinate meat with baking powder

Brine Meat With Baking Powder

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.


  • 1 quart water *As a guide
  • 2 tbsp baking POWDER
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • hot water for dissolving salt


  • Dissolve salt in the hot water.
  • Combine water, baking powder, and salt water.
  • Let the solution cool down if needed.
  • Brine the meat for 8-24 hours. Brine the meat for 8-24 hours. (You can brine a small portion or sliced meat for 4 hours)
  • Wipe off excess moisture with kitchen paper.
  • *Baking powder will not change the meat flavor like baking soda but you can rinse the meat if desired.
  • Watch my cooking video!


*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

Don’t Be So Meticulous About The Ratio

Please relax your body and mind, release muscle tension on your shoulders about the ratio of the brain and the meat weight.

If the brine doesn’t have enough level to cover the meat, you can add water.

I normally use the basic brain for up to 2lb of meat and double recipe for over than it.

Be Careful Of The Amount Of Salt

I just say you don’t need to be meticulous to use my secret brine with baking powder, but, I want you to care about the amount of salt.

Particularly, you can reduce the amount of salt when using natural mineral salt.

I use Himalayan pink salt and generally use 3/4 tbsp.

Do You Need To Rinse The Brined Meat?

Using my secret brine with baking powder is not required to rinse off.

Repeatedly, the baking powder is tasteless and is not salty.

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

Learn How To Make Baking Powder Brine In 5 MIN

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