Baking Soda Changes Chemistry
Using a solution of baking soda and water to tenderize meat works differently than using a brine. Baking soda neutralizes acid and raises the pH level on the surface of the meat, causing the outside of the meat to become more alkaline. This chemical reaction makes it more difficult for the proteins inside the meat to tighten up, and when proteins canít bond together, the meat stays tender when cooked instead of constricting and toughening up.
Baking Soda Solution Works Faster
Tenderizing with a baking soda solution is faster than using a saltwater brine. Meat only has to sit in a baking soda solution for 15 to 20 minutes, but a brine solution can take at least 30 minutes to start working. Plus, letting the meat sit longer in baking soda will not do any harm, whereas over-brining meat can make it stringy and mushy