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Baking Soda & Baking Powder

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  • texastweeter
    replied
    I use kenji technique with baking powder on vortex wings and get shatteringly crisp skin.

    Leave a comment:


  • holehogg
    replied
    Appreciate all the above info.
    Regards adding baking soda to ground beef, would there be any advantage or disadvantage if added when making burger patties?

    Leave a comment:


  • Stuey1515
    replied
    Interesting article, not sure where I picked it up, baking powder is a staple for wings in our house.
    Dry brine them in plenty of it, i.e. 4 tbsp/kg wings mixed through well, stand for 4 hrs in the fridge.
    A blind tasting test had these wings a much better flavour than without, according to my lot.
    No idea about the science but all four taste testers agreed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rob Johnston
    replied
    Wow! Very informative. Thank you for this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Willy
    replied
    Quick note on a typo—second sentence under "velveting" …mixture OF egg white…

    Leave a comment:


  • Meathead
    started a topic Baking Soda & Baking Powder

    Baking Soda & Baking Powder

    Baking soda and baking powder are common ingredients in baked goods, and they also have an interesting role to play in cooking meat. Many people think they tenderize the meat but it is probably the rough handling that chefs give the meat when treating it with baking soda or baking powder as well as their ability to help retain water that makes the meat seem more tender.

    In baked goods. Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, (a.k.a. bicarbonate of soda), NaHCO3, an antacid, and when it is mixed with an acid like buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, or lemon juice, it rapidly releases CO2 gas. It is commonly used as a leavening in baked goods to help them rise and reduce density. It also improves browning and weakens gluten bonds so cookies will spread out.

    Baking powder has sodium bicarbonate but it also has a powdered acid, usually cream of tartar, which is a byproduct of winemaking (that’s what’s in the crystals stuck to the underside of the cork). To activate, all it needs is a water-based liquid like water or milk. No acid needed. It starts belching CO2 as soon as the water hits it and produces more when it is heated in the oven. That’s why most baking powder is labeled "double-acting."

    Because the acidity of a baked goods recipe can vary significantly, you often need both baking powder and baking soda to get the right texture and flavor. But you have to be careful: They can be quite bitter if you use too much. And baking soda can neutralize the zing that comes from buttermilk and yogurt. This is where baking recipe developers earn their keep, figuring out how much of each to use.

    On meat
    When applied to meat, baking soda alters the acidity of the surface, the structure of the proteins, and in it’s water retention. It’s all about pH. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is alkaline or basic. Fresh meat is usually slightly acidic, a bit under 6. Remember, baking soda is an antacid. It reduces acidity of the surface of the meat raising the pH above 7. It creates negative charges to the protein molecules which then repel each other and refuse to bond.

    The increased pH makes it harder for the proteins to bond to each other and that helps prevent meat from getting tough.
    Of course Chinese chefs discovered this long ago and that is one of the reasons the meats of Chinese stir fried dishes are so tender and slippery in texture. They often take bite sized cuts and treat them with baking soda mixed with water. To enhance the process they abuse the meat rubbing it in, squeezing it, throwing it into a bowl.

    Baking soda works fast, in as little as 15 minutes, while enzymatic tenderizers can take hours. But it works only on the surface of the meat. It can’t penetrate. But all that rubbing and pounding can drive it into the tiny cracks and pores in the surface.

    On small pieces of meat
    This works best on thin sliced meats, 1/2-inch or less, without skin or surface fat, and even shrimp. After 15 minutes any excess must be rinsed off the surface or it can make the meat bitter. Then you need to pat the surface dry. And if you use it in combination with salt, cut back a bit on the salt because there is sodium in sodium bicarbonate. Here’s the method:
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 tablespoons water
    1 pound meat, surface fat removed completely, cut into 1/2-inch slices or less

    Mix the baking soda and water and then mix it with the meat. Coat it thoroughly and work the meat roughly with your hands, massaging it in, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes, but an hour or two is better. Then rinse off the excess with plenty of cool water and pat the meat dry. You can now cook it. The results are obvious. It works on most meats, even ground beef. For more on this, get Kenji Lopez-Alt's new book, Wok.

    On steaks, chops, poultry parts
    You can apply baking soda to larger cuts like steaks, chops, and chicken parts, even to skins, but the effect is less obvious since it cannot penetrate. I asked the famous food scientist, Harold McGee, and he said "Just like salt and acid, baking soda takes time to diffuse into meat tissue from the surface, days for thicker cuts. But because it's the outer portions that tend to get overcooked, incomplete diffusion can still be helpful. Penetration will be quicker with a water solution than with direct sprinkling. But I don't like the flavors you get with alkaline ingredients and find that the texture improvements are marginal. So I'm not a fan." Here’s the method:

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    6 ounces water
    1 square foot of surface

    Work it in vigorously and after a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 2 hours, rinse it thoroughly in cold water.

    On ground meats
    For ground meats here’s the recipe:
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    12 ounces of ground meat

    Just sprinkle it on the raw meat and work it vigorously with your hands. Do not rinse. Now cook in a pan. You will notice much less water in the pan and a distinct improvement in tenderness.

    Velveting
    Another technique Chinese chefs use to improve tenderness and water retention is called velveting. Meat is marinated in a mixture of egg-white, cornstarch, and water. Combined they produce a protective layer around the meat that absorbs moisture and protects it from concentrated energy. Baking soda is often added too. Here’s the method recommended by Kenji López-Alt:

    1 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
    4 teaspoons water, wine, broth, sake, or soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 large egg white
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 pound low fat meat such as chicken breast or pork loin, sliced

    Mix all the ingredients except the meat in a bowl with a whisk or fork. If you use soy sauce, leave out the salt. Place the meat in a bowl and cover it with cold water. Agitate it for about 30 seconds, then drain it and squeeze it to remove excess water. Add the meat to the marinade, stir well and then refrigerate for 15 minutes to 4 hours. Drain and pat the meat dry, and then dip it in hot oil for about 30 seconds. The meat is now ready for stir fry or grilling. If you don’t want to use oil, you can do it with boiling water. The results are not quite as good, but still an improvement.

    Baking powder on skins
    Baking powder can be used on poultry and pork skins. The CO2 gas helps make thin blisters which make more surface area that crisp especially when baked in an oven like a grill. The process needs more time than baking powder. For this recipe inspired by one by Kenji López-Alt, we add salt for dry brining.

    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
    1 pound chicken wings
    1 pounds other chicken parts

    Mix the baking powder and salt. Sprinkle it on the meat and try to coat the skins well. Space the meat on a wire rack over a pan in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours. Bake in the indirect zone at a minimum of 325°F or higher until the thick parts of the drumette reach 160°F.
    Last edited by Meathead; June 29, 2022, 08:55 AM.

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