Sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, is a staple in most kitchen cabinets. News to nobody — it has a bunch of awesome uses. This video shows, amongst other things, how baking soda can be used to make meat more tender than any you’ve ever had. There are four other fantastic tips in the video as well.
There’s some solid science behind why baking soda can be used as a meat tenderizer. According to Cooking Science Guy, a lot of what makes a meat tender has to do with its pH levels. “Increasing the pH of meat makes it less acidic and helps it to retain more moisture, which helps meat remain tender.”
Baking soda, which writers at Georgia State University’s hyperphysics department acknowledge “is a weak base,” “liberates carbon dioxide gas” upon contact with an acid.
As Cooking Science Guy notes, tenderness is “dependent on the pH of the meat,” and baking soda helps cooks to alter this level. “Up to a point, the higher the pH of the meat the more tender it will be.”
As shown in the video, baking soda is a burn reliever, too. New Scientist asked a collection of readers how it worked, and they ended up selecting one of the answers as the “winner.”
So, what’s at play here? “The usual method of dealing with burns is to cool the affected skin. Bicarbonate of soda has two key properties which aid this process. One is that the powder forms a paste which holds water in place for a while, allowing it to take heat away from the skin.” New Scientist reader Chris Sugden of London continues, “The second is that bicarbonate of soda dissolves endothermically in water, so the process of dissolving absorbs further heat from the skin.”
There are more uses for baking soda in the clip below, and a ton of great uses that this video doesn’t even cover. We’ve heard of baking soda-water solutions being used to brighten dull wood floors. We’ve even heard of people using it to brush their dog’s teeth!
What do you use baking soda for? Let us know in the comments. When the video’s over, be sure to share these helpful hints with your friends on Facebook!