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Always-Tender London Broil


By sanjayPublished about a year ago 4 min read

2–4 servings



garlic cloves, thinly sliced


cup extra-virgin olive oil


Tbsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar


Tbsp. soy sauce


Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper


tsp. baking soda


1½–2 lb. London broil



Tbsp. vegetable oil

Kosher salt


Tbsp. unsalted butter

Flaky sea salt



Step 1

Whisk together 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. good-quality balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl or baking dish; season with freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in ¾ tsp. baking soda (don’t worry if marinade fizzes; that’s the baking soda working).

Step 2

Prick one 1½–2 lb. London broil all over with a fork and add to marinade; turn to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour or cover and chill up to 12 hours.


Step 3

Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl, and pat dry with paper towels; reserve marinade. Season steak generously with kosher salt and cook, turning once, until deeply browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125° for medium-rare, 8–12 minutes. Using tongs, stand steak on its sides and cook until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, transfer reserved marinade to a small saucepan, add ⅓ cup water, and bring to a boil (mixture will foam up). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid overflow, until foaming subsides, about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter and whisk vigorously to emulsify sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Step 5

Thinly slice steak against the grain and arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

The Key to Tender Meat: Baking Soda

Cooking meat can be a tricky task, especially when trying to achieve a juicy and tender texture. There are many methods and techniques to tenderize meat, but one of the most surprising and effective ways is using baking soda.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a basic substance commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. However, it also has a unique property that makes it an excellent meat tenderizer: its ability to break down proteins.

When baking soda is added to meat, it reacts with the meat's proteins and creates a chemical reaction that breaks down the proteins. This reaction results in the meat becoming more tender and juicy. The exact science behind this process is known as the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that creates new compounds that are responsible for the desirable flavors and textures in cooked meats.

One of the most significant benefits of using baking soda as a meat tenderizer is that it works quickly. Unlike other methods, such as marinating or slow cooking, which can take hours or even days, the reaction caused by baking soda occurs almost instantly. This means that you can achieve tender meat in a matter of minutes, making it an excellent option for those who are short on time but still want to cook delicious and juicy meat.

Another advantage of using baking soda is that it is a natural and safe ingredient that is easily accessible and affordable. Unlike some other meat tenderizers, which contain chemical additives, baking soda is a pure and natural substance that poses no health risks. Additionally, it is much more cost-effective than other meat tenderizing methods, making it an accessible option for anyone, regardless of their budget.

The use of baking soda as a meat tenderizer is incredibly straightforward. All you need to do is mix a small amount of baking soda with water and then rub it into the meat. The amount of baking soda and water you use will depend on the size of the meat, but typically, a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda to one tablespoon of water is enough. It's essential to be careful not to overuse baking soda, as it can result in a bitter taste if used in excessive amounts.

Once the baking soda and water mixture is applied to the meat, it should be left to sit for about 15 minutes. During this time, the baking soda will react with the meat's proteins, tenderizing the meat and making it juicy. After the 15 minutes have passed, the meat should be rinsed thoroughly with water to remove any remaining baking soda. It is then ready to be cooked using your preferred method.

One thing to keep in mind when using baking soda as a meat tenderizer is that it can affect the taste of the meat. While the reaction created by the baking soda does result in a more tender and juicy meat, it can also lead to a slightly altered taste. This is because baking soda is a basic substance, and when it reacts with the meat's proteins, it can alter the natural flavor of the meat. However, this effect is typically minimal, and most people find that the benefits of using baking soda as a tenderizer far outweigh any potential flavor changes.

In conclusion, baking soda is an excellent and effective option for tenderizing meat. Its fast-acting properties, affordability, and natural ingredients make it an accessible and safe option for anyone looking to achieve juicy and tender meat. Whether you are short on time or looking for a more affordable alternative to traditional meat tenderizing methods, baking soda is an excellent option to consider.

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