Transform inexpensive steak from tough to tender

give your steak a coke

We weren't allowed to drink soda as kids so when coke showed up in the fridge it could mean only one thing - we were going to the lake for the week-end and grilled steak would be on the menu.  It was a neat trick that my Momma got from her Momma and now I'm giving it to you:  Coke can transform inexpensive cuts of meat into tender affordable steaks ready for the grill.  Yea, that 2-liter bottle of coke that you can buy for under $2.  Added bonus if you're calorie conscious:  a 4 oz serving of skirt steak has about 60 calories less than a 4 oz serving of ribeye.   And, if you're watching your wallet as well as your waistline:  we're talking about an average of $6 a lb cost difference.
The "science" behind this hack is pretty simple.  The soft drink contains acids (CO2+H20=H2CO3) and sugar.  The acids tenderize the meat during the marinating process, and the sugars help caramelize the meat under the heat of the cooking process.
I don't like getting "fancy" with my steaks (I save that for desserts) so I don't add any extra spices to the coke marinade.  But, you can add any spices you prefer- or even barbecue sauce and it won't change the tenderization process.  For my fellow "Keep It Simple" folks, just submerge the meat in a glass bowl or other container filled with coke, allow to marinate in the fridge for a few hours to overnight and transfer to the grill.  Then salt and pepper to taste.  Easy breezy, the way summer cooking should be - without breaking your budget.

15 thoughts on “Transform inexpensive steak from tough to tender

    1. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised…I once grilled 103 (I’ll never forget that number or night) steaks – every single one of them marinated in coke!

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