Soda and sweet liquids are commonly used to tenderize and flavor pork because the sugar draws out moisture from the meat. The naturally sweet and savory taste of pork is also complemented by the sugar. Sodas such as Coke can be used to tenderize meat regardless of your cooking method, and you don’t need to alter the cooking times.
Baking Dish Method
Place the pork in a baking dish large enough to hold the meat without stacking pieces on top of each other, leaving a small gap between each piece.
Pour enough Coke over the top of the meat to cover it by 2 inches.
Cover the baking dish with a tight-fitting top and place the meat in the refrigerator.
Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or overnight before cooking it.
Flavor Injector Method
Fill a flavor injector with Coke, removing the needle by unscrewing it before filling.
Push the needle of the flavor injector into the center of the piece of pork and push down on the plunger. For pork chops, use about 2 tbsp. For small pieces of meat, use approximately 1/2 tbsp. per piece.
Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes so the soda is evenly distributed, or allow the meat to chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Cook as usual.
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- You can add herbs and spices along with the Coke using either method. If you are using the flavor injector method, limit the amount of solid herbs and spices to 1 part per 10 parts of soda to avoid clogging the injector.
- Common herbs for seasoning pork include thyme, marjoram, sage, summer savory and celery salt. If you use fresh herbs, you will need to use a larger amount than with concentrated dried herbs.
Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."