Skip to Content

What Does Vinegar Do To Meat? The Best Explanation

Vinegar is safe because it improves flavor and also preserves foodstuff. Vinegar can change food color by either adding or neutralizing the pigment in the food.

It is also used to prevent food spoilage by promoting the growth of helpful bacteria. Vinegar has the ability to disintegrate proteins and is hence used as a marinade to aid in tenderizing vegetables and meats. Its high acetic acidic content also attracts health benefits.

What Does Vinegar Do To Meat?

Using vinegar to cook meat causes protein coagulation. Vinegar’s acetic acidic nature causes the disintegration of meat filaments, making them tasty and soft. Soaking meat in vinegar dissolves the chemical ties that link protein together, making them unfold and tenderize. As soon as the acidic content disintegrates the proteins, one free protein particle eventually connects with another, thereby retaining most fluids in the meat.

What Does Vinegar Do To Meat?
What Does Vinegar Do To Meat?

What Are the Benefits of Soaking Meat in Vinegar?

Immersing meat in vinegar is used to improve the savor in the meat. It is efficient to hold meat fluids and marinate the meat before cooking. It also helps make leaner slices of meat moister and the tougher slices juicier. Soaking meat in vinegar has several benefits, as listed below.

  • Removing impurities in meat: As a potent bactericide, vinegar reduces the number of pathogens to undetectable levels.
  • Reduces carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs): HCAs contribute to the growth of several diseases. Vinegar is an obstacle against high heat and reduces the chemical precursors of the meat’s carcinogens.
  • Vinegar decelerates the growth of dangerous bacteria, such as listeria: Vinegar can hinder the growth and eradicate some foodborne disease-causing bacteria.
  • It also tenderizes the meat: Vinegar disintegrates protein making it easier to digest. It also helps retain moisture, so the meat does not dry or toughen up.
  • Helps in weight loss: Certain studies prove that consuming vinegar causes fullness in the stomach by decelerating the speed at which the stomach empties, leading to less calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.
Vinegar tenderizes and removes impurities in the meat while marinating.
Vinegar tenderizes and removes impurities in the meat while marinating.

What Are the Disadvantages of Soaking Meat in Vinegar?

Soaking meat in vinegar can cause health detriments or even negatively affect the meat’s texture and taste. However, this only occurs if the meat is saturated for an extended period or the vinegar is excessively acidic. Below are some of the disadvantages.

  • Hardening the meat: If the meat soaks for extensive time or PH levels of the vinegar are high, the protein ties tighten up and squeeze out the liquid, making the meat tough.
  • Digestive hitches: Vinegar may cause indigestion and loss of appetite. Since vinegar causes stomach fullness, it reduces food transmitted from the large intestines to the lower gastrointestinal tract, reducing the absorption rate of nutrition into the bloodstream.
  • Interaction with certain medications: Some drugs such as digoxin and insulin interact with vinegar. That results in dangerously low blood sugar and potassium levels.
Soaking meat too long in vinegar can draw out too much moisture and cause meat to become tough.
Soaking meat too long in vinegar can draw out too much moisture and cause meat to become tough.

Can I Marinate Pork Meat in Vinegar Overnight?

I can marinate pork meat in vinegar overnight since its texture is dense. Pork can remain soaked in marinade without the risk of becoming mushy. However, I love to marinate meat chilled. Marinating at normal temperature and pressure accelerates harmful microorganisms’ growth which causes food borne diseases.

In broad-spectrum, larger and tougher cuts can withstand extended marinating phases. Pork slices absorb the essence within 6 hours, but they will be more tender with lengthier hours in the sauce. For juiciness, marinate the pork slices for 12 hours to 48 hours.

It is safer to marinate meats in the fridge than at room temperature.
It is safer to marinate meats in the fridge than at room temperature.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do to Meat?

Immersing meat using apple cider vinegar results in tenderized meat. However, do not use highly concentrated vinegar or soak them for so long. Using apple cider vinegar in a marinade disintegrates the meat covering to let the vinegar be absorbed and kills all the bacteria on it.

Besides, smoking meat stops it from drying out. It also puts a covering that allows the smoke to move over the meat and cling to it. It also enhances the taste of the meat by infusing savor in it.

How to Use Vinegar in Cooking Meat?

Cooking meat with vinegar is a technique that guarantees juicy, tender results. Be sure to prepare your meat in a non-reactive pot. Glass baking pots or coated non-stick pots are most preferred for this process.

Method

  1. Prick your meat or cut the surfaces of the meat.
  2. Immerse sliced meat in vinegar for between 30 minutes and 24 hours. That depends on the density of the meat you are cooking and your preference. Denser meats like pork and lamb can stay marinated for long hours without suffering any ill fate. Less dense meats, such as chicken, marinate for 2 to 24 hours. Marinating times for seafood range from 15 to 60 minutes. Thinly cut meat marinates more effectively and takes less time to marinate. 
  3. Make sure to marinate in the refrigerator. Marinating at normal temperature can encourage harmful bacteria to thrive, causing foodborne diseases.
  4. Cook it according to your preference, whether smoking, baking, or grilling. While smoking, pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it on the meat. The perfect timing to spritz meat is as soon as the bark is made.
Less dense meats such as seafood need only to be marinated for a short time, from 15 to 60 minutes.
Less dense meats such as seafood need only to be marinated for a short time, from 15 to 60 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions to What Does Vinegar Do To Meat?

Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Tenderize Meat?

You may use apple cider vinegar to tenderize meat. However, do not put lots of vinegar and marinate for a moderated period. It fragments the chemical compound of protein, subsequently altering the texture.

Why Should I Use Vinegar When Cooking Meat?

The acetic acid in the vinegar disintegrates meat filaments, making them soft and appetizing. Vinegar also breaks down connective tissues aiding the meat in recollecting all of its fluids.

Can I Leave Meat Soaked in Vinegar Overnight?

It is safe to leave meat soaked in vinegar overnight but be sure to keep it chilled. Marinate your pork slices for at least 12 hours to 24 hours for optimum effect.

Final Recommendation

Vinegar is mild in acidity and reasonably priced, making it the best preference for marinating meat. Vinegar-marinated meat should be kept chilled since certain harmful microorganisms such as E. coli thrive in acidic environments, especially at room temperature.

Vinegar is also known to have many health advantages. These include decreasing heartburn, improving the skin texture, making it glow, and boosting weight loss. Every time I want to spice up my cooking, I use vinegar for delicious results which pleases everyone around the table. I would therefore recommend the usage of vinegar in soaking meat.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.