Vinegar Vs. Coke

I’m making fajitas for dinner, but due to shopping at the Bordeaux Kroger, I couldn’t find a nice cheap steak to cut into my own strips and was force to buy “stir fry meat.” Which is expensive and always chewy. So, I am marinating it. In Coke. Which is something a waiter at a Chinese restaurant once told me is a good way to break down the connective tissue in meat you plan on cooking hot and fast.

So, I’m trying that.

But my check-out clerk told me she always uses vinegar and water.

I can’t quite decide which is less troubling to me. I mean, we’ll see how the Coke goes. I feel like I’m just coating my meat in sugar? Like, “meat, but more like candy.” But I have concerns that the vinegar would give my meat a slight pickly taste?

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8 thoughts on “Vinegar Vs. Coke

  1. Any acid should work, right?

    What’s wrong with coating your meat with sugar? There are lots of sweet marinades. Most all BBQ sauces have plenty of sugar.

    Mom uses a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and corn starch if she’s stir-frying.

  2. Oh, that’s a good point. BBQ sauces do have a lot of sugar. Okay, then. I don’t know why I’m so freaked out about it. It smelled fine (I did Coke, garlic salt, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder). And it had a really satisfying bubbling up action, like the bubbles you get when you make a Coke float.

    I will report on the taste this evening!

  3. A lot of Southerners make pulled pork with Dr Pepper, but I’ve never heard of it (or Coke) with beef. Don’t use too much vinegar (or any acid), it will tend to make the meat mushy. Generally a marinade is mostly oil, spices and herbs, and a smaller ratio of acid. Your checker is wrong, water wouldn’t do shit But I’m not the boss of you.

  4. I would use lime juice instead of vinegar, keeping in mind what Peggasus says about not using too much acid. Or lemon juice, for chicken. Though I suppose cider vinegar or rice vinegar might add a nice flavor to the mix. But your marinade sounds fine, for a sweetish outcome.

  5. I used to work with someone who spent most of her life in Texas and New Mexico who swore by Dr. Pepper as a fajita beef marinade so you might be close to her signature recipe.

    The Mathlete makes a lime/honey/other stuff marinade for grilled chicken that is one of the best things I’ve eaten. We eat enough I’ve been contemplating if a lime tree will grow in northern Illinois.

  6. the best steak I’ve ever eaten was marinated in 3 items: red wine, freshly squeezed lime & freshly chopped garlic. The lime & red wine tenderize & flavor the meat – it was almost tender enough to cut with a fork.

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