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Cooking with beer. Crash course

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by inchrisin, Jul 31, 2013.

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  1. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Does anyone have any information on on which styles to use with what kinds of food? I'd like to cook with beer more and I don't know which direction to go. I know that dark beer usually holds up well with heavy food like stew or chili. What do you cook with light beers? A picture or graph would be amazing!
  2. thestupidpunk

    thestupidpunk Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2013 New York

    Try reducing dark beers as a glaze for meats and BBQ.

    The issue with cooking with beer, especially if you reduce it to a sauce, is that the bitterness from the hops will be more concentrated, which is not something you may want with your food. That's why a lot of the recipes you'll find involve darker beers that are not that bitter.

    I guess you can use lighter beers for a beer batter, but that's all I can think of.
  3. Clonies720

    Clonies720 Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 Texas

    Budweiser works very well for beer-battered shrimp. Best use I've found for it.
  4. SteveB24

    SteveB24 Champion (883) Aug 29, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    a lot of beers will work for cooking, but if u want a light, airy batter use beer at room temperature and whisk vigurously to get rid of lumps.
  5. Masemob

    Masemob Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2013 Florida

    Only beer I use in cooking is Yuengling Lager and that is poaching my brats before I grill them. Seems to work out pretty well.
  6. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (399) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I've used lighter beers like pils or such to brine chicken with. Add some of that with sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns and rosemary with cold water to cover the bird, then grill or smoke, yum yum.
    Generally I do not cook with hoppy beers - the bitterness is magnified in most foods. but browns, porters and stouts work great with beef and most pork.
    inchrisin likes this.
  7. bpgpitt10

    bpgpitt10 Aspirant (287) May 12, 2008 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Check out the sharing your pairing thread. Lots of good examples there. Random off the top of my head to get your brain moving on it...
    • Sours or citrusy IPAs in vinaigrettes
    • Saisons for poaching fish then reducing into a sauce
    • Scotch ales for braising (then turning into a gravy). Also scotch ales in potato soup!
    • Porters can be used in damn near anything. Braise meat with them. Make BBQ sauce with them. Add to mustard for a unique kick
    • Belgians to make sauces
    • Sours to make gastriques
    • Flemish red to make a traditional flemish stew
    • IPAs and hefe's used as the base for a brine (pork or turkey... bierlerner has an awesome turkey brine he posted in that thread; I put one up for pork)
    My rule with hoppy IPAs is to simply not cook them. I add them into things like uncooked vegetable terrines, spreads (hummus!), or vinaigrettes. I've just been burnt too many times using them in cooking with all their bitter.
    inchrisin likes this.
  8. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (237) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Craftbeer.com's website has a lot of useful info on pairing foods with beer styles - check it out.
  9. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Devotee (478) Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    BalancingBrooms likes this.
  10. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Some great stuff above. Thanks a lot guys. I typically only used beer for beer can chickens and chili. I couldn't really think of what else to use it in. I've got some experimenting to do now. :slight_smile:
  11. biglobo8971

    biglobo8971 Devotee (480) May 6, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I have used oatmeal stouts and veggie stock for my French onion soup recipe. You have to remember or be weary of the flavors that you are intensifying or trying to pull flavor from. I would stay away from fruity IPAs, milk stouts, and saisons due to the delicate flavors that might be overwhelmed with heat.
  12. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,222) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber

    I did a sample of different beer styles for brats, the results were really interesting...

    It's always fun to play around and try something new it doesn't hurt and you'll learn your own preferences. Dive in.
  13. OldPenguinHunter

    OldPenguinHunter Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2010 California

    I used a local berliner weisse in some steamed mussels (currently one of my favorite recipies), just dump the bottle in to the liquid with your aromatics and steam away, then I take the mussels off when done, reduce the broth and pour over the reserved mussels.
    I added maltier pale into some pork burgers (homemade patties and such) and let that sit over night, then grilled the ever-livin'-shit out of 'em, damn good.

    My general rule of thumb is to stay away from the hoppier beers in cooking, in using them, your food will take on that bitter note, sometimes the food can also take on a floral, perfumey chemical-like aroma and flavor- not good. Dark beers should go with food that can stand up to the flavor (that has the fat or gaminess) ex: porter braised short-ribs, stout meat pies, Rack of lamb with a reduced stout-balsamic glaze (tart, smokey notes works with the fat coming off of the meat that you shove into your gullet). Lighter beers work well with frying, though I have done some porter beer batter onion rings that rocked... they also work with lighter fair, ex: beer can chicken, berliner weisse ceviche, weiner schnitzel marinated in beer before frying, and so on. I really like light and or tart beer with seafood and maltier light beer (blondes, pales, and so on) with heavier lighter fair (poultry, lean pork, alligator?). To be honest, its all going to be something, and the best way to figure that stuff out is ask (like you're doing) but more importantly cook with the beer, maybe a chunk of salmon rocks when you reduce some imperial porter and use it as a glaze for the fish...

    I hope this helps you, good luck in the kitchen and on the grill!
  14. OldPenguinHunter

    OldPenguinHunter Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2010 California

    Holy geeze that scotch ale tater soup...
  15. Brewing_Rob

    Brewing_Rob Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2012 Florida

    -Use lighter styles/lagers to replace water when cooking rice.
    -put a cast iron pan on the grill and cook down some onions, splash a malty beer such as a brown ale periodically and keep cooking.
    -stouts with chocolate. Chocolate cake, milkshakes, etc.
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