As a beer lover, you might have tried different flavour profiles of beer whenever you went to a brewpub or microbrewery. However, did you ever think about cooking your favourite dishes using beer? While you may have seen home cooks and chefs that cook with wine, beer is also a great beverage to add unique flavours to foods like curry rice or chicken steak.
If that has enticed you enough, then let us also give you some tips for the day when you start experimenting with beer or cooking with beer to serve something special to your house guests.
- Choose likeable flavours: If you do not like a particular beer flavour, then chances are that you won’t even like it in your dishes. When you cook with beer, go for beers you love drinking. While cooking for friends or family, consider their taste preferences too.
- Know the malt profile: Not every beer will induce the same taste and texture into your recipes. Thus, you must know the selected beer’s nuttiness, fruitiness, bitterness or such flavour profiles. A bland taste will not work well when you want to marinade chicken and a bitter taste will not work well unless you are baking desserts like chocolate cake.
- Pair the beer with your dish: After you have decided the dish that you can successfully cook with beer, pair it with the best beer out of your loved flavours. For instance, robust foods cook nicely with darker beers like stout and porter, but delicate dishes receive enhanced flavours from light beers like lager and pilsner. With flavoured veggies, you can use IPAs or pale ales.
- Reduce the ABV: It is essential to know the beer strength before using it in a dish. For that purpose, you should know its ABV (alcohol by volume). A lower ABV beer blends right with most foods, but a higher ABV beer can spoil your food with its strong or bitter taste. Thus, you should reduce the ABV even if alcohol evaporates on cooking with beer. Traces of alcohol will remain in your food.
- Start with light beverages: If you are a newbie, then it is recommended that you use mildly flavoured beverages when you cook with wine or cook with beer. Choose pale ales or nut-brown ales to pair with meats, rice dishes, stews, and high-flavour recipes.
- Avoid a float: Control your excitement and keep a lighter hand with beer. Especially when you flavour a liquid recipe, it is critical not to go overboard with the use of beer. Your vegetables and desserts should not be floating in beer or they will lose their taste.
- Neutralize the acid: Selecting sweeter beers like pilsner can reduce the acidity in dishes that make use of citrus fruits, vinegar or tomatoes. It will also offer rich taste and depth.
- Make the food tender: From tough meat to hard pastries, you can bring tenderness to any such food when you cook with wine or beer. Splash some stout to marinade a piece of chicken or go for darker beers to bring softness to seafood and poultry.
- Create a balance: When you prepare sweeter veggies like corn or onion, you can balance their sweetness with speciality malts and bitter hops.
- Use the yeast: As yeast is an important part of beer, you can harness its power while cooking with beer. It is wonderful to use in baked goods like cupcakes and bread. Beer’s yeast will bring in puffiness, delicious crust and lightness to your baked food.
So, go ahead and get ready with your kitchen equipment and food ingredients to cook your next dish with great beer.