What are the most useful and flexible beers to cook with?

Reads 2080 • Replies 24 • Started Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:43:32 PM CT

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beers 1704 º places 45 º 12:43 Thu 1/10/2013

Since the other thread doesn’t get right down to what beers ARE EASY to cook with in a number of ways - what’s your take?

- Trois Pistoles seems to work great with all kinds of red meats and braising.

- Martzenbier (Oktoberfest) is great in Sauer Kraut, and is probably sweet and non-hoppy enough to experiment with.

beers 11361 º places 697 º 12:46 Thu 1/10/2013

I know what not to do - IPA and refried beans. Hoppy beans BLOW.

beers 1799 º places 63 º 12:46 Thu 1/10/2013

Belgian beers have a long history with cooking.

beers 470 º places 10 º 13:04 Thu 1/10/2013

Yes the Belgian beers are very friendly to cook with. Any beer can be used although I would stay away from bitter hopped up beers in cooking. I would not treat it exactly like wine either. You would never finish a soup with beer like you would with sherry, and it will never impart the same strong flavor as a good red wine BUT it’s ample in flavor for braising, sauteeing and pan glazes. I’ve found that pilsners like seafood and anywhere you would put a dry white you can put a good light tripel.

beers 22297 º places 1044 º 13:16 Thu 1/10/2013

Hoppy beers can be quite difficult (i.e. IPAs and other well-hopped beers). If you burn off the water in the beer, the bitterness tends to concentrate, and in my experience it is tough to integrate big bitter flavors into most cooking. I’m not saying IPAs can’t be used in cooking or that bitterness should be avoided all together, just that one should tread lightly.

In general, I suppose sugary and/ or dark (but not too hoppy) beers are the most user-friendly. In this way, I can see how Trois Pistoles and a lot of malty German beers could be good to start out with.

beers 6074 º places 245 º 13:23 Thu 1/10/2013

plain lager

beers 4 º 13:25 Thu 1/10/2013

Porters are awesome in chili.

13:36 Thu 1/10/2013

Originally posted by Leighton
In general, I suppose sugary and/ or dark (but not too hoppy) beers are the most user-friendly.

Malt-forward beers are certainly the way to go.

beers 9549 º places 536 º 13:37 Thu 1/10/2013

Vienna, dunkel, porter/stout, Belgian dark ales all work pretty well.

beers 1125 º 13:41 Thu 1/10/2013

With all this beer and cooking talk, I’d have to ask... The bar I work at is having a chili cookoff for the Super Bowl and I’m thinking of throwing in a bowl. Anyone have any good chili recipes that require beer that I can throw in? Winning is cool, but I’d like to open people up to the concept of cooking with beer. I appreciate all insight.

places 72 º 13:43 Thu 1/10/2013

I don’t cook a heck of a lot with beer, but a few standards:

As much as it is panned on this site, I homebrew a 5-gallon batch of pizza beer (my recipe is modified from one I received from the brewer at the now-defunct America’s Brewpub: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/americas-tom-seefurths-mamma-mia-pizza-beer/72978/) and use it in chili and bread throughout the year.

For brats, any standard lager will do. If you get a gift of some macro lager, save the bottles for brat season. Boil the brats in a mix of beer, onions, bavarian mustard.

I usually make a batch of Alton Brown’s traditional wassail every winter ( http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/wassail-recipe/index.html) and I’ve found that Sam Adams Brown Ale works well