Let This Marinate: Cooking Is Better with Beer

Food & Drink

Maybe an inebriated pub patron tripped over a bear-skin rug, accidentally spilling his ale into a bowl of mutton marinade. Or perhaps a desperate kitchen hand ran out of wine, grabbed a bottle of mead and hoped no one would notice the difference. However beer was first used for cooking, we’re thankful for this noble experiment that simply made food taste better.

Today, much like avant-garde brewmasters, top chefs are cooking up new ways to introduce bold flavors to their menus. Now it’s your turn, and we’re ready to help. As fans of the frothy adult beverage who happen to specialize in awesome gifts for men, we’ve taken up permanent residence at the intersection of cooking and beer. Who better to help you start cooking with beer to hop up the taste of your favorite dish?

To take a sweet swig of success in your own kitchen or backyard, check out our answers to these realistically asked beer cuisine questions.

“I like beer. A lot. What are the different ways to use beer when I cook?”

Beer is like the Swiss-army knife of cooking liquids. It’s commonly used as marinade to tenderize, flavorize and galvanize meat and seafood. When roasting or baking, you can blast your meats with a baster full of beer to let the deliciousness seep in. You can also sub in beer for water when simmering to add distinctive seasoning to stews and soups. Room for dessert? Beer brings a sweet, nutty taste to a variety of after-dinner indulgences.

“I’ve got a craft IPA in the fridge. Will that work?”

You bet. Just about any beer will do the trick, though you might want to aim higher than that old sixer of Natty Light in the garage. Cooking with beer using craft brews is the way to go. Your bottle of IPA will bring a crisp, intensely hoppy taste to the table. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. Mixing in a wheat beer will yield a mellow fruitiness. Lagers and ales range from light, fruity and spicy to brisk and malty with hints of nuts and caramel. Darker porters and stouts exude notes of coffee and cocoa. That was just the Cliff’s Notes version of flavor profiling. Refer to the seven flavor categories of beer to learn more. Then make flashcards and quiz yourself.

“So, uh, will I catch a buzz from my dinner?”

Sadly, you won’t. Nearly all of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process. But feel free to pair a brewski or three with your malt-infused meal. Nothing goes better with beer than more beer.

“I’m getting hungry. What types of dishes can I prepare?”

What types of dishes can’t you prepare? Start off with beer breadbeer cheese bisquebeer pretzels or beer potato salad. There’s beer-battered shrimpbeer-brined pork chopsbeer-poached sausages and beer-braised brisket. Then you can bring it home with beer cake or beer ice cream. We’ll stop before we start sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump. Just know that the possibilities are endless.

“I’m not much of a chef. Is there a super-simple way to cook with beer?”

It doesn’t get much easier than beer can chicken. If you’ve got a can of beer, a chicken and a grill, you’re golden. Just insert the opened beer can into the chicken like you’re stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey. A short time will pass, then you’ll pull out the tastiest bird you’ve ever forked into your food hole. Cracklin’ crispiness on the outside and heavenly succulence on the inside. Like you pulled it right off the rotisserie.

Ready to raise your game? Our Beer Can Chicken Crate comes with a sturdy beer can roaster that lets you upgrade the flavor with your favorite bottled craft brew instead of being limited to domestic brands in a can.

Ale ready to get stouted? If your stomach’s growling, grab your growler. The key to your next epic meal just needs to be let out of the bottle.