Beer contributes a full-bodied and earthy flavor to all kinds of dishes. If you love the taste of grain and cereals, you’re going to love cooking with beer. Beer is used in preparing a variety of foods from pastries to meat stews. You can also use it for simmering sauces, braising, marinating, and deglazing. It is useful for any kind of recipe involving meat as it is also a great meat tenderizer.
Choosing the Best Beer for Cooking
Choosing the best beer for cooking depends largely on your unique goals for each dish. The best beer to cook with will correspond to your needs for the recipe.
For example, if your beer has been brewed with largely darker grain, the beer’s darkness will likely transpose to what you are cooking. So if you need deeper and earthier colors, you’re in for a treat when you use Porters and Stouts. You wouldn’t want to use dark-colored beers if you are preparing pasta, for example. Darker-colored pasta may not look as appetizing.
Malt vs. Hops
The amount of malt in the beer also affects the sweetness imparted to the final dish. However, we do not advise reducing beers for too long because beers are supposed to be bitter at their core. This natural bitterness can greatly overtake any sweetness present in the brew. If you’d like to avoid the natural bitterness, we recommend milder beer brands with plenty of malts. “Bold beer” will be more bitter, as these contain more hops than malt. Pale Ales are generally more bitter. Heavier beers that are excessively sweet can be used for glazes and different dessert recipes.
Finally, suppose you encounter an exotic beer. In that case, we encourage you to be experimental and, at the same time, wary of any awkward flavors that exotic beers can impart to the food.