Cooking with beer

Last night I cooked about the best thing I have ever put together. I used a recipe for beer-brined spare ribs. It came out great. I have made a few things which have beer as an ingredient in the past. I have always just used whatever has been in the house. Last night I used Natural Ice because it was left over from a family BBQ and I certainly won’t drink the vile stuff. For those of you that cook with beer here is the question: do you care what kind of beer you use? Do you make sure you use “good” beer or does it not matter? Is pilsner always best? Have you tried darker beers? The recipes I have tried always just say “beer” as if there is only one kind. Your help (and maybe recipes) will be appreciated.

Cheap mass-produced lager makes an excelent steaming liquid. Beer butt chicken and par-steamed ribs are best with the crisp bitter taste of those, and it seems more tender and juicy for some reason. But for chili, grilling sauce, or heavy stews I prefer a stout, or dark ale or bitter. They already have a lot of deep flavors going on and need a beer with some depth to add anything at all. And beer cheese soup is in between. I like a good grainy, non-hoppy amber ale that mixes in a good earthy hearty taste.

Just match it with the food, like anything else don’t overpower stuff.
ALthough I the taste of food cooked with beer(and beer, even yeasty beer) in general. I am absoulutely nauseated by the stench from boiling beer. Every time I take a brewery tour it sound great until I step out of the car and get smacked with that smell :frowning:

An online friend once posted a white clam sauce recipe that he makes with beer instead of white wine. I tried it and it was great. I can’t remember all the ingredients or proportions, I usually play it by ear. It was beer, canned clams and their juice, olive oil and lots of garlic, some spices and parmesan cheese.
As for which type of beer, I think the theory is the same as with cooking with wine, if you won’t drink it you don’t want to cook with it.

It depends on what you are doing with it. If all you are doing is using it as a steaming liquid, then use the cheapest stuff you can find. Ditto if it is just adding liquid to the recipe. My chili uses Lucky Lager as the cooking liquid, for example. If you are going to make a beer sauce or the like, then use a better brew. Low hops, in any case. I would never cook with my beloved Sierra Nevada, unless I found a recipe where I *wanted * that hop bite.

I, OTOH, love the smell of boiling wort! :smiley:

I’ve got a recipe for beer batter for onion rings and the like that’s basically just beer and flour. You let it rest for 30 minutes to give the yeast a chance to work. I don’t like the taste of beer, so I use cheap lager. The resulting batter does have a yeasty flavor when deep fried, but not so beery that it turns me off.

I’d like to put in a good word for Beer-Can Chicken, beautifully described by Big Bad Voodoo Lou here. I am eternally (and internally) grateful to Lou for introducing me to this scrumptious dish.