Beer. It’s What’s for Dinner! Kind of.

Did you know that Beer is a natural meat tenderizer? Me neither. I just heard about it today. I mean I’ve known that you can cook with beer for a long time but I did not know that it tenderized the meat. One more reason crack open a beer, right? Anyways, if you know anything about brewing beer then you’ll know that beer contains yeast enzymes. Those enzymes actually help to break down hard fibers in meat when you use it as a marinade. Pretty cool huh?

In honor of learning this amazing new information I decided to look a little farther and find out what some of the best ways to use beer are when you are grilling. Now the obvious way is to just drink a beer when you are grilling, right? That’s not exactly what I’m talking about, although I’m not discouraging you from doing that. Cause, ya know, Beer is good. I’m actually going to share some really cool ways to use beer when you grill.

When I was a kid it wasn’t very accepted for a man to use the kitchen. His domain was the grill and that was that. Times have changed though, and for the better. Men everywhere have seemingly embraced their inner chef. So what does this have to do with grilling or beer, or both? Well, since we Men are taking a more active approach in the kitchen they know more about different techniques involved in cooking in general. How to season, how to make a good marinade, how to add veggies and potatoes into the mix. Now, for the flip side, are you ready? It’s totally cool for a woman to use the grill and drink a beer while doing it. I know, mind-blowing right? What a time to be alive. Today, the grill is for everyone and so is beer. So, we’re gonna talk about beer and grilling.

Let’s get right down to it. When people think about grilling and barbecue one of the first things that comes to mind is the age-old beer can chicken. If you don’t know what this is then I’m not sure where you’ve been living but I can’t imagine it’s a fun or entertaining place. The premise is simple. You can prepare the chicken by putting a rub, marinade, or mopping sauce on it. Then you can choose your favorite beer or a beer that pairs well with chicken. Now, it’s gross when you think about, but the result is delicious, so we choose to overlook the fact that you have to shove a half full beer can up the chicken’s body cavity. As the chicken cooks and the beer can heats up the beer steams the inside of the chicken giving it a moist and tender composition that can only be described as “heaven”. If you have never had the pleasure of having or trying a beer can chicken then I highly suggest it.

A lot of people like to grill or smoke meats over wood chips. Apple, Maple, and other types of wood chips are used all the time. One thing you can do is use beer as a way to slow the burn or combustion rate of the wood chips down. This way the chips smolder and smoke for much longer. This is awesome for smoking meats since it slows the process. You can also use your favorite flavor of beer. Since the chips are soaked in it, the flavor of whatever beer you choose is going to find its way into your food too. Doesn’t a cerveza soaked, apple wood smoked chicken sounds awesome for making tacos? Who says grilling is just burgers and brats? Not this guy.

Using marinades is not a new concept. They sell about 50 different flavors at any given time in the grocery store. Caribbean Jerk, Teriyaki, Mango-Lime, and a whole shelf full of different flavors. Have you ever thought of making your own though? It’s actually really easy. All you need are the ingredients, a bowl or plastic bag to marinate them in, and a little time to let the meat soak. We already found out that beer is an awesome meat tenderizer, so using it as a marinade makes a lot of sense. You can find marinade recipes all over the place. Here’s one for Brazilian Beer Chicken that I especially like. You can even make up your own marinades and experiment with them.

If you like to make your own barbecue sauce then you should consider adding some beer to your recipe. Some of the best recipes use Bock (or other malty beers), Stout, or specialty flavored beers like Cherry. Add the beer into the ingredients but makes sure you aren’t over-using the beer as it can leave a bitter taste if it is overused. There are great Beer BBQ sauce recipes found all over the internet, so don’t be afraid to try a few and see what sticks. Literally. Get it? Like Barbecue is sticky? Never mind…

If you are a fan of pork and dark beer then this one is gonna be right up your alley. You can use dark beer in this awesome basting or mop sauce recipe. If you aren’t familiar with this kind of sauce, it’s one that you reapply several times during the cooking process. All you have to do according to an article in the Huffington Post is mix 1 cup of dark beer, 1 cup of honey, 1 stick of melted butter, and a few tablespoons of minced ginger and apply liberally to begin and then several times throughout the cooking process. This works great for pork shoulder or German Style Roast Pig.

While we’re talking about mopping sauces. If you are grilling in front of an audience and want to look like as Guy Fieri, Iron Chef Michael Symon, or Emeril Legasse? Instead of going through all the trouble of making a mopping sauce pick a beer that pairs well with the meat you’re cooking. Then, like you’re back in college and about to celebrate like it’s 1999, put your thumb over the top of the beer and give it a little shake. Then direct the beer toward the meat and spray away! You’ll be adding some delicious flavor to your meat and at the same time look like a boss! You’re welcome.

Look, the real takeaway here is that cooking with beer is a good idea. Don’t worry, the alcohol burns off in the cooking process so it’s not like having a beer battered chicken strip is going to get you drunk. So what have you got to lose? Deliciousness, that what you’re losing if you don’t give this style of cooking a try. If you’re not sure where to get started I’m going to leave you with a list of recipes that will impress your guests and make you look like a rock star.

These recipes were provided by an article on parade.com that you can find here.

Here at hmmwhat2drink.com, we strive for a commitment to excellence. We enjoy our beers, spirits, and specialty drinks as much as the next, but we urge you to drink responsibly. These articles and recipes are intended for adults and as such, should be used in the proper context. So have fun, relax, but do it responsibly in your home or with a designated driver. If you have any suggestions please email us at hmmwhat2drink@gmail.com.

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