Ultimate 6er Recipes for Cooking with Beer
I grew up watching my dad pour beer over pretty much every single type of meat you can think of before throwing it on the grill. The funny thing about this technique is that it can make even the worst tasting beer into a valuable component of your meal. My dad would only really use cheap beer—Budweiser, Coors, Olympia—so I followed suit. It wasn’t until I left college that I started incorporating better beers into my cooking. It wasn’t just for grilling anymore—stews, chili and other random recipes were enhanced by introducing beer.
Without further ado, here is the Ultimate 6er, Recipes for Cooking with Beer Edition.
Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah (chili)
As anyone who has tried this beer knows, Ghost Face is a beast of a beer to finish alone in one sitting. It’s not so much painful as it is simply uncomfortable. I made it through 75% of a bottle, and it made me loopy. Not drunk, just weirdly loopy. So yeah, not a beer I would recommend to anyone who isn’t a glutton for punishment. But it struck me while I was struggling with one of my last sips before I gave up—this beer would be a remarkable complement for chili. The idea is to use an entire bottle of Ghost Face as a replacement for a comparable amount of liquid you would normally use. You don’t even need to add additional peppers, as this beer will pack enough firepower, particularly if you are using a slow cooker. Now I can look on this beer fondly instead of with dread.
Rogue Voodoo Bacon Maple Beer (marinade)
Here’s another example of a beast of a beer, but for much different reasons. Voodoo has definitely split opinions of the beer tasting public. Some think it to be far too overbearing while others can’t get enough of the flavor profile. I fall somewhere in the middle—tasty, but I’m not enamored with the beer. As an overnight marinade, though? Damn. Use with chicken or pork for the best results.
Hands down, the best two types of beer to use when making a stew are stouts and porters. You can go the traditional route and use something more along the lines of Guinness, but I chose to go with one of my favorites from Deschutes. There’s a bit more complexity to Black Butte Porter (chocolate, spices, citrus) that you don’t normally find in a heavier beer, so it adds elements to whatever type of stew you decide to make.
Coors Light (beer can chicken)
Cheap beer is the most effective option with either of these foods. I chose Coors Light and PBR because they don’t make me wretch like Miller/Bud products tend to (I’m a weird kind of snob, I know). For the beer can chicken, after prepping the meat (cleaning, seasoning, etc.), insert an opened can of Coors Light into your chicken (pro-tip: drain a little bit of the beer and have multiple puncture points at the top of the can—this improves distribution). For those who may not have tried beer can chicken before—if it’s done right, it will be the most moist, tender chicken you’ve had outside of a restaurant setting.
Pabst Blue Ribbon (beer cheese)
Beer cheese, on the other hand, is a perfect recipe for the day after a huge party. Any good recipe for this will call for stale, cheap beer (if it doesn’t, look elsewhere). So yeah, feel free to use any of the beer you were unable to finish the night before. Sounds disgusting, but it works beautifully.
Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber (brats)
An ode to football season making its return once again, beer brats are the perfect tailgate food. Prep doesn’t involve much—all you need in a large aluminum pan (I say large because you’re planning on sharing, right?), some veggies for additional flavor, and beer. Any cheap beer will work, but I think an amber works well in the autumn months. It’s up to you whether you grill the brats after simmering in the beer/veggie mix or simply serve them out of the pan.
Do you have any other recipes/meal ideas that incorporate beer? Leave them in the comments section below.