July 18, 2016
When you think about it, beer is almost as important as the food and the company when it comes to a good barbecue.
You don’t have to just drink the beer at a barbecue either. There are at least five good ways to use beer when you barbecue, probably many more.
Beer as a marinade or brine
Set up for success before you even start the grill. Marinating or brining your dinner in beer for one to twenty-four hours will imbue anything you plan to cook with a flavor that can’t be beat. Here’s how it works. The base of your marinade is beer, like Steam Whistle Pilsner, which will act as an acid to soften the connective tissues in the meat you’re marinating. This softening helps melt the collagen found in meat, letting water in and helping to create the juiciest meal you’ve ever eaten. Add a little oil, some aromatics, and a pinch of salt to the beer for a meat-tenderizing miracle marinade.
Brine is a salty solution that adds intense flavor and preserves the moisture of the meat that you’re cooking. You achieve similar results to marinating, but brining is a completely different way of getting there. Brining also uses a lot more salt, which is not a bad thing at all in this case. Leaner meats like poultry and fish will retain moisture while providing explosive flavor. Try substituting beer for a portion of the water in your brine the next time you grill.
Beer as a braising liquid
Braising is when you lightly fry something delicious, like sausages or ribs, then stew it in a covered container, like a dutch oven, over low heat. When using your grill, you can leave out the frying step because you take care of that part on the grill after braising. Instead of stock, water, or even juice, pick a beer that compliments the flavors of the food you’re braising and you’ll be sure to enjoy the results. Braising is simple. Make the best sausages ever by throwing them into a dutch oven, with a few cups of Steam Whistle Pilsner. Simmer the sausages in the beer for at least twenty minutes before grilling them over direct heat for five or six minutes and serving.
Beer as a humidifier
Beer can be used to impart flavor while you are roasting, using the rotisserie, and even smoking. It’s as simple as adding beer to your drip pan or the water basin in your smoker. Drip pans collect the delicious drippings from whatever you’re cooking so that you can use them to make sauces and gravies. Imagine adding beer to the mix. Now that is a flavor trip! It enhances the meat flavor, and helps add bulk to your gravy.
A water basin in a smoker helps reduce the grill temperature and prevent wild fluctuations in heat. When the beer evaporates, it mixes with the smoke, enhancing the flavor of your smoked food. Moisture in the smoker also makes the meat more receptive to the smoke because the evaporated liquid has made the meat slightly sticky. Smoke particles land on the meat and are absorbed to create smoke flavored deliciousness.
Mop or Spray
When smoking, it’s okay to keep things a little steamy, in fact it’s actually beneficial. As stated above, using a water pan, or in the case of this article, a beer pan, definitely helps things along. You can also use beer in a spray bottle, or as a mop sauce to keep the outside of your delicious meal a little wet. This ensures that the smoky flavor you’re after sticks to the surface and penetrates the meat.
Beer is not only a great beverage, but also the perfect base for a great barbecue sauce. Think about it – all of those natural flavor boosters lurking in that bottle. What’s not to love? Add a few spices, some sugar, simmer, and bam! You have yourself an easy and delicious barbecue sauce. The best part is that you can experiment with different beers to create different flavors. Try using Steam Whistle Pilsner in this easy barbecue sauce recipe –
Beer Based BBQ Sauce or make up your own!
Beer is so versatile! As this list was coming together, other uses for beer kept coming to light. The light flavor from Pilsner makes a fantastic batter for fish, chicken, and even onion rings. You would also be surprised at how well beer and dessert go together. Start by adding it into sauces and just go from there. Imagine cheesecake spiked with your favorite beer, beer brownies, and even beer cake. The sky’s the limit!
Enhance your next dessert with beer. Try this Sticky Date Cake with Caramel Pilsner Sauce.
Do you want to know the real number one way to use beer when you barbecue though? Drink it! Drinking a cold beer with your barbecue is the best. If you’re unsure what brewed bevy to pair your meal with, consider a Pilsner. Steam Whistle Pilsner is light and won’t weigh you down while you eat. Its simplicity allows you to pair Steam Whistle with creamy and rich foods like a grilled Caesar salad, or caramelized creations like lamb with rosemary and honey. Spicy flavors like Asian inspired chili lemon pork, or rustic bruschetta sprinkled with salty feta. You can even pair it with dessert, anything from light and buttery lemon shortbread, to a beautifully spiced nut cake. Steam Whistle’s rich and hoppy flavor won’t overpower a meal; only serve to enhance it instead.
Now that we have sufficiently inspired you to host a backyard barbecue, what is your favorite way to use beer when you grill? Do you need more? You can get further incredible inspiration for all things grilling and grill related by watching our Napoleon blog, and Facebook page.
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