The do’s and don’ts of cooking with craft beer, according to chefs
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You can do a lot with craft beer as many of them pair well with particular dishes.
Sometimes you may not be the one in the kitchen cooking the dish, but knowing what you can and cannot do with this ingredient, is good for everyone.
We spoke to executive chef at Garden Court Marine Parade, Qhawe Tshabalala, and chef Luyanda Mafanya about the do’s and don’ts of cooking with craft beer, and below is what they said.
Do remember, beer is the ‘hero of the dish’.
A nice craft beer is generally a great substitute for recipes that require water or stock which helps enhance the flavour.
Do remember that flavour comes first.
A great craft beer has a strong flavor embedded in it and with some recipes this is a key ingredient. When selecting your craft beer always consider how the tastes develop during cooking and not just what the beer tastes like as is.
Don’t overuse beer.
Irrespective of the recipe you’re using do not drown your food in beer as this could lead to it being destroyed. Always use beer in moderation.
Don’t think that all of the alcohol from the beer can be cooked off.
While most of the alcohol will be cooked off, there will still be trace amounts left over.
Use it to substitute yeast for baking and batters.
Using beer in baking recipes enhances the flavours, adds moisture and creates a light and delicate texture.
Use it for marinating.
Beer tenderizes meat and breaks down the touch fibers in meat. This makes your meat more tender and brings out more flavour in it.
Don't use any type of beer for any dish
Understand what flavours you are looking for before deciding on what type of beer to use.
Some beers are more bitter than others, a bitter beer would have to be cooked down longer in order to break down the bitterness
Don't cook with beer you don't enjoy drinking.
If you don't like drinking it, you will not enjoy it in your meals as the beer amplifies in flavour while cooking.