Beer is truly an awesome substance. As such I personally refuse to leave it relegated to mere beverage status. Whenever possible, I try to work beer into all my culinary endeavors.
I sauté with it. I steam with it. I inject it into my briskets. It is quite the versatile liquid.
One easy way to start cooking with beer is to brine pork and poultry with it.
Not familiar with brining? Shame on you.
Brining is simply soaking meat in a salt water solution prior to cooking. The meat soaks in the brine resulting in juicier and tastier BBQ. It’s not for all meats, but it can do wondrous things for chicken and turkey, especially when slow smoking.
You only need salt and water to make a basic brine, but why go basic when there’s BEER???!!!!
- Boil 2 cups water
- Stir in 1/4 cup of kosher salt or 1/6 cup of table salt
- Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- Stir until everything is good and dissolved, then terminate boil and allow to cool
- Pour in 2 bottles of beer (any kind will do, though I suggest a good brown ale)
- Refrigerate until cold
- Take a break. Drink a beer…maybe two.
- Once the brine is cold, add it to your meat of choice. Plastic bags work great for this. Just make sure your meat is fully submerged.
- Soak meat one hour per pound. The longer you leave it, the saltier it will get. Don’t go too long though, or your chicken wings will taste like a salt lick.
- BBQ meat per usual. Note that the extra juice will speed up your cooking times.
So there. You’ve learned something today. You can thank me later.