You Should Be Cooking with Cheap Beer – Lifehacker Australia

Cheap beer gets a bad rap, but I’ve been choosing it over the fancy stuff more and more these days. Unlike heavy IPAs, generic lagers don’t compete with food or give me a hangover, and they’re an absolute joy to cook with.

Wine has the cooking-with-booze market pretty cornered; outside of beer-can chicken or Guinness cake, you don’t hear much about beer-centric recipes. For wine, the rule of thumb is to only cook with stuff you like to drink, which is great advice for those with access to tasty, cheap wine, but it can be hard to strike a balance between “good enough to drink” and “cheap enough for stew.” This is why I love cooking with beer so much, and why I think more people should give it a try, especially those who’ve ruined a difficult dish with bad wine and are afraid to try again.

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Obviously, beer can’t replicate the flavor you’d get from wine, but it offers all of the benefits of cooking with booze with very few risks. Here’s what a can of your favorite beer has over wine:

Mild flavor and low alcohol: Alcohol dissolves fat-soluble flavor compounds more readily than water, which helps develop rich, deep flavors. Since beer is lighter in flavor and alcohol than wine, you can really dump it in without overpowering the other ingredients.

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Body: Thanks to a blend of starches and sugars, beer adds a downright luscious vibe when reduced. Carbonation: Bubbles physically lift a dish—think beer-battered fish or beer quick bread—and tenderize meat. Single-use containers: Gross wine has a way of

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