Although I’ve never really acquired a taste for beer, on a rare occasion, having one on a hot summer evening is refreshing. But beer has other uses than for quenching a thirst — try it in your cooking.
I have made beer can chicken that has become a favorite, and have even purchased the little stand that holds the beer and the chicken. When I am ready to make the chicken, I put the can of beer in the holder, prop the seasoned bird on top, set it on a grill that is at pre-heated to 350 degrees, close the lid and don’t peek until an hour has passed. The chicken turns out browned and crisp all around and is always tender and juicy. Try it with chicken stock when there is not a beer in the house.
Marinating chicken in beer for an hour before cooking makes for some tender and flavorful chicken. You can then season it, grill it, deep fry it or bake it.
Sometimes, I use beer in barbecue sauce concoctions I experiment with. Using barbecue sauce as a base and adding extras like beer, honey, brown sugar, or fruit marmalades makes for some interesting flavors. Sometimes hitting the mark, sometimes not. But that’s the fun of experimenting.
The German culture dictates to cook brats in beer, and a Milwaukee tavern offers an outdoor cooking with beer class in their beer garden. Lucy Saunders (from the Web site www.beercook.com) has published a cookbook called “Grilling with Beer: Bastes, BBQ Sauces, Mops, Marinades & More, Made with Craft Beer.” She has also authored a book called “Cooking with Beer.” Both look interesting. The site has a plethora of cooking and grilling ideas.
The Beer Cake recipe is from a friend who loves to cook and share her recipes.
By Sylvia Tanis
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind
1/2 cup peanuts
Cream shortening, sugar and eggs, add sifted dry ingredients, add to wet ingredients alternate with beer. Add nuts. Bake in a tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
BEER CAN CHICKEN
By Connie Page
1 (4 to 5 pound) whole roasting chicken, rinsed and dried
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind.
Open beer and pour out 1/3 of the beer. Rub entire chicken with Olive Oil (to help hold seasonings in place). Season chicken liberally inside and out with salt pepper and garlic powder. Insert chicken onto beer can, place on a pre-heated grill, positioning legs so it doesn’t tip over (sometimes I use a throw-away square baking pan and put the chicken and can in it). If your grill uses indirect heat, use the outside burners and turn off the middle burners. Place chicken and can in the middle of the grill, close the lid and let cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, keeping the temperature as close to 350 as possible. Check the chicken after 1 hour to make sure it’s not getting too brown. The bigger the bird, the longer the cooking time.