Why cook with beer?

More and more chefs experiment with beer in the kitchen and replace the usual wine by a delicious special beer. This is because beer consists of more ingredients that can add more unique and distinct taste components to a dish. There are the hops, for instance, which give the beer its bitterness, resulting in a deliciously bitter taste in a dish. In addition, the different types of spices and roasted malts that are specific to each beer also add more complex flavour accents. Yeast can also add aroma. Finally, the sugar content of the beer can add a sweetness to a dish, or a savouriness when the sugar "burns". Beer is thus the ideal ingredient to intensify a dish and to add that necessary touch of sweetness or bitterness.
  • Small beer bottles

    When you have beer left over after cooking, it's easy to drink that same beer afterwards with the dish you prepared. This can be a good idea to extend the taste in the dish, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Combining with another matching beer can bring out the flavours of both the dish and the beer you are drinking. Therefore, use smaller bottles of beer rather than large bottles when cooking. This way you won't have any or less beer left over after cooking and you can choose which beer to drink with your dish.

  • Taste is everything

    Have the same tastes in the beer and in the dish as much as possible to enhance the experience: sweet with sweet, bitter with bitter, fruity with summer dishes, spicy beers with winter dishes, ... Or go for opposite tastes to create a new experience: salty with sweet, spicy with refreshing, ... This principle is also important in beer pairing.

  • Pronunciation

    Beer with pronounced and special taste components can lift your dish to a higher level. A tasteless beer doesn't add much to your dish. You better leave it in the cupboard.

  • Bitterness

    The cooking time can influence the bitterness of the dish. The longer beer cooks, the more bitter the taste. For a dish that has to simmer for a long time, choose a beer that is not too bitter or add the beer 10 to 15 minutes before the end so it doesn't boil down.

  • Slowly but surely

    Adding too much beer at once can also overpower the bitter taste of hops in the dish. For a balanced dose it is best to add the beer a little at a time. Has the dish become too bitter? Then you can solve it by adding sugar (pure, in sweet fruits such as sultanas and prunes or in sweet vegetables such as carrots and peppers), lemon juice, cream or a thickener. These ingredients can bring the dish back into balance.
  • Taste!

    The golden rule that all chefs repeat several times: taste, taste, taste! Keep tasting during the whole cooking process. This way you can intervene and correct in time when a certain taste dominates.

  • Experiment

    Did a dish go wrong or did you combine some flavours that don't seem to go so well together? Learn from your own mistakes and don't let it hold back your creativity. Keep improving and experimenting to create new and tasty combinations.