How to Cook With Alcohol + 5 Alcohol

Alcohol is a potent survival tool and it has the potential to make work easier, safer, more efficient. Here’s how you can use alcohol in your prepper skills – from cooking over fire to skin protection against parasites.

The “usda alcohol burn off chart” is an article that will show you how to cook with alcohol. The article also includes 5 different alcohol recipes.

Beer and wine lineup with alcohol booze.

I have to say, out of all the pieces I’ve written for AoM, this one was the most enjoyable. When I’m in the kitchen, I use my right hand to wield tongs, flip steaks, stir veggies, and plate dinners, and my left hand to handle my alcoholic beverage of choice.

After a hard day, standing over a sizzling cast-iron skillet or my charcoal grill with an ice cold beer or glass of wine in hand is one of my favorite ways to unwind. Some days are more difficult than others, which is why I’ve been known to enjoy a bourbon cocktail now and again.

Whether you drink alcohol or not, the reality is that we all like a little liquor with some of our favorite meals. Alcohol is a common element in most cuisines, from a red wine-laced Bolognese sauce to beer-battered tempura. In fact, when compared to most other ingredients, its flexibility — from cooking fuel to deglazing to braising to finishing — is unrivaled.

To do justice to such a vast and complex topic, a science lab and a whole book would be required. That said, I thought it was vital to highlight some of my favorite dishes as well as the absolute basics of using this product in the kitchen.

Let’s get started! Pour yourself a drink and get to work!

Food and Alcohol Pairing

To begin, one should have a fundamental concept of how to combine food and wine as part of a completed dinner, in my view. We often overcomplicate this mutually beneficial connection by enforcing rigid restrictions. The truth is that it’s best to keep things simple, which might include employing both your sight and your taste sensations. What exactly do I mean? Lighter-colored beers, wines, and spirits work well with lighter-colored meats, sauces, cheeses, and other foods. Your pairings should get darker as the alcohol does. Of course, there are numerous exceptions to this fundamental notion, but in terms of generality, I’ve included some of my favorite wine, beer, and spirit combinations below:

  • White or light fish, mild cheese, fruit — wine: Sauvignon Blanc; beer: lagers
  • Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Chardonna
  • Pinot Noir; wheats, brown ales — grilled fish, vegetables, or lighter meats – chicken, hog, veal; cream or red sauce pasta
  • Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot, Merlot
  • — tomato pasta meals, pizza, pesto, red meats, chicken, heavier sauces; wine: Zinfandel; beer: pale ales — tomato pasta dishes, pizza, pesto, red meats, chicken, heavier sauces
  • Porters, stouts, and high-alcohol beers; wine: Cabernet Sauvignon; beer: porters, stouts, and high-alcohol beers; Dark spirits — red meats, particularly steak, as well as grilled and smoked meals
  • Red meats, spicy meals, pan seared or blackened fish; wine: Syrah; beer: pale ales, IPAs, high alcohol beers — red meats, spicy foods, pan seared or blackened seafood
  • Salads, pasta salads, chicken, fish, mild spicy meals — wine: rosé, champagne; beer: hefeweizens

101 on Cooking with Alcohol

Let us now discuss the use of alcohol in the kitchen. Lighter colored alcohols and spirits, similar to the matching strategy above, find their way into lighter meats, sauces, and meals – a white wine used in a seafood scampi sauce is an example. Darker spirits pair well with heavier meats, sauces, and meals, such as a nutty caramel or chocolate sauce made with dark rum.


People, in my experience, underestimate the quantity of residual alcohol that stays in a dish after it has been cooked. Take a look at the following chart from our colleagues at the USDA:

Method / Preparation   Retained   Evaporated
Flambé is a French word that means “flamed.”   75%   25%
No heat was applied overnight since it was left uncovered.   70%   30%
1 hour baked or boiled after being stirred into the mixture   25%   75%
Baked or boiled for 2-1/2 hours after being stirred into the mixture.   5%   95%
Release 6 of the USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors        

What is the moral of the story? Allow your 10-year-old child consume just a little portion of the flaming bananas foster!

This leads me to my second and most crucial point. Don’t use anything in the kitchen that you wouldn’t drink! As seen above, a significant amount of alcohol will remain in most cooked foods, necessitating the use of a high-quality spirit that does not taste like garbage. There’s no need to spend a fortune on a ’85 taxi, but don’t put anything into your meal that you wouldn’t eat normally.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a few of safety precautions. To prevent potential lawsuits, I’ve avoided using the flambé method in this post – I’ve witnessed far too many near-misses. Keep in mind that alcohol is very flammable, particularly if you’re using a gas burner to cook at high heat. Always remove the dish from the fire, particularly while deglazing pots and pans, in my opinion. If a flare-up occurs, don’t panic; the flame will most likely burn out fast. (Have an extinguisher on standby in case of a fire, or use salt as a last option.)

Is that clear? Let’s get this party started!

5 Delectable Recipes for Cooking with Alcohol

Penne al Vodka (Vodka Penne)

Homemade penne vodka. From my first book, Have Her Over for Dinner, this meal is unquestionably one of the most popular. As a result, it’s been dubbed Penne a la Moops by my pals (for those who are fans of Seinfeld). Anyway, this is a rosé sauce made with tomato and cream, with a dash of vodka to bring the flavors together. This recipe is robust and satisfying, and it also makes excellent leftovers.

Time to prepare: 10 minutes 30 minutes to prepare Total time: 40 minutes 6 people

  • 1 pound penne pasta, dry
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (without casings)
  • 4 tbsp butter (unsalted)
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 12 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 16 oz.
  • 1 quart of thick cream
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 4 cups spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
  1. Cook pasta till al dente in salted water. Drain the water and keep it heated.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a cast-iron pan over medium heat until fully cooked; drain on paper towels.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the butter; add the onions and salt, and cook until soft, approximately 6-8 minutes.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic, red pepper, and mushrooms are soft, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Return the sausage to the saucepan with the tomatoes, cream, and vodka. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer, then lower to low heat and cover for 10 minutes.
  6. Fold in the pasta, then the spinach, and toss until the spinach is wilted and integrated before serving. Serve with shredded cheese on the side.

Scampi with Seafood

Homemade seafood scampi. Every taste of this traditional meal is packed with soft, delicious fish. Cooked chicken breast may be substituted with the shellfish if you don’t like it.


15-minute prep time Cooking time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes 2 people

  • 8 oz linguine pasta, dry
  • salt kosher
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (distributed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 12 pound big shrimp, skinned and deveined, tail still attached
  • 12 pound sea scallops
  • peppercorns, freshly cracked
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 minced tiny shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sauvignon blanc/chardonnay wine
  • 1 small chopped tomato (14.5 oz.)
  • 3-4 sprigs freshly cut fresh flat leaf parsley
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, along with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until pasta is just under al dente. Drain the spaghetti and keep it warm in the oven (add olive oil to pasta to prevent from sticking).
  2. In a pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat while the pasta is cooking.
  3. Season the shrimp and scallops with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper before adding them to the pan. Remove from pan and set on a dish to keep warm, pouring the lemon juice over the top. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until shrimp are just pink and scallops are starting to firm; remove from pan and place on a plate to keep warm.
  4. Over medium-high heat, add the shallots and garlic to the empty pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. With a wooden spoon, scrape off any browned pieces from the bottom of the pan and deglaze with the wine.
  5. Bring to a boil with the tiny diced tomatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by one-third.
  6. Return the shrimp, scallops, and pasta to the pan to finish cooking, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining butter until it is well absorbed. Toss and serve right away. Serve with parsley as a garnish.

Chicken in a Beer Can

Homemade beer chicken. It doesn’t get much manlier than smoking an entire chicken over a can of beer, no sir. This is one of those methods that is a genuine marriage of food and drinking. It is often attempted, but seldom completed. Throughout the cooking process, the beer (any kind will do, as long as it’s in a can) adds flavor and moisture to the chicken. Use a komodo style smoker for the best results, but you may still achieve decent results on a gas grill over indirect heat. For approximately $5, you can get a stand/cradle to raise the bird and keep it stable, which is a worthwhile purchase in my view. You may even go old school and just stand the bird on the container.

Time to prepare: 10 minutes Cooking time: 60–75 minutes 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 25 minutes total 4 people

  • 1 4-5 pound young chicken, well cleaned and rinsed
  • a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. seasoning (Creole)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • half a lemon
  • 1 open can of beer with a handful of swallers
  • Stainless steel stand for beer can chicken
  • Butcher’s twine is a kind of twine used in the meat industry.
  1. Over medium heat, roughly 275-300 degrees, prepare a charcoal smoker or gas grill for indirect heating/smoking.
  2. With the meanwhile, cover the chicken in oil and apply the Creole seasoning all over it, including the cavity. Place the bird on top of the beer on the stand and stuff the cavity with garlic and lemon. Tie the legs together using butcher’s string to keep them secure.
  3. Smoke the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, turning occasionally.
  4. Before carving and serving, tent the chicken with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Seared Filets in a Pan with a Red Wine Pan Sauce

Homemade pan seared filet.


Without breaking the wallet, you can recreate the steakhouse experience at home. Spend a little more on some high-quality steak cuts – remember, great dishes start with excellent ingredients. Red wine’s deep, rich tastes blend with the pan drippings to make a delectable sauce that will elevate this entrée to new heights.

Time to prepare: 10 minutes 30 minutes to prepare Total time: 40 minutes 2 people

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (distributed)
  • 2 filets mignons, 8 oz., room temperature
  • salt kosher
  • peppercorns, freshly cracked
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 12 cup cabernet sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sauvignon sau
  • 12 cup beef broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the filets with salt and pepper in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and cook the filets for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook for another 5-7 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven, depending on the cut (until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F for medium rare/medium). Remove the filets from the oven and cover with foil to keep them warm while they rest.
  3. Return the cast iron pan to the burner and sauté the shallots for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat. Reduce the mixture by half after deglazing the pan with wine.
  4. Add the stock and reduce the mixture by half once more.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the sauce beside the meat.

Granola Crisp with Blueberries, Peaches, and Bourbon

Homemade blueberry granola crisp. Fresh peaches and blueberries are crammed into this reduced version of a traditional cobbler. Better still, I like to add a splash of bourbon to mine to help bring out even more flavor. This fruit combination may be used to make classic cobblers or pies, but I like the crunchy granola crunch on top, which is also a lot simpler to make.

15-minute prep time Cooking time: 40 minutes Total time: 55 minutes 6 people

Fruit Combination

  • 3 pitted, peeled, and sliced ripe peaches
  • 1 cup cleaned fresh blueberries
  • 12 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. bourbon from Kentucky
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • brown sugar, 3 tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg, ground


  • 1 granola cup
  • brown sugar, 2 tbsp.
  • 1 kosher salt pinch
  • 4 tbsp. diced cold butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss the fruit mixture onto a prepared baking sheet until it is evenly distributed.
  3. In a mixing basin, combine the topping ingredients and cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse crumble forms.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crispy, on top of the fruit mixture.
  5. Before serving, let it cool somewhat. If preferred, serve with vanilla ice cream.

What are some of your favorite ways to use alcohol in the kitchen?



Alcohol can be used to cook with, but it’s not recommended because it burns off when baking a cake. It is also important to remember that alcohol doesn’t evaporate and will remain in the cake. Reference: does alcohol burn off when baking a cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cook with alcohol?

A: You should never cook with alcohol because there is a high risk of fire and explosion. If you want to drink alcoholic drinks, then make sure they are out of the way before beginning any cooking activities.

What is the best alcohol to cook with?

A: The best alcohol to use when cooking with is a neutral spirit. If you have a bottle of vodka, for example, it can be used instead of wine or champagne as the main ingredient in many recipes such as Bloody Marys and Pina Coladas.

Does cooking with alcohol remove the alcohol?

A: No, cooking with alcohol does not remove the alcohol. The fumes are so small they pass through your nose and your lungs before you can smell them.

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