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Cooking with Alcohol – Facts & Myths?

bbq cooking

Cooking with Alcohol back in the day!

When Nana is serving up the boiled fruit cake at Christmas and says, “It’s fine for the kiddies, all the alcohol is burned off during the cooking process”, stop her right there.  When you are cooking with alcohol, it is never completely cooked off and here are the ratios:


Alcohol remaining

Ingesting orally


Boil then remove




15 mins


30 mins


60 mins


150 mins


It also needs to be taken into consideration the alcohol affected food will then be portioned out so this reduces the individual alcohol intake again.   So you may then feel that there is no real cause for alarm however peoples’ dietary restrictions or allergies need to be considered.  There also needs to be a concern for those who are getting behind the wheel after the meal.  They may have carefully restricted their alcohol intake to be able to have a couple of glasses and still be under the blood alcohol limit but the brandy in the pudding may well put them into the drink driving range.

So, with all the disclaimers and warnings in place, let’s talk about some yummy recipes that you can start cooking with alcohol:

Unforgettable Beer Bread


  • 225gms plain flour
  • 115 gm whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped dill
  • 45 gms tasty cheese
  • 350 gms beer


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Coat bread tin with spray on oil.
  2. Whisk together plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and dill.
  3. Add the cheese and beer, stir in only to combine, don’t over mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the oiled tin.
  5. Bake in the middle rack of the oven until the internal bread temperature reaches 100 degrees.  Bake for 45-55 mins.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in the tin for 10 mins.  Then transfer the loaf to a cool rack.  Wait 10-15 mins before serving.

Lovely Lamb Shoulder Chops with Red Wine


  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 lamb shoulder blade chops
  • 2 cups red wine (suggest blend e.g. Grenache, Mouverde, Syrah) + extra tbsp.
  • 4 large sprigs fresh rosemary + extra tbsp.
  • 375 gms finely chopped dried plums
  • 375 gms finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into squares
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place large sauté pan on med heat for about 5 mins.
  2. Combine the lamb with the oil and fruit in a large mixing bowl.
  3. When the pan is hot sear the lamb either side for 1 min.
  4. Remove from pan and cool for 5 mins.
  5. Place the meat in a snap lock bag followed by the red wine and rosemary sprigs.
  6. Reduce the air in the bag as much as possible to allow the wine to penetrate the meat.
  7. Refrigerate for 3 hours.  Put on a plate or in a container in case the snap lock bag leaks.
  8. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees.
  9. Place the bag with the lamb in a large sauté pan with sides and cover.  Put the pan on the middle rack in the oven and braise until the meat is tender, approx. 3.5 hrs.
  10. Remove meat from pan and set aside with foil covering it to keep it warm and allow the juices to continue to marinate the meat.
  11. With the juices in the pan, place the pan over a low heat on the stove, add the plums and apricots.  Simmer and whisk continually to thicken the consistency, around 10 mins.
  12. Whisk in the butter 1 square at a time.  Wait until one square has completely melted before adding the next.
  13. Whisk in extra tbsp wine and tbsp rosemary.
  14. Continue to cook for about 1 min.  Check for taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  15. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve.

Find more great Weber recipes you can be whipping up in no time, whether you’re cooking with alcohol or not.

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