Beer has only 14 grams of alcohol in 12 fluid ounces, which is less than many other wines and spirits, according to the Nutrition Profiles website. Nevertheless, concerned parents often wonder whether it is safe to add beer to food and serve it to their children. Knowing how to prepare foods with this beverage so that the alcohol content is minimal helps parents make informed decisions.
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Types of Food with Beer as an Ingredient
Many types of recipes contain beer and some cooks enjoy the distinctive flavor that the beverage adds. Some recipes include Beer Bread, Beer Cheese Soup, Chili, Beer Can Chicken, cakes and beer batter for seafood dishes. Beer is also an ingredient in many homemade barbecue sauces.
Alcohol Content and Quantity
According to the Nutrition Profiles website, Beer Cheese Soup that contains six servings and only one bottle of beer has only 3 1/2 grams of alcohol -- or about 25 percent -- remaining in the soup. This results in about 0.6 gram of alcohol in each serving. This sum is based on simmering the soup for one hour. The amount of cooking time plays a critical role in how much alcohol content remains.
Reducing the Alcohol Content
Cooking food with beer in it decreases the amount of alcohol the dish contains, according to the Today @ Colorado State website. The size of the pot or pan also determines how much alcohol content remains. This is because larger surface areas allow more of the beer to evaporate during cooking. Cooking time is another factor. If you add a splash of beer to a boiling soup and then remove it from the heat, much of the alcohol content remains. On the other hand, if you marinade a roast in beer and then cook it for a couple of hours, less of the alcohol is evident in the meat dish. The amount of beer you add to the ingredients is another deciding factor.
Substitutes for Adding Flavor
If you really don’t want your children to ingest even minute traces of alcohol, try substituting a nonalcoholic beer in your recipes. You will be able to enjoy the flavor without exposing your kids to alcohol content because nonalcoholic beer has mere traces of alcohol. Many people prefer not to have any alcohol whatsoever in their dishes. This is because they are recovering alcoholics, pregnant or for religious reasons. This is something to keep in mind when you entertain guests. Ultimately, the decision whether to flavor foods with beer to serve in a family meal is up to the parents.