We once tried to use beer instead of water when stewing cubed chicken breast pieces on a lark, and it turned out pretty tasty (surprise, since we don't actually like to drink beer).

However, we were leery about offering the result to the kids since weren't sure how much alcohol would remain in the dish after it's done.

Is there any reliable information about how much alcohol from beer would remain after stewing for 1/2 to 1 hour?

  • Did you see the top related question, cooking away alcohol? It has plenty of information about things like this. – Cascabel Dec 15 '13 at 15:50
  • @Jefromi - I did. It didn't mention beer and my assumption is beer would possibly be different from wine or other spirits. – DVK Dec 15 '13 at 15:52
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    Also, consider the portion size you give your children. Beer is only typically on the order of 5-8% alcohol; when diluted with the rest of the ingredients, even without cooking down, they may be getting no more actual alcohol content than they would in a dose of cough medicine, for example. You are quite unlikely to have tipsy children running around! – SAJ14SAJ Dec 15 '13 at 17:01
  • @DVK Nope, everything in the other question applies here too, and the answer SAJ14SAJ gave you is exactly the same form as the answers on the other question. (Sure, beer generally starts with less alcohol, so 35% left is less for beer than for something stronger, but none of the answers say they depend on the starting alcohol content.) – Cascabel Dec 15 '13 at 17:37

The short answer is: it depends, on exactly how you cooked the dish, and what other ingredients are in it.

In practice, for a long simmered dish, the answer is going to approach about 20% as documented in the USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors Release 6 under the table entry "ALC BEV,STIRRED,BKD/SIMMRD 1.5 HR". Increasing time to 2.5 hours would go down to about 5%.

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  • Would it affect things that it's beer, not wine? that document doesn't seem to distinguish. – DVK Dec 15 '13 at 16:02
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    Not significantly, ethanol is ethanol. – SAJ14SAJ Dec 15 '13 at 16:18

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