I make Rachael Ray's beef teriyaki with green beans, although I double the amount of sauce. I usually use dry sherry (rather than mirin), 15-20% alcohol. Given that the sauce is only cooked for a couple minutes, how much of the alcohol will burn off?

  • There are a lot of factors that go into answer. See cooking.stackexchange.com/q/659/67 . I'd say 'not a lot' as it's added with other liquid and not cooked for long (although, it's a wide vessel over high heat)
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 13:20
  • You ask two subtly different questions. Your title: how much is left?; your question body: how much will boil off? We could assume the latter is zero and divide the total amount added by the number of servings to answer the former, which may or may not address the underlying issue (which I presume is to minimise the amount you're serving). At the moment this question is very close to a duplicate of the one Joe linked, but it could be more specific and more interesting with a little more detail
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 14:48
  • 1
    @ChrisH added a bit about the real underlying question
    – mmathis
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 16:39
  • 2
    I had to revert the edit, because that would be "primary opinion based", it is your parenting choice if X amount of alcohol is OK for your children. We can at most give you a range for X, which is already served by the original wording. But I also find that the question Joe linked is a potential duplicate target, so I made a Meta question on our policy for this kind of question earlier today. Opinions welcome at cooking.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3515
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 16:45
  • I've had a look at the edit, and apart from the issues rumtscho points out, it still says nothing about how much sherry you put in, so still leaves the question unanswerable. Say you're making enough to feed 3 (you+2 kids). A teaspoonful would be fine, a whole bottle wouldn't. I'm sure you use something in between. If you want the resulting sauce to have <0.5% ABV, which is often accepted as effectively alcohol-free (more detail we can help you run the numbers if you give the numbers.
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


It is impossible to calculate. Alcohol is more volatile (in a chemistry sense volatility is a measurement of a substances tendency to vaporize) than water, but it doesn't disappear anywhere near as fast as many people think, especially when it's mixed in with water.

You are adding the alcohol to a wide pan on high heat and stirring a lot, which is certainly a good combination for alcohol loss, but the finished dish will still have some alcohol in it.

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