Beyond the Teacup: 9 Recipes Made With Tea

Tea-Smoked Chicken

If you're a big tea drinker, you probably go through cups and cups of the cozy hot beverage on a daily basis. It's a great way to relax and recharge, to soothe the throat or maybe it's just a habit. But have you ever taken a moment to think about what uses tea may have in cooking? It's a given that teas are flavorful — black teas are strong, green teas are light and then there are so many more types in between. Take some tea — maybe even your favorite kind — and incorporate it into a recipe. You're bound to get flavorful results, not to mention a very creative meal.

There are actually many uses for teas in recipes: brining, poaching, braising and even baking are some methods that benefit from its use. And the best part is, these recipes don't make you go out of your way to use the tea — in most cases it's just swapping in brewed tea for the liquid that you would normally have used, like the water or stock in a braise, for example. If you're willing to give cooking with tea a try, here are some of Food Network's best recipes.

Recipes Made With Tea
Tea-Smoked Chicken (pictured above)

Chicken thighs are smoked in a steamer basket placed over a wok containing a mixture of white rice, Chinese black tea and brown sugar.

Tea gets used in two ways in this recipe: as a dry rub for the ribs as they roast in the oven and brewed into a liquid to pour into the pan to help finish cooking the meat.

Chicken pieces brine in sweet lemony tea, then get dredged in buttermilk and flour before being deep-fried. Serve with freshly baked biscones.

Green tea — along with lime, honey, ginger and peppercorns — is used in the poaching liquid for cooking and flavoring this Asian-style salmon dish.

For an Asian-American take on braising, this recipe adds Lapsang Souchang tea, soy sauce and sugar to the classic ingredient of red wine to braise the hanger steak until extremely tender.

This duck is brined in tea to penetrate the meat with flavor and then it's glazed with tea while roasting to lacquer the skin.

These chocolate cupcakes are topped with Earl Grey frosting for a unique accompaniment to tea.

Orange pekoe tea flavors the custard filling of this homey pie.

The recipe for these cupcakes starts by steeping tea bags in warm milk, which goes right into the batter.

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