Why Beer Belongs in Your Food, Not Just Your Glass

Pour frothy, ice-cold beer into recipes for cakes, fondue, chicken and more from Food Network.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015

If the word “six-pack” doesn’t conjure an image of chiseled abs, but rather a cardboard carton tailor-made for carrying frosty bottles of ice-cold beer, then you are on the same page as we are. Now, you might call us crazy, but we think that real-deal beer lovers don’t just drink a frothy beer straight from the can. Even if pouring one out for a recipe feels wrong, sacrificing one of your six brings the hoppy, bubbly qualities of the brewery-bred beverage into some of your favorite foods.

Beer belongs in cake.

When you stir some beer into cake batter, a little magic happens. Take this Can o’ Beer Cake. Beer’s innately bitter and floral notes cut the sometimes-cloying sweetness of all that sugar and frosting, so you get a more complex, ultra-tender finished product. Once you get a load of this slice, browse the beauty of our five other beautiful beer cakes.

Beer belongs with chicken.

Beer can chicken might be a summer backyard party staple, but it’s actually easy to do this preparation in the oven. For Big Bud’s Beer Can Chicken, Guy Fieri perches a whole chicken over a can of just-cracked-open beer — that has a few cloves of garlic dropped inside for added punch — and then drapes the chicken with bacon before roasting it in the oven.

GOUDAANDBEER FONDUE BREAD BOWL Food Network Kitchen Food Network Crusty Bread, Gouda Cheese, Swiss Emmentaler Cheese, Cornstarch, Lager Beer, Lemon Juice, Dijon Mustard, Kosher Salt, Garlic, Apples, Pears

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Beer belongs with cheese.

Pour a bottle of lager beer into a melty, mustard-spiked mixture of Gouda and Swiss Emmentaler cheeses for a gooey dip that’s best with contrasting crisp apples or hearty bread. But this Gouda-and-Beer Fondue Bread Bowl isn’t the only cheesy dish that beer belongs in: beer cheese-loaded potato skinsBeer-Cheese Burgers and a Beer-and-Cheese Party Plate are just a few of our other favorites.



Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Beer belongs in fry batters.

It’s a well-known fact that frothy, bubbly beer ensures that batter reaches crispy greatness once it hits the fryer. Guy’s buttermilk-marinated Beer-Battered Mushrooms with Garlic Aioli from Food Network Magazine are serious proof of the drink’s magic properties.



Food Stylist: Susan Spungen Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Beer belongs in sweets.

Full-fledged cakes aren’t the only treat that benefit from the complexity of a glug of beer. Food Network Magazine’s Beer-Pretzel Caramels are made with a whole bottle of brown ale, which counters the sweet brown sugar and rich butter.

Want another round? Brush up on your beer basics here.

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