August 2017 by Ginger Johnson
Beer is a deliciously creative ingredient in your kitchen if you think about it that way. I’m an avid cook and know a bit about beer. Everything I bring into my kitchen is free game for full use. And since we’re deep into the warmer summer months, beer ice cubes are one of my go-to ideas in tapping into beer as ingredient.
It’s really very simple:
- Think about beers per their flavors that you’d like to add to your cookings.
- Procure those beers.
- Dispense them carefully into ice-cube trays and freeze.
- Use as desired.
- Repeat and experiment.
Now, is it really that simple? Yes! Are there some tactics to ensure best results? Yes. Here they are.
- Dedicate a separate ice-cube tray for this endeavor. Since most of them are plastic, the tray will adopt a beery flavor patina over time. Use one that releases easily, instead of shattering the cubes in removal. You can use a permanent marker to easily ID the beer cube tray.
- If you’re using fresh beer, pour slowly into the trays. The space is small so gently and slowly pouring the beer into the cube spaces will keep foaming to a minimum.
- If you’re using flat beer – which still has plenty of flavor to offer – then still pour slowly, though foaming likelihood is reduced since the beer has significantly decarbonated already.
- If the cubes look foamy regardless, let them sit a few minutes or gently stir them to help with decarbonation. Doing so can reduce foamy crystals in your beer cubes.
- Once they are frozen, you can let them remain in the tray until you’re ready to use them or remove them to a separate container, making easy access of the number of cubes you wish to use at any time.
Making beer ice cubes for prep and cooking is a terrific way to utilize beer you won’t drink as well. If you’ve had a party, there’s a partial container remaining that you don’t want to put into your compost, then cube it! As I stated above, beer still holds a great deal of flavor regardless of the carbonation level. Repurpose the beer and let it shine in a whole host of cookings.
How can you then use the beer cubes? For one, I featured beer in Beerinades (2013 article), which is a superb way to repurpose beer from cubes. The slight acidity in beer replaces other acids for tenderizing in grilling. Soup, stew and chili all benefit from the addition of beer in the pot. And beer cubes can enhance muffins; think wheat beer cubes in banana muffins.
Using beer cubes in cooking requires some forethought, both for melting and also for replacement purposes. Questions and ideas are always welcome too – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime to inquire and share. I suggest you simply dig in and start experimenting.
Until the next time, cheers ~
You can find Ginger at the links below and also follow her on Twitter.