Tap This: Tips for the perfect BeerBQ

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Cooking with beer has been in fashion for years with many of the most renowned chefs dipping their toes into the craft beer waters. This however is far from a fad and, instead, beer is a new culinary ingredient that is here to stay.

The pairing of beer and food is only natural, especially since the most common time to indulge in a great beer is with a great meal. The mixing of the ingredients to create new gastronomic masterpieces is a seeming no brainer, especially when considering the vast flavors extracted from the variety of different beers.

This summer as you get the grill out for some wonderful backyard barbecues why not take some time to infuse beer into the dish. There are simple and easy tricks at your disposal for pulling this off and you do not need to be a trained chef.

Here are just a few ideas to turn your backyard barbecue into a decadent BeerBQ this summer.

Beer infused burgers: When mixing your ground beef together in a bowl, add the standard salt and pepper for flavor, but also mix in a ½ cup of your favorite beer. Stouts and porters will impart a richer mineral taste to the beer that is perfect with barbecue sauce, while hoppier pale ales and IPAs with add a touch of citrus and brightness. Let the burgers rest for about 30 minutes with the beer before putting them on the grill, this will enable the beer to breakdown some of the proteins and make the burgers even softer and juicer.

Beer infused BBQ sauce: If you are a barbecue sauce fanatic you appreciate the real thing when you have it instead of processed corn syrup filled brand name sauces. This summer take on the challenge of making your own sauce and make it truly unique by adding beer. There are endless arrays of sauce recipes online so find one that fits your taste. Once you mix in all the ingredients add a ½ cup of your favorite beer, if you are looking for a thicker Kansas City style sauce, stouts and porters are perfect, but if you are looking for a mustard based sauce like in the Carolina region try adding a pale ale or pilsner. Start with ½ cup and add up to 1 cup to taste and desired consistency.

Beer reduction for steaks: Cooking steak on the grill is one of the pure, simple pleasures of the summer and there are few ways to improve on this delicious flavor profile. However, topping your steak with a decadent beer reduction sauce may be one way to make a good thing better. The best beers for making a reduction are stouts or porters however, using Not Your Father’s Root Beer is also a delicious choice for this topping. Pour a full can or bottle of your beer into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until it starts to bubble lightly. This bubbling signals that you need to start stirring regularly to keep from scorching the beer on the bottom of the pan. Stir the beer lightly for the next 25 minutes until you notice about half of the total beer has evaporated. What is left is a concentrated variation of the original beer that is the perfect glaze for any steak, but be sure to wash the steak down with a beer. Be sure to leave a window open or attempt this outside, your loved ones may not appreciate the smell of cooking beer.

Beer soaked wood chips: Lovers of charcoal grills and wood chips have a new way to impart a subtle beer flavor into our food. Take your favorite wood chips and allows them to soak in your favorite beer for 30 minutes. The beer will permeate the wood enough to burn off and leave a lovely yet subtle taste of beer on the food. However, if you are short on time but love the idea of beer soaked wood chips you can pick up the new offering from Sam Adams which has done the deed for you already. The brewery has recently unveiled their new Sam Adams Summer Ale soaked wood chips.

No matter what your skills are in and around the kitchen these short tips can make you appear like a grill master this summer. The only skill you need is the skill to know good beer and good food. Happy eating!