Does Alcohol Burn Off In Cooking?

Whenever cooking with alcoholic drinks, you may ponder whether the alcohol is burning up like you think it is. You want the flavor; you just don’t want the alcohol that is included with it for personal, religious, or some other reason. Consequently, is there any alcohol remaining when you cook with it? Is there a certain way it must be cooked to remove the alcohol? Let’s simply say it’s most likely not what you believe it is.

The common belief is that cooking alcohol for a probably twenty minutes will leave and evaporate the alcohol. This is really false. It will require considerably longer than any other time considered to cook all the alcohol out. It could take around three hours for the alcohol to burn off completely.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture really tested simply how much alcohol remains with certain cooking techniques and made a chart to relay the results. It’s true that alcohol disappears during food preparation, just not as quickly as previously perceived. Ends up, leaving alcohol uncovered overnight reduces the amount of alcohol better than a quick flamb. The chart looks something such as this:

Alcohol Burn-Off Chart

Preparation Method Percent Retained

alcohol added to boiling liquid and removed from heat 85%

alcohol flamed 75%

no heat, stored overnight 70%

baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%

Baked/simmered dishes with alcohol stirred into the mixture

15 minutes cooking time 40%

30 minutes cooking time 35%

1 hour cooking time 25%

1.5 hour cooking time 20%

2 hour cooking time 10%

2.5 hour cooking time 5%

Looks like slowly building up the alcohol in the mixture is the best way to go about alcohol evaporation. You could prefer simmering the alcohol by itself until all the alcohol has been burned off and then adding it to whatever you’re cooking. It could depend on the recipe, your choice and the circumstance of the household how you start cooking, but it’s good to know what’s taking place with that wine you’re throwing into the food.

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