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6 Easy Ways to Cook Tasty BBQ With Craft Beer

6 Easy Ways to Grill With Craft Beer to Make Mouth-Watering Barbecue That’s Packed With Flavor

Let’s be real. There’s nothing that compares to grilling in the great outdoors — cold beer in hand and wind in your hair. If you’re into craft beer and delicious barbeque, here’s a few simple ways to step your grill game up a notch by adding craft beer into your grilling process (and we don’t mean just drinking it).

Why waste a beer on food instead of drinking it you ask?

Because grilling with craft beer gives your food flavors and tenderness that you’ve secretly longed for in your wildest dreams (but may not even know it yet).

Trust us, once you grill with craft beer, you’ll never go back to beerless barbeque.

Marinate or Brine Your Meat in Beer

If you’re on the hunt for grilled meat that’s moist, flavor-packed, and just downright delicious, marinating or brining your meat is an easy and sure way to go (they are very similar processes)! 

Beer is a perfect base for a marinade. It’s not as acidic as wine or vinegar, and it makes your meat incredibly tender. Also, it’s ideal for tenderizing more delicate foods, like fish and other seafood, because you don’t risk compromising their texture with harsher acidic liquids. 

The reason marinades are so spectacular is because the beer breaks down the connective tissues of the meat soaking in it, which in turn melts the collagen in the meat and lets water in. Long story short — you’ll get the juiciest barbeque ever. 

The best part? Marinade is super easy to make — it’s as simple as throwing together craft beer with some high-quality oil, herbs and spices, and whatever other ingredients you’re feeling at the moment for extra flavors.

However, don’t be too liberal when adding oil. Using too much of it will turn your grill into a smokey and messy disaster (no one wants to deal with that).

Brining meat is a super similar process to marinating meat, but instead of soaking it in a marinade you soak the meat in a solution that’s mostly salt water. The salt water lets the meat’s proteins retain more water and seasons it from the inside out. 

When using beer for a brine, substitute water with beer, and like marinating, you can throw in other ingredients, such as herbs and spices. 

These barbeque beer methods are fantastic because:

Marinating meat when barbequing is good for your health — that’s right! This is because beer helps to get rid of a nasty chemical, heterocyclic amines (HCAs), that are created during the barbequing process (now you have yet another reason to barbeque with beer). 

But on the other hand, when you choose to brine your meat, you’re in for a treat —  super flavorful meat that’s just downright tender as can be. 


Make a Basting Sauce with Beer

Basting your meat while it’s cooking is simple — you just take the marinade, cooking juices, sauce, or beer straight-up and keep spreading it over your cooking meat, usually with a barbeque basting brush (or you can just drizzle it).

Be careful if you baste with a marinade that you’ve already soaked the meat in because you can risk adding bacteria from the raw meat to your food over and over. 

A simple way to get around this is to set aside some of the marinade before you soak the meat in it. If you just have the marinade your meat already sat in, no sweat — just be sure you’re cooking your meat long enough and hot enough to kill off any bacteria from the marinade.

These barbeque beer methods are fantastic because:
If you’re looking for layers of flavor on juicy meat, this is calling your name.

Add Beer to Your Smoker

An incredibly easy and messless way to get moist meat is to simply use beer as a humidifier by adding it to your grill’s drip pan or water basin. This is especially great for using rotisserie and roasting and smoking meat and will give it tons of mouth-watering flavors.

This does wonders in giving your meat smoky flavors because as the beer evaporates it mixes with the smoke. The moisture in the smoke makes your meat stickier, which means that smoke particles landing on your meat are absorbed into it even more. 

These barbeque beer methods are fantastic because:

The more beer you drink, the more you’ll taste the beer flavors in your meat. So, for the best outcome, be sure to drink beer when you use this method! (a win-win). 

Also, you’re mixing beer in your drip pan, which means that your drippings that you use for gravy will have amazing beer flavor. 

Make a Barbecue Sauce with Beer

Does life get better than finger-licking good barbeque with a craft beer barbeque sauce and a craft beer in hand?

Craft beer is a match made in heaven for your barbeque sauce! Beer is brimming with natural flavor boosters go perfectly with a pre-made barbeque sauce or a barbeque sauce from scratch.

To keep it as simple as possible, add a 12oz can of your favorite beer and bottle of barbeque sauce in a pan. Simmer that stuff until it’s reduced and thick. (Barbeque sauces are amazing with darker beers like porters and stouts.)

Just be careful — using too much of a hoppy beer will overpower your sauce with bitterness, so use it in moderation (like all great things)!

These barbeque beer methods are fantastic because:

You’re now in a whole new world now. The possibilities of beer and sauce combos are endless. 

Spray or Spritze Your Meat with beer

This constantly gives your meat fresh beer flavors while it’s grilling and ensures that it doesn’t dry out as it cooks. Spray beer by itself, or mix your beer with some water and chopped herbs for extra deliciousness. 

And, guys, be safe about this. Although beer is generally low enough in alcohol to not be dangerous, don’t spray it directly into the flames. (You probably want to keep your eyebrows.)

Feeling a little adventurous? Instead of a spray bottle, put your finger over a longneck beer, gently shake it, and move your thumb slightly to spray some beer on your meat.

These barbeque beer methods are fantastic because:

You’ll get a beautiful caramelization on your meat from the sugar in the beer and the moisture will help the smoke element to stick to your meat — talk about tasty.


Beer is Your Barbecue’s Best Friend

Whether you’re an avid recipe follower or a wild card that’s into marching to your own drum (and recipes), just remember — craft beer always has your back when it comes to creating culinary awesomeness on the grill.

The possibilities are endless for different variations of tender and flavor-popping barbeque. 

And of course, for an out-of-this-world grilling experience, try experimenting with some of our current brews on tap for your next cookout.

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