Alcohol in Food AFTER Cooking

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Alcohol in Food AFTER Cooking

Postby garden variety » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:31 pm

Hi all,

This has come up every now and again about "cooking" the alcohol out of food when a receipe calls for booze. Guess what? It doesn't go away even after it's cooked. I found this information that might be useful to some. It sure is to me - I'm always trying to be on guard and I always ask in restaraunts if alcohol is used in cooking, but also in desserts. You'd be surprised.

Alcohol left in food after cooking!

This information was initially established by FDA research; a study was subsequently published in the April 1992 edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA). The citation is on PubMed, but the JADA issues prior to 1993 are not available online. Library citation is: J Am Diet Assoc. 1992 Apr;92(4):486-8. The authors are: Augustin J, Augustin E, Cutrufelli RL, Hagen SR, Teitzel C. [Department of Food Science and Toxicology, Food Research Center, Moscow, ID 83843.]

Cooking With Alcohol

Q. When cooking with beer or alcohol, does all of the alcohol evaporate?

A. No. The following chart should be helpful.

No heat application, immediate consumption - 100%
No heat application, overnight storage - 70%
Alcohol ingredient added to boiling liquid, and removed from heat - 85%
Flamed - 75%
Baked, approximately 25 minutes, alcohol ingredient
on surface of mixture (not stirred in) - 45%

Baked/simmered, alcohol ingredient stirred into mixture

15 minutes 40%
30 minutes 35%
1 hour 25%
1.5 hours 20%
2 hours 10%
2.5 hours 5%

What can I substitute if a recipe calls for beverages with alcohol?

The best, but not always the easiest solution, is to find another recipe without alcohol that will fill the need. If the beer or wine is a major ingredient in your recipe, or if a large quantity is called for, it makes sense not to attempt a substitute. The results could be unpleasant. In such a case, look for another recipe.

Often the alcohol required will be a small amount, such as a couple of tablespoons, and in this case there are several substitutions:

In recipes having plenty of seasonings, plan water may be substituted. Both the alcohol and a substitute may be omitted if the liquid isn't needed for a gravy or sauce.

When cooking with fish, an equal amount of bottled or fresh clam or fish stock may be substituted. Just remember, bottled clam juice and some fish stocks are high in salt. Some people use white grape juice with fish.

Other substitutes include chicken or beef broth. Juice such as lemon, lime, apple or cranberry are all possibilities.

Article courtesy of Lund Food Holdings, Inc. ©

Source: Minnesota Nutrition Council Newsletter © 1999

Site Admin
Posts: 4830
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Alcohol is not cooked out of food when added

Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:52 pm

Thanks Paul!!!!

I've been telling people in recovery this -- for the last 20 years.

I'm glad that you posted the info that is well documented -- and that the info is not from the restaurant, or from an alcoholic who knows everything about everything. (Naturally not meaning you -- I'm referring to others who think they know everything about alcohol and everything else).

If there is a link to this info please send it to me.

Thanks again for all that you do for A.A. and for us on this site!!!


Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:22 pm

Postby DebbieV » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:20 pm

Hey Paul,

I am so glad you posted that information, my brother and I went to my parents house for dinner not to long ago, we are both alcoholics, and our parents know about it. My dad made a brisket and put wine in the sauce, as he does ever so ofter. He believed, as well as I did, that the alcohol cooks out. My brother and I both have less than 2 months, and without any knowledge of this ate quit a bit of brisket. By the grace of God neither one of us went back out, and I do believe it was by the grace of God. I don't want to mess with that phenomenon of craving that Dr. Silkworth talks about. I have felt it inside and I don't ever want to feel it again.
I really did believe that it cooks out, and I would have continued believing that until I read your post.
From this Alcoholics: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! You may have saved my life. :D :D :D :D

Jan P.
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:36 am

booze in food

Postby Jan P. » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:23 am

Ha! I saw this study, too, and I was so glad to finally have scientific backup.

I've been going out to dinner with my family (or others) for years in sobriety, "embarrassing" my father by querying the waiter about what's in a dish, and listening to my dad or others tell me it cooks out. I always politely say, "Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't -- I just want to be sure."

Now I can state with confidence, "No, it doesn't (and why don't you worry about something other than what I'm choosing to put into my body?)

(lingering resentment? Do I need to put on my next 4th step?)


Site Admin
Posts: 4830
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:06 am

With the holiday seasons getting close and with a lot of eating that will be going on -- I thought that this would be a good topic to be thinking about!

It's amazing.... how many alcoholics still think that alcohol gets cooked out of food! :lol:

I was with a friend last night in a restaurant - and she has an allergy to shrimp. The allergy is so bad -- that it could kill her to eat shrimp.

So, while she was ordering her food -- she wanted to make sure that the food she ordered would not be cooked in the same oil that had previously cooked shrimp.

My first thoughts were "wouldn't whatever was left over with the shrimp get cooked out of the oil?" -- It kind of reminded me about the "food in alcohol" discussions.

Of course, the waitress and the cook understood her concerns -- more than I did. And, my friend said "well, if the shrimp has been cooked in the oil, and not too much of it was cooked in the oil -- at least only my throat will swell up and make it difficult to breath (and, I think she said her eyes would swell up, too) -- but, it probably won't kill me.

An allergic reaction. For her -- it's shrimp. For me -- it's alcohol.

As an alcoholic it is unsafe for me to use alcohol in any form at all -- even if it is cooked! :lol:

Alcoholism is not a theory -- for those of us who are alcoholic! We have to live sober (zero, zip, zilch, nada, nil, none) -- with no alcohol whatsoever.

In AA, we define sober as "100% total complete abstinence from alcohol." That's why it's in our book -- to remind us, that "it's unsafe for us to use alcohol -- in any form at all."

"Well does that mean -- any and all forms?" (That's the rationalizing alcoholics question). ALL includes ANY!

Last edited by Dallas on Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:11 am

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:47 pm

Whew!! Talk about a "flambeed topic" :lol: . Just kidding. There was a member in the program who was also a chef. This came up as a topic. As a chef, he stated that there was never any guarantee that all of the alcohol cooks out or burns off, and at that...although the 'content' may dissipate, the flavor will still be there. It's a good idea to be as cautious as though allergic to peanuts...or...shrimp for that matter. We can buy granola bars and chocolate bars that indicate on the box that they are peanut free. If you had a child or grandchild who was deathly allergic to peanuts, you'd be looking for those peanut free labels. Cough medicines & cold remedies...there are alcohol free products on the shelves. As for the listerine/mouthwashes...ideally you are spitting it out, not swallowing it (YIK)...(Nyquil on the rocks?? :shock: :P :twisted: ...why bother? Just go&get some Jack Daniels for heaven-sake :P :wink: ). Back to the cooking, though...most recipes that say to use cooking sherry or wine usually include an alternative that is non-alcoholic. The chef said that if it's a red wine sauce, one can use (and he has) either red grape juice (or crush some real red grapes), and one can add a little vinegar. For white sauces, vinegar and a little bit of chicken oxo. (Pretty sure that there are non-alcoholic products on the shelves, too...haven't ever looked for sure, but chances are....they're out there). The point is, there are alternatives. I had made a joke one evening prior to meeting start-up...there weren't too many in attendance, one asked where another was...a joking comment was made about the one absentee's age (he'd just turned 50 a few days before, so a razz). I added to the humor, something about home/taking his geritol. It was the chef, in fact, who said that there is alcohol in that (this is what actually sparked the meeting topic).

Seeing as how Dallas has brought this up...and with the holidays right around the corner, it's just a suggestion, to be mindful at staff parties and other be mindful of the punch bowls, the chocolates getting passed around (may be liquered) and other foods. I usually try to mention this at meetings about this time of year, and last year (or the year before???), it had escaped my mind. A couple of days after Christmas, at a meeting, one of the members was absolutely beside herself because she had never even considered the liquered chocolates. She was at her staff party, the host was passing a plate of chocolates around, the member took one graciously&innocently...never even thought that the chocolates would be a danger. As soon as she bit into it, she knew. It was rum. Everyone was sitting around a living room, she was self-conscious about getting up and spitting it out (she'd only begun this job a couple of months prior), not wanting to be rude (be rude, kids...), she swallowed it. She said the experience of feeling the rum/chocolate sliding down...was warm, her muscles relaxed, and what she felt was sheer relief...then...sheer anger. She got up, angry, flew off the handle, saying things like 'they knew she was in could they pass around a plate of chocolates full of liquor on not tell her.' She stormed out...and went and got herself more liquor. Now she'd slipped, so she might as well make good use of it. (We won't go into how well she was or how long she'd been in the program...not the point). What amazed her afterwords, was how one minute...she was calm, not wanting to be rude, she didn't spit the chocolate out...then the next...completely embarrassed herself. She learned, exactly, how alcohol, even in the most minimal quantity, affected her thinking.

Could I just have one glass of wine today? Sure. How it affects me is...tomorrow would come...then I would think: I had that one glass yesterday, and stopped at that, hmmmm :twisted: ...I can do that again today. And...I could. But...the next day...I'd think, okay...I'll have 2, then the next day...4, then the next day...why stop at 4? It's a mind altering substance for me. I begin to illogically "rationalize" :twisted: , won't burn me this time. U-huh...rii-iight. Hence I trigger dishonesty with myself, I trigger a big heap of a volcano that I've been trying to diminish by working these steps. Never mind the slap in the face to God as I understand Him...'thanks God for saving my, I'll go out'll save me again...I have faith.' :twisted: Riii-iight :evil: .

For me...I've been taught that it's not a good idea to take any chances. This is my life. For me, it's a life and death situation. I used to have thoughts, not of taking my own life...but...there were many times where I thought that if I "accidentally" got hit by a bus, that'd be a good day for me. Today...well...I drive a bus. Safest place for me when it comes to buses is behind the wheel. The safest way for me, without any wonder, without any to stay away from the accidents--stay off of alcohol absolutely. It's not my place to ask a host of a party to make sure nobody brings anything that might have liquor in it. It's my responsibility to ask 'what of these has alcohol in it?' so that I know what to avoid. I've gotten to a place where I desire to have my sobriety protected. Maybe that 'little thing' won't give me the inclination to go out and drink...but...maybe it will, and for me...that's a gamble I'm not willing to indugle in.

Great topic!! Keep it simple, kids.
In the Spirit of the fellowship,

garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:40 am

Yup Dallas - I'm down with you on this one too.

"alcohol in any form" means just that.

Here's one to remember for the holidays.

This is the time of year where your worst friend will offer to buy you a drink. The temptations will also be there probably moreso durring the hoidays (and I don't mean the Motown group). I always remember that it's not when things are going crazy that cause the most problems. A man doesn't trip over a mountain, he trips over an anthill.

I'm learning to never forget these words right from the book:

"Suddenly the thought crossed my mind"

God bless and have a safe non-alcoholic season.

Tina L.
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:05 am

Postby Tina L. » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:23 pm

I met a lady who was sober for many years. She likes to bake with vanilla. She put vanilla in her baking and started licking the spoon. It did nt happen right away but she started leaving a little extra in the spoon. One day she was baking cookies and poured a spoon of vanilla and licked it out of the spoon. She said she did not think it would hurt her. She put a few drops in her coffee. Gradually she baked more often and was eating more vanilla and one day she started drinking the vanilla from the bottle. She kept going to aa and did not think anything about it and one day she drank the whole bottle of vanilla and went to buy more bottles and that is how she lost many years of sobriety. It took her to the gutter and now she is trying to get sober again. We have alcohol ism not alcohol was m. If sobriety does not come first in your life as an alcoholic which means no pills pot drugs vanilla or anything that has alcohol in it you are fooling yourself and tempting your ism. Don't say you did not know what was going to happen because if you play with fire you will get burned. Those drinks that advertise no alcohol if you check it out they mean not enough alcohol to make it legal alcoholic drink. I go on panels to womens treatment centers. there are women who started on cough syrup and it led them back to drugs and drinking. dont be stupid be sober.

Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:11 am

My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:26 pm

THIS is what I love about AA. It is thru words and conversation that brings it all to life, and I mean that in a good way.

>>Dallas: I don't know why, but TODAY, even though I've read it/heard it; read it/heard many about a light-bulb moment :idea: :) .:

"Alcohol has damaged the part of the mind that differentiates between the truth and the false."

TODAY...I 'get' it. I SAW it differently somehow. I guess I still had a sense of: what's wrong with me? I get and accept that I'm alcoholic; understand and comprehend that, for me, it's deadly in any and all forms...period. Still, though, there was a sense, like...? You dropped a piece of a jigsaw look and look--know it's there, cuz you heard it drop...can't see it. Finally, you do see it, and realize the reason you couldn't find it was because it had flipped upside down, &the backside was the same color as the floor. I know that probably doesn't make sense...but the message for me in this essence, isn't about food at all. The message, for more of a subliminal one.

"Must believe: the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind." I understood the words, but...I realize today, that I failed to comprehend what this meant; what does this mean? How? The rest of the explanation was there all along, of course...but there was a 'gap' or a 'gliche' if you will. Exactly--what is wrong with me/with my mind is...the PART of the mind that differentiates between the truth& damaged. Alcohol has destroyed that part. This was the "mental crunch" for me--a place where I was stuck. I knew I was stuck, but...couldn't see why...or how? Enough so, that I couldn't even begin to form the words to ask about it. Indeed, this is precisely what I've been barking up trees about--wasn't 'getting' something, and I knew it.

Thank you--everyone...without this topic, and all of your words--you all essentially helped me connect a couple of more dots upstairs...important ones, too. Understanding that I'm alcoholic wasn't enough, but it got me here, to this point of growth TODAY. You have no idea the sense of relief and release that has occured deep within me. Keep talkin' kids!

In the Spirit of the fellowship,
Thanks for keeping me sober.

Anne M.

garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:28 pm

I know you did a lot of work posting these couple of posts, but brother these here lines cut completely to the chase. Oh this is so beautiful and simple. Thanks a load Dallas! You really hit the nail square on the head.

Dallas wrote:1. Alcohol effects the mind of the "allergic types" differently than it does the non-allergic types. (Alcoholic and non-alcoholic)

2. Alcohol has damaged the part of the mind of the alcoholic that "differentiates between the truth and the false." (It doesn't damage that part of the mind of the non-alcoholic)

3. "That part of the mind"... is the part of the mind that tells us when something is good for us -- and when something is not good for us.
As humans -- we were naturally born with "that part of the mind."

A part of our minds... that instinctively knows from the good and the bad for us.

And, in the alcoholic, it's "that part of the mind" that alcohol destroys. It doesn't damage that part of the mind... in the non-alcoholic.

That's why we're powerless. That's what makes us alcoholic..

For those new folks here like Anne Marie, Lou, and Justin, read those things above and let them sink in. I don't know if I ever heard alcoholism explained in simpler and clearer words. This is what the first 3 chapters of the book are all trying to say.

And here is the one that I love best:

Dallas wrote:There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove.

Now this is something I've said alcoholism is like to non-alcoholics, and of all the things they can't understand about alcoholism, they seem to be able to grasp at this and have an idea of why we do what we do. Also, new folks seem to understand this too. It is such a graphic way of putting it.

When I was talking to my mom about this, she couldn't understand why she never knew about my alcoholism and she knew me all my life. I told I didn't know either until late in life. Then I said something like this:

"It's like having the nerves in your hand that feel heat and pain cut off from your brain completely. Then you see this hot stove and put your hand right on it every time. That's why I have to go to meetings and I'll always have to go to meetings all my life. I have to be around a whole bunch of folks who lost the nerves in their hands that keep on reminding me "Dummy! You got to stay away from hot stoves." Every week they tell me the same thing. Thats because one day I'm going to come across a hot stove and they won't be there - and the first thing I'm going to do is put my hand on it again."

What a dangerous malady we all live with.

Thanks a bunch Dallas - you said it well.

And thank you too to all of you who are posting - this helps me today.

Return to “Help for those who want to stay sober”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest