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

Post by 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: 4835
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Alcohol is not cooked out of food when added

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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: 4835
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Post by 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

Post by 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,

Post Reply