Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Tag Archives: alcohol

When you add alcohol to a recipe it all evaporates during cooking so there is none in the final dish

Here’s another “common sense” myth that turns out to be false. Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water so it should all evaporate first, right? Nope – that’s not the way it works. The alcohol will evaporate faster than the water but there will still be some left after even extended cooking. The text below shows just how much alcohol is left after different methods and periods of cooking.

  • Alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat: 85%
  • Alcohol flamed: 75%
  • No heat, stored overnight: 70%
  • Baked 15 minutes, alcohol stirred into mixture: 40%
  • Baked 2.5 hours, alcohol stirred into mixture: 5%

The bottom line is that no one is ever going to get tipsy from alcohol in a cooked dish, but people who want to avoid all alcohol for religious or medical reasons need to be aware that some alcohol will remain even after long cooking.

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