Grilling With Beer: Spare Ribs, Brats, and Braised Red Cabbage

Happy Memorial Day, Miami. If there's sun -- and the forecast calls for an end to this damn rain -- you will want to grill out with an ice-cold beer in hand.

But when you're sipping on that brewski while the blazing-hot charcoals reach proper temperature, consider using beer as an ingredient for your barbecue.

There are many advantages to grilling with beer. First, it is a great meat tenderizer because it's less acidic than wine, vinegar, or citrus, so it won't break down the texture as rapidly.

Second: flavor. Other herbs and spices will not be overwhelmed by the balanced flavor profile of beer. Also, with the diverse styles of beer, there is a flavor to match any type of meat or sauce.

Third, beer is less expensive than wine. You can expect to pay at least $10 for a 750mL bottle of the cheapest wine at a supermarket -- $5 if you get lucky. A six-pack of 12-ounce bottles of reasonably priced, good craft beer such as Sierra Nevada Torpedo typically sells for less than $10. Of course the fancier you go, the more expensive it will be, but that also goes for wine.

Last, marinating red meat with beer might actually prevent cancer. Seriously? Yes, studies from a German scientist by the name of Udo Pollmer suggest that soaking red meat in beer reduces the formation of cancer-causing HCAs (heterocyclic amines).

5. Beer-Braised Red Cabbage Wedges on a Grill
This is mainly a blog about grilling meat with beer, but we'll accommodate the haters because they gotta eat too, so let's throw a recipe in here for vegans and vegetarians. The best thing about their dietary preferences: They can still drink beer.


One head of red cabbage, core removed, sliced into quarters
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 Granny Smith apple, core removed, sliced thin
A Sachet of one cinnamon stick, six juniper berries, four pieces of clove, three star anise, and one pinch of crushed black peppercorns
Two 12-ounce bottles of Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
One-fourth stick of butter, or vegan butter substitute
One-half cup of lingonberry jam
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


Marinate the cabbage with the onion, sugar, apple, sachet and beer overnight in the refrigerator. Strain, keep the liquid. Prepare the grill, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the grill, melt the butter on it, then place the wedges on the aluminum. Baste the wedges with the leftover liquid, lingonberry jam, and sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Cover the grill to trap the heat, cooking until the cabbage is tender.

Source: db Bistro Moderne

4. Beer Can Chicken
An American classic. We're not sure where this fabulous recipe originated, but thank you to whoever invented it. The beer evaporates inside the chicken, tenderizing the meat and adding a delicious flavor. 


1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
A six-pack of canned beer, Cigar City Hotter Than Helles lager, or Budweiser if you're cheap.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub


In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients, including salt and pepper. Remove the gibblets, neck and any excess fat from the chicken, then lightly brush the chicken inside and out with oil and dry rub. Preheat the grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Open a can of beer, take a sip, then slip the can into the cavity of the chicken and place it upright on the grill. Cover the grill and cook over indirect medium heat for about 90 minutes. Drink the rest of the beer.


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