A long soak in beer softens up even the toughest cuts of beef and helps tenderize both chicken and pork. Here’s which beers to use for each type of grill-bound meat:
CHICKEN: A beer brine is your best bet when cooking a whole chicken: White meat cooks quickly and is done well before the dark meat. Once that rich dark meat’s up to temperature, the pale parts will be dry and flaky. A good beer brine keeps white meat juicy and flavorful even while cooking far longer than it should.
Tip: Try a malty brown ale with nutty accent
PORK: Leaner cuts of pork, like the loin, are difficult to cook because there’s not enough fat to keep them tender; a beer brine ups the moisture. Braising fatty cuts, like pork shoulder, in a mixture of a rich chipotle porter and beef broth will give extra oomph to your pulled pork sandwiches.
Tip: Try a pale ale with low bitterness for leaner cuts and a spicy or smoky porter for fatty ones
BEEF: Some of the most flavorful cuts of beef are also the cheapest because they tend to be on the tough side. Hanger steak and skirt steak can be unbelievably tasty, once you tackle the issue of texture: A good long soak in a beer marinade will render tender slabs that are grill-ready.
Tip: Try a roasty coffee or espresso stout
Up for a weekend cook-out? Try our recipe for grilled, porter-marinated flank steak.