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Post Info TOPIC: When Food Is Cooked With Alcohol


MIP Old Timer

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When Food Is Cooked With Alcohol
 
 


Since first coming into AA I adopted a zero tolerance for any food that uses alcohol of any type in the recipe.   My well meaning "Normal" friends have tried to persuade me for years that "Its OK the alcohol cooks off".  I never believed that and would not take any chances eating out.   I know I have another drunk in me but I don't know if I have another sobering up in me.  It just wasn't worth the risk as it is a life or death matter.

I did some heavy research and this is what I found:no
---------------------------------------------------------------------

A study conducted by the US Department of Agricultures Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:

 Preparation Method  &  Percent of Alcohol Retained in the Food

alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat   85%
alcohol flamed      75%
no heat, stored overnight     70%
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture   45%
baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:  
15 minutes     40%
30 minutes     35%
1 hour      25%
1.5 hours      20%
2 hours      10%
2.5 hours      5%

Now, it may be that the amount of alcohol in a dish is modest to start with, but the fact that some of the alcohol remains could be of significant concern to recovering alcoholics, parents, and others who have ethical or religious reasons for avoiding alcohol.



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MIP Old Timer

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That's some good info right there Larry. Some of us are down right alergic to alcohol and the least little bit
can cause serious problems. I haven't been very careful, while not ordering food that lists alcohol, I've had several bowls of clam chowder and lobster bisque, at various seafood restaurants, that had cooking sherry in them. I guess i've been lucky and am not one of those that has a reaction nor did I obsess about it, in fact forgot all about it till I read this thread as I thought most of it "burned off". I'll have to ask the waiter from now on.

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MIP Old Timer

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Thanks Larry I used to love veal marsala,,havent had it in over 25 years!!great info....smile

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Senior Member

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Hey, something I've been wondering about - "Beer battered" stuff.   Anyone know?

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MIP Old Timer

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FlyingSquirrel wrote:

Hey, something I've been wondering about - "Beer battered" stuff.   Anyone know?



I was not sure so I searched Google for "Beer Batter Recipe"  Almost all call for a can of beer added.   Based on the fact that not all alcohol cooks out I avoid fish or any food that is beer battered.   Frequently an eating establishment is willing to prepare the food with an alternate recipe.    This alcoholic had a very difficult time getting to AA.  I simply won't chance consuming any amount of alcohol and risk triggering the obsession that the Big Book talks about. no

Larry
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

AA = Absolute Abstinence 



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MIP Old Timer

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I think the thing to be most careful about are the deserts with brandy and chocolates that have liquoure inside, this stuff actual has a relevant amount of alcohol.

I always thought the alcohol in cooking wine was "cooked off in the process". I never went around looking to eat stuff with made with sherry etc, but I never have really avoided them if it's a food enjoy.

If your on good spiritual ground. I don't think there is a issue with foods like lobster bisque etc

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MIP Old Timer

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I don't shy off "beer battered", but I have replaced beer-marinating cheap cuts of steak with a malt or balsamic vinegar based marinade instead of guiness.

Peace,
Rob


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MIP Old Timer

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Cool, I don't remember seeing a thread like this recently.  Just the other day I used some leftover cooking wine I didn't even realize we had in my stroganoff and had to think about it for a few.  I've decided that for me it's OK to ingest alcohol for mild flavoring if the majority is cooked off.  I realize this could be a fine line.  At work a lot of the  seafood and pasta dishes are cooked with a little wine and I've been eating those all along in sobriety.   As of today I would not consume food marinated with large amounts of alcohol and uncooked, like some fruit desserts. 

I do think it's wise to consider the issue and I appreciate you bringing it up and the replies.  I'm pretty sure any alcohol in beer batter is cooked off in the extreme heat of the deep fryer.  Restaurants are often filled with chefs who are fans of the drink, so it's best to ask thoroughly about the recipes if this is a concern, at least in my experiences.  The waitstaff might not even be aware if alcohol is in a dish.  Cooks aren't always forthcoming with information.  If people have allergies and tell me so ahead of time, I will go get the recipes or packaging and see for myself.

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MIP Old Timer

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I had rigorously defined standards on this during the 1st year....mostly out of fear. Now, if there is something on the menu at a restaurant with wine or alcohol in it, I am typically going to order something else. Seriously though, the amount of liquor in something that would be needed for me to have a reaction would be strong. I do avoid things that heavily "taste" like liquor just cuz that is an even worse trigger. This would be things like rum raisin ice cream and some pasta dishes that are literally drenched in wine. I don't think it would cause a relapse for me, but it makes me feel uncomfortable with the smell and the taste so why bother right? Also when they light cherries jubelie or whatever on fire to flombay it that just reminds me of lighting 151 on fire, dropping it in beer and drinking it (depth charge? a little college drinking thing we did).

Mark

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Senior Member

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I do this for a living, working with booze in products... and what you wrote is actually more then what I thought.

The products I work with are cakes and they bake for over two hours... but nowhere on your chart does it say what the internal temperature of the product is when it comes out of the oven.

My products come out at 210-220 degrees... in theory the alcohol is burned out above 180 degrees... so I've always believed the products that I make that the alcohol is gone but the taste remains.

It is kind of a fun process developing cakes. I won't sample the unbaked product because of the booze... but it is amazing how many volunteers I can find to do that for me.

I once made an Apricot Brandy cake. And I had two ladies sample the batter before it went in the oven. The first lady was in her 60s and was never much of a party person. She like the taste but she said, "I really don't know what brandy taste like. The second lady was in her early 30s and loved to party. She sampled it and said, "I love the taste but I have no idea what apricots taste like."

To each his own...

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MIP Old Timer

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Great topic!

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StPeteDean wrote:

That's some good info right there Larry. Some of us are down right alergic to alcohol and the least little bit
can cause serious problems. I haven't been very careful, while not ordering food that lists alcohol, I've had several bowls of clam chowder and lobster bisque, at various seafood restaurants, that had cooking sherry in them. I guess i've been lucky and am not one of those that has a reaction nor did I obsess about it, in fact forgot all about it till I read this thread as I thought most of it "burned off". I'll have to ask the waiter from now on.





Do you really think the waiter would know? Most restaurants the waitress or waiter is just trained how to prepare the dish. Most have no idea the alcohol content, sodium, calories, etc that the dish contains. This is a little known fact to the customer! Trust me I've worked in restaurants enough to know.;)

 Next time you go to a restaurant. Start asking questions. I'll be willing to bet even half the managers won't know either!!!



-- Edited by Tessa on Tuesday 16th of March 2010 11:22:56 PM

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and the wisdom to know the difference.
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MIP Old Timer

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Tessa wrote:

StPeteDean wrote:

That's some good info right there Larry. Some of us are down right alergic to alcohol and the least little bit
can cause serious problems. I haven't been very careful, while not ordering food that lists alcohol, I've had several bowls of clam chowder and lobster bisque, at various seafood restaurants, that had cooking sherry in them. I guess i've been lucky and am not one of those that has a reaction nor did I obsess about it, in fact forgot all about it till I read this thread as I thought most of it "burned off". I'll have to ask the waiter from now on.





Do you really think the waiter would know? Most restaurants the waitress or waiter is just trained how to prepare the dish. Most have no idea the alcohol content, sodium, calories, etc that the dish contains. This is a little known fact to the customer! Trust me I've worked in restaurants enough to know.;)

 Next time you go to a restaurant. Start asking questions. I'll be willing to bet even half the managers won't know either!!!



-- Edited by Tessa on Tuesday 16th of March 2010 11:22:56 PM

You are right the waiter seldom knows but the cook does.  Any thing I am doubtfull about I ask the waiter politely to please ask the cook does the recipe include alcohol.
I usually explain that I am allergic to alcohol.  After all the is what Dr. Silkworth stated in the Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book.

My experience has been that they are almost always willing to ask and the cooks are willing to provide me the answer.  Mabe they have a mental picture of an allergic reaction where the airway closes and the victim dies, I am not sure. Of course you and I know that dying from alcoholism is a much slower and a much more painful death. Kind of like being nibbled to death by a duck. 

The cooks often offer to prepare my selection without the alcohol if not I simply order something else.  

Try asking, I think you will be surprised, I was

Larry,
-------------------------------------
Every alcoholic will eventually quit drinking, but it's better to do it when we're still alive

 



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Just saying most restaurants including the cooks wouldn't know how much of the alcohol content is still there after the meal is prepared.

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Courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
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MIP Old Timer

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In the restaurant where I work, the line cooks don't always do the prep.  Many of the cooks are just pissy about getting a new order period, (often hungover or dry drunks).
Tonight it was hard to get them to even cook the food, despite my best and humorous efforts.  Answer questions when their balls to the walls busy-good luck!  They'll tell me to *&^% off first.   That's why I look up in the recipe book myself.  I worked with a guy who served a vegan this Greek pita for years, because the cooks told him it was "fine".  I told my coworker that if you look on the packaging label it clearly says "egg" in the ingredients.  Boy was it hard for him to tell the customer about that, he felt he let their trust down.

Many in restaurants do care.  WE DO!  It's really hard to know exactly what is in your food unless you shop and cook it yourself.  Develop a friendly and respectful relationship with a regular server, whom you trust, if you are concerned about ingredients, including alcohol.  Still no guarantees, That's my eating out advice.

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There is no definitive answer.  As I am a recovering alcoholic I maintain complete abstinance from drinking alcohol.  I have unknowingly eaten food cooked in alcohol. I would not take as much as a sip of wine or beer, yet the eating of food cooked in alcohol has to be ok for my program because it happened to me and I did not use it as a reason to take a new sobriety date (dont have another early recovery in me). Opinions vary, many people in recovery would not eat something if they knew there was even a little alcohol in it and that is ok. On the occasions that I did consume food cooked in wine, I did not go out and drink afterwards. I am powerless over alcohol. After many years drinking my experience continues to be such that one is not enough, and my drinking always increases until it quickly becomes out of control and I am drinking for oblivion once again.  I am an active member of AA, my two years of sobriety does not mean that I can now drink like a gentleman.  So a dish like chicken marsalla or stir fry does not set off my alcoholism.  



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MIP Old Timer

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Welcome to MIP Nicholas, ... we're glad to have you ... check in often ...

My wife and I stopped cooking with red wine in some foods, for the 1st couple of years of my sobriety ... once I passed the two years mark, we started using the wine in cooking again ... (see, I used to open the bottle, pour a little in the sauce, stir, and then drink the rest of the bottle ... LOL) ... that has not been a temptation for me for a while now ... I can now cook and eat food with a little wine in it, but that's as far as it goes ... 

It's like the book says for being in a bar, as long as we are in 'fit spiritual' condition, we can go places and do all sorts of things alcoholics aren't supposed to do ... the key is just how well do you 'practice' working the program and live the 'principles' ?

 

Take care and God Bless,

Pappy



-- Edited by Pythonpappy on Monday 7th of January 2013 02:37:58 PM

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Col


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Well I can see that this is an old thread, but I would like to put my 2 cents in anyway. If somebody is concerned about alcohol content in food, their best bet is to dine at smaller, privately owned restaurants where all of the food is made from scratch on premises. The chefs, and the servers, would either definitely know of dishes made with liquor or wine, or could easily and quickly find out. Also, restaurants that are not chains could easily replicate many dishes to exclude any use of alcohol if requested. I've had patrons in various restaurants I've worked in request this. If the food is made on-site, the chef is usually happy to accommodate such requests.

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