Our Favorite Ways to Cook With Beer

From dark, spicy chile to light-as-air fried squash blossoms

The secret to cooking with beer? Always keep some extra on hand for drinking.

But the real secret to cooking with beer? Don’t cook it too long so the toasty, grainy flavors stand out, or, if you’re going to go for the long game, keep on the dark stout side of the spectrum. Beer can add a robust, unique flavor to just about anything, from mussels to burgers to chili and batters for fritters. Its complex sweetness cuts through dairy for a perfect beer cheese soup; its carbonation brings lightness to Rhode Island clam cake batter; and gives beef and beans a kicker of savory depth for chili.

Here are all the ways we’re cooking with beer.

Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese

Brisket is braised in stout, bourbon, and soy sauce in these spicy pimento cheese-topped sliders from Edward Lee, executive chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. Get the recipe for Braised Brisket Burgers with Pimento Cheese »

Beer Cheese Soup

Invented by Mark Schiffler, the original chef of Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, Colorado, this Wisconsin-inspired soup has been traded and tweaked over the years into its current state: a thick, cheddar-based soup cut through with piquant Gorgonzola. Get the recipe for Beer Cheese Soup »

Mussels with Pale Ale and Spicy Aïoli

Mussels with Pale Ale and Spicy Aïoli

Triple Chocolate Beef & Bean Chili

Cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate lend darkness and depth to this hearty chili, rounded out with the complex bitterness of chocolate stout beer. Get the recipe for Triple Chocolate Beef & Bean Chili »

Brisket Tacos

Rough-chopped and served on fresh, homemade tortillas is New York City chef Julian Medina’s way of showcasing brisket. Get the recipe for Brisket Tacos »

Pimento Cheese Hush Puppies

Pimento Cheese Hush Puppies

Kansas City-Style Chili

Pulled pork stands in for the burnt ends of barbecued brisket in this robust Kansas City-style bean chili. Get the recipe for Kansas City-Style Chili »

Fried Anchovy-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Light and airy, with a subtle squash flavor, zucchini blossoms are wonderful to cook; they make a flavorful, delicate appetizer when stuffed with salty anchovies and fried. Since the blossoms have a short shelf life, use them within a day of purchasing. Be sure to remove the stamens before working with them. Get the recipe for Fried Anchovy-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms »

Clam Cakes

These crisp savory doughnuts, a specialty of Rhode Island clam shacks, are bursting with clam flavor. Most restaurants and clam shacks today use pre-chopped clams for convenience, but for the best cakes, go the extra mile to steam your own quahogs. These fat bay clams have some pleasantly chewy bits and soft, flavorful bellies that melt into the batter. If you want to use canned clams instead, substitute 12 ounces of chopped clam meat and 1/2 cup of the canned clam liquor. Get the recipe for Clam Cakes »

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich (Panes con Pavo)

Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich (Panes con Pavo)

Green Chicken and White Bean Chili

Green Chicken and White Bean Chili