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Author Topic: Is alcohol added to food during cooking safe for alcoholics?  (Read 2511 times)

Offline chris

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When we cook with alcohol, how much remains in the food and for how long?

I was asked whether alcohol added to cooking would be safe to serve up for an alcoholic person. Does anyone have any objective data on this?

Chris


 

Offline RD

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It depends ...

Quote
How Much Alcohol Burns Off or Evaporates in Cooking?
That depends on how much distilled spirits, wine or beer is used and the cooking time and temperature. When added to uncooked foods, the alcohol content doesn't change. If it's added to boiling liquid at the end of cooking, about 85 percent of the alcohol may remain. For foods that are braised (cooked covered in liquid at temperatures below boiling in a covered pot) for 2 ½ hours only about 5 percent of the alcohol remains. A flambé (flamed) dish may retain about 75 percent of its alcohol content.
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442459006

[ If they blame one serving of sherry trifle for knocking them off the wagon it's just an excuse ].
« Last Edit: 01/06/2012 10:43:39 by RD »
 

Offline chris

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Someone helpful has also since sent me this to @nakedscientists on Twitter:

http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blalcohol12.htm

The results are quite surprising; at least to me.

Chris
 

Offline Geezer

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That is surprising, but I suppose one clue is that distillation is a fairly slow process that requires a large amount of heat input.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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It depends ...

Quote
How Much Alcohol Burns Off or Evaporates in Cooking?
That depends on how much distilled spirits, wine or beer is used and the cooking time and temperature. When added to uncooked foods, the alcohol content doesn't change. If it's added to boiling liquid at the end of cooking, about 85 percent of the alcohol may remain. For foods that are braised (cooked covered in liquid at temperatures below boiling in a covered pot) for 2 ½ hours only about 5 percent of the alcohol remains. A flambé (flamed) dish may retain about 75 percent of its alcohol content.
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442459006

[ If they blame one serving of sherry trifle for knocking them off the wagon it's just an excuse ].


True, but that might not be what they are seeking to avoid.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disulfiram
 

Offline CliffordK

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I would talk to the person, and see what they think.  Certainly you would not want to stimulate cravings, assuming they have quit, or are trying to quit.

It would also depend on the meal. 
For a steak marinated in alcohol, the alcohol will be fairly little to begin with, and it may almost completely disappear once it is thrown on the BBQ.  I've put wine in spaghetti sauce, but could not taste it.  Noting, of course, that if one starts with 5% alcohol, then dilutes it 10:1, following by burning off 90%, then one would end up with only about 0.05% alcohol, which is less than non-alcoholic beer has in it.

I've had deserts (cakes, chocolates, torts, tira mi su, etc), with a very noticeable amount of liqueur in them, although I presume one would have to eat an awful lot of tira mi su to get drunk on it.  But I would think it would just be cruel to serve deserts laced with liqueurs to an ex-alcoholic.
 

Offline Lmnre

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I would say that, at the least, the taste of an alcoholic beverage in their mouths would be what is called a "trigger".

I've known many former alcoholics, and they say they need to stay away from "triggers" — for example, being in the company of others who are drinking, being in bars or walking past them, seeing alcohol containers even if they're empty, smelling the odor of alcoholic beverages, etc.

The association can be very powerful, but it depends on the person too. I know a former alcoholic who drinks O'Douls.
 

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