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Alcohol Evaporation in Cooking and Baking

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Alcohol Evaporation in Cooking and Baking


I baked a rum cake - 1/2 cup of rum went into the batter then was baked for 1 hour - glaze was put on top using 1/2 cup rum 1/4 water and 1 cup sugar. Will the cake have active alcohol presents or does cooking the rum take out the alcohol leaving only the rum flavor?

When using alcohol in a recipe, for example a sauce, how long does it take or how can you be sure that you have cooked off all the alcohol and are only leaving the flavor of the alcohol behind without any actual alcohol?

I made a sauce for chicken last night, which had wine in it, and today I suspect that perhaps I didn't cook off all the wine in the sauce. I didn't drink any alcohol last night, so that was the only source of alcohol if I have any in my system today. I don't feel like I have a hangover, but I am extremely tired, as if I had been drinking. Any guidelines for working with alcohol and how long to cook something to ensure that all the alcohol cooks off?


Check out my web page on Alcohol Burn Off In Cooking.

Chefs and cooks can't assume that when they simmer, bake, or torch (flambé to the more sophisticated cook) with alcohol that only the flavor remains when they're ready to serve.

A study conducted several years ago showed that alcohol remained in several recipes after the preparation was complete. In the study, a pot roast was simmered with burgundy for two and a half hours; a chicken dish was simmered for only ten minutes after the burgundy was added; scalloped oysters made with dry sherry baked for 25 minutes; and cherries jubilee was doused with brandy, then ignited. The results showed that anywhere from 4 to 78 percent of the initial amount of alcohol remained when the dishes were done.

But here's the shocker: Would you believe that the cherries jubilee had the highest alcohol retention of all four recipes? Around 78 percent of the alcohol remained after the flames went out. The study's authors concluded that cooking will result in the removal of some, but not all, of the alcohol.

In the study, the extent of alcohol loss depended on a couple factors: First, how severe the heat was when applied in the cooking process; second, the pot's surface area. The bigger the pan, the more surface area, the more alcohol that evaporates during cooking.


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