Beer Is What Your Fried Pickle Batter Is Missing

fried pickles
fried pickles - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Have you ever made fried pickles at home and felt disappointed with them? Well, maybe your fried pickle batter is missing something. And that something is beer. Yes, you heard us right. You'll see that beer adds subtle flavor to the batter and provides carbonation that makes the batter airier and the resulting fried pickles crispier.

Incorporating beer into fried pickle batter is a relatively straightforward process. Start with this easy egg-free beer batter recipe by our recipe developer, Miriam Hahn. Instead of adding buttermilk or water to a batter made with flour, baking powder, and salt, Hanh adds beer. If you're unsure which beer to use, be sure to check out our list of the 15 best types of beer to use in batter.

Hanh recommends using the batter immediately; however, you can store it in the fridge for up to two days. Then, simply bread some pickle slices with the batter and fry them. Serve with your favorite condiments on the side, like sour cream or tartar sauce. For a pop of color, dust the fried pickles with some paprika.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

The Food Science Behind Why Beer Makes Fried Pickles Crispier

fried food
fried food - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

How exactly does beer elevate fried pickle batter and any other batter? To answer this, we must dive into little food science. As we mentioned, beer's carbonation makes batters airier. When you fry food, there is a lot of hot oil and heat involved. During the frying process, beer's air bubbles expand and fight to escape the batter. Subsequently, all this movement of air bubbles adds lift and crispiness to the fried pickles' breading. For this reason, you'll often notice beer-battered food tends to have a lacey and puffier look.

Beer is also acidic, with a pH of around 4, which is more acidic than water or plain milk. An acidic environment inhibits gluten formation in flour, leading to lighter, crispier, and flakier coating rather than a tougher one. If you don't have a beer handy, buttermilk works, too, because even though it is not carbonated, it is acidic. Our spicy buttermilk fried chicken recipe has a "shatteringly crispy crust," as recipe developer Taylor Murray describes. If you have neither beer nor buttermilk handy, you can try adding a carbonated drink, like soda or seltzer water.

Read the original article on Tasting Table