The Best Non-Alcoholic Substitute For Beer In Recipes

Person making beer batter
Person making beer batter - Kucherav / Getty Images

Cooking with beer is a great way to infuse your dish with extra flavor or add more crispiness to your batter, but as a primary ingredient, it doesn't work for everyone. While more gluten-free beers are being brought to the market, and there are some really refreshing non-alcoholic beers you can choose for recipes that don't cook long enough to completely burn off their alcohol, you might not have any cans or bottles of these in the house. For whatever reason, you might not want to use beer at all.

In these cases, soda is an ideal substitute. It can be used to replace beer in fish batter, or even as a replacement in beer can chicken. Plus, you're way more likely to have extra soda lying around. Beer batter's crispiness is largely due to the drink's carbonation, which creates froth during the cooking process. This froth expands the batter and helps create that crunchy texture. This means you can replicate that effect using any fizzy drink, no alcohol required. The kind of soda you choose is ultimately up to you, but ginger ale and root beer are two ideal choices.

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What Kind Of Soda Should You Use As A Beer Substitute?

Beer pouring into batter
Beer pouring into batter - Brazzo / Getty Images

When the time comes to choose your soda substitute, it's wise to opt for something that's already slightly similar to beer in terms of flavor. Ginger ale, with its citrusy, sometimes even sour tang, is a great option if you need something akin to a pale ale. For dark or ruby beers, the molasses-adjacent taste of the sassafras in root beer works really well as an alternative.

Of course, there's no reason why you can't use other sodas. Cooking with cola, for example, has become something of a cult technique in recent years, with folks insisting that adding some to a recipe is one of the best ways to use a leftover can of Coke. If you're using soda as a substitute in cooking, however, it does come with one particular caveat: Most sodas are sweet, which will result in whatever dish you're whipping up having a sweeter taste than usual. To combat this, you can opt for a sugar-free or otherwise "plain" version.

Read the original article on Mashed.