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What are the Best Bourbons for Cooking? America's Native Spirit isn't just for drinking!
What are the best bourbons to cook with? We asked that of our social media audiences and were both surprised and delighted by some of the answers. One popular one was along the lines of, “WHAT? Why would you ever waste perfectly good bourbon on anything other than drinking?”
Because bourbon-flavored and infused foods are delicious, that’s why.
Granted, we would never suggest using a drop of that hard-to-find Willet, Japanese re-imported Four Roses Super Premium or Pappy Van Winkle 23-year for a marinade, but even some premium and super premium spirits make for good flavor aides.
In general, you will want to cook with inexpensive bourbons. But the higher the quality – and closer to your bourbon taste palate the ingredient – the more satisfied you will be with the finished product.
Readily available and cost-efficient bourbons worth considering for your marinades, creams, chocolates and more include:
- Jim Beam – The largest volume bourbon produced in the world makes delicious bourbon balls.
- Evan Williams – Often considered the best quality “cheap” bourbon, it normally retails for under $20 and is good for sipping, mixing or baking.
- Buffalo Trace – A favorite tag-along drink for many a camping trip, “B-T” has become a marinade favorite of cooking influencers like Derek Wolf of Over the Fire Cooking.
- Wild Turkey – Since there might be a chance you would cook A wild turkey, how can we leave THE Wild Turkey off the list?
- Your favorite “guest bourbon” – Everyone’s home bar typically has their favorite bourbon, then the one they offer to guests who aren’t informed bourbon drinkers. There’s a good chance it will add value as a food recipe ingredient, too.
The bourbon you choose will likely be a combination of price, availability and taste. There’s no hard, fast rule for using different types of bourbon with different types of meat, so you’ll need to experiment with your favorite grills, deserts or recipes. However you use it, we’re fairly certain of one thing: It’ll taste better with bourbon.
For more Bourbon Recipes and Ideas, we found a few nice resources to share:
- 8 Bourbon-Infused Recipes for the Kentucky Derby – Food & Wine
- 25 Ways to Drink (and Eat!) More Bourbon – bon appétit
- Break Out the Bourbon: 21 Tasty Recipes – Delish
- Yes, You Can – And Should – Cook with Bourbon. Here’s How to Do It – Liquor.com