What can I baste my Christmas turkey in?
December 23, 2008 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Beer-basting-poultry-filter: Hi Mefites, I'm cooking my Christmas turkey tomorrow and would like to baste it with some yummy beer.

We made one liquor store run yesterday, and the closest we could find was "Mort Subite Kriek". I've been told in the past that wheat beers are the best bet for basting food with, but the liquor store clerk said this would be fine. My google-fu is failing me, I'm finding a ton of articles on this beer, but none that reference cooking with it.

Bonus question, if the above beer doesn't work: I've basted turkey with Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat before, and that worked out beautifully, but I have no way of getting it by tomorrow(not available locally). Can anyone recommend a good beer to baste with?

I'm in Ottawa, Canada. Thanks, and happy holidays to you all! :)
posted by irishkitten to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You seem to enjoy the more exotic beers, but we basted our Thanksgiving turkey in Heineken (inside a brown paper bag), and it was delicious.
posted by AlliKat75 at 8:16 AM on December 23, 2008

The Homebrew Chef suggests "Oktoberfest, Hefeweizen, Bock, Pale Ale, or Brown Ale" for a brined bird. Yeah, most of those are wheat-y. Same beers would probably work for basting. Recipe.
posted by thebergfather at 8:38 AM on December 23, 2008

My favorite beer for basting chicken (or doing just about anything to chicken) is a rauchbier which is a smoked beer. The most common brand found in the US is Aecht Schlenkeria, which is as delicious as it is cool-sounding. It's quite malty for a lager, and a slight bitterness that gives it depth, and makes for a very good chicken.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:06 AM on December 23, 2008

Yeah, most of those are wheat-y

Is there a winking smiley implied here?

If you've basted with Sam Cherry Wheat before--which has a strong cherry flavor and an otherwise light body--you'd probably be well-served by the kriek. Definitely stick on the sweet or malty side here, though; you're going to concentrate the beer a lot, and if you use something hoppy, you'll wind up with a bitter mess.

If you're not set on cherry beer, though, maybe go with a Scottish ale or an English brown ale. Definitely stay away from dry, hoppy American styles.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:23 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've had a lot of luck cooking with Newcastle, which is pretty widely available and not too expensive, although I've mostly used it for sauteing things that go with steak.
posted by krisak at 9:27 AM on December 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions!! Hubby and I are going to take them to the beer store with us tonight! I wasn't set on cherry beers, to be honest, it just had worked for me in the past, and thought that I wouldn't mess with a good thing - especially with parents coming for the 'first Christmas dinner at the kids' house'. Don't really have room for error here - only one turkey. I can save the experimentation for later, and it looks like we will have a lot to choose from within this list so far!
posted by irishkitten at 10:05 AM on December 23, 2008

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