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Cooking with alcohol is a practice that has been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, mostly to enhance flavor. For most, adding a little beer or wine to a dish is not a problem, but what about for members the Church?

In reality, we have all probably had some meat, sauces or fancy dishes that called for alcohol and thought nothing of it. Most of us have probably believed that it was okay because “all the alcohol gets burned out.” That’s what we heard from many — even cooking experts.

Does it Really Burn Out?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The wine or beer you’ve been cooking with did not all evaporate or dissipate, unless you’ve been cooking your dish for at least a good three hours.

The alcohol remaining in your cooking can vary anywhere from 5 percent to 85 percent. That all depends on the amount of alcohol added, the amount of heat applied, the cooking and standing time and the physical dimensions of the cookware.

If your purpose is to put on a show for your customers, creating a little flame is entertaining. However, if you’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol in a dish, the best method is to simmer or bake the dish in a wide uncovered pan for an extended period of time.

Click here to learn what the Church has said about alcohol in food and what you can substitute in a recipe.