Barbecue And Beer, Why They Mix So Well

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  March 17, 2020

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As much as barbecue and beer both have their own separate sparkles, a combination of both brings pure magic to the table. Their relationship can only be compared to that of peanut butter and chocolate. Beer plays almost the same role as the food and company in a successful barbeque.

There are numerous ways you can indulge beer in a barbeque and below are five of the most popular among them.

Barbecue And Beer, Why They Mix So Well

Five ways in which beer can be used in a Barbecue

Beer as brine or marinade

Nothing beats the flavor that is achieved by brining or marinating your dinner in beer for a few hours or up to 24 hours before cooking it. This almost guarantees a successful barbecue even before the grilling. In this scenario, beer is the base of your marinade, which acts as an acid and softens the connective tissues in the meat that is being marinated. Softening the tissues helps in melting the collagen in the meat, which in turn allows free flow of water in the meat resulting in the juiciest meat you’ve ever tasted. You can add some aromatics, a little oil and some salt to the beer to improve the taste even further.

You can also use brine to achieve the same results as with marinating, even though it is a totally different approach. It is a salty solution that provides intense flavor while also preserving the moisture in the meat while it’s cooked. You can try adding beer rather than water to the brine solution next time you are at it and maybe you will have a memorable experience. Fish and other leaner meats like poultry will provide amazing moisture while retaining moisture.

Beer as a humidifier

Beer can be used in providing flavor when using the rotisserie, smoking or roasting the meat. You simply add beer to your dripping pan, which collects drippings from whatever it is you are preparing so that you can use them for other purposes such as preparing sauces. You can also add the beer to the water basin in your smoker. Adding beer to the mix not only improves the meat flavor to greater heights, but also adds bulk to your gravy.

Beer will keep your meat moist, kind of like turning it around in a rotisserie to keep it moist.

How to buy a bbq smoker video x
How to buy a bbq smoker video

The main purpose of the water basin in your smoker is to keep the grill temperature in check while preventing wild changes in heat. The beer that evaporates from the water basin mixes with the smoke, which improves the meat flavor in the long run. The evaporated liquid also makes the meat a little sticky such that the smoke particles are easily absorbed to the meat, leading to a smoke flavored result.

Also read: buy a chicken right of the rotisserie like from Costco, is it good for you

Beer as a braising liquid

Braising is when stewing a delicacy such as ribs or sausages in a dutch oven, or any other covered container, just after lightly frying them. In this case, you can use beer rather than water or juice when braising, before grilling the meat. Using a beer that compliments the taste of what you are preparing will go a long way in improving the flavor. When preparing sausages, throw them into a dutch oven with a few cups of the beer of your choice and simmer them for about twenty minutes before grilling them for about five minutes using direct heat.

Beer as a spray or a mop

Those who know much about smoking meat know how important it is to keep it a little steamy. Using a water/beer pan goes a long way in improving the taste of the meat. You can use a spray can to spray beer over the smoking meat, or as a mop sauce to keep your meat a little wet for best results. The wetness makes it easy for the smoke to be absorbed by the meat for that smoky flavor.

When mopping your meat, remember to keep the mop heating on low at all times making sure it’s not cold when applying. It’s also important to note that dark beers will provide a relatively distinct flavor while lighter beers will give the meat a milder flavor.

Beer as sauce

Apart from being a beverage, beer has also proven to act as a great sauce for barbeque. It’s hard to ignore all the natural flavor improvers that come with that bottle. You can mix the beer with a few spices such as sugar and simmer to easily come up with a barbeque sauce to match the delicacy. To make it even better, you can always try using different beers to come up with unique tastes.


After all said and done, the number one way of getting the best of beer in a barbeque is to drink it. Having a cold beer as an accompaniment with your barbeque surely beats all the above mentioned options!

Also read: the top bbq smokers to buy this year

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.