Beer batter is used to make food crunchy when deep frying. It serves to seal the flavors within the food and quickly cook them to the center with the boiling steam that comes from the beer contained in the batter. Starchy vegetables, fish, meat cut into small pieces, hard cheeses and shellfish are perfect for being wrapped in beer batter and fried. Find out how to prepare it in a simple way and what are the rules to follow to obtain a crispy and dry fried.
Part 1 of 2: Prepare the Beer Batter
Step 1. Use a can of a beer you like
This type of batter can be made with any type or variety of beer, so feel free to experiment with different styles to figure out which one you prefer. If you have a low alcohol lager beer on hand, the result will be as interesting as using a handcrafted "india pale ale".
- Generally, beers belonging to the "ale" or "lager" family are used. The lighter and fizzier they are, the lighter the batter. If you're not a fan of the industry, use a simple low-alcohol lager.
- Dark beers of the "stout", "porter" or "ale" variety are also perfect for preparing this batter and will give it a fuller and stronger flavor. In some cases these beers are much less sparkling, but you can cut the dose in half and replace the rest with sparkling water.
Step 2. If you want, you can mix the beer with the water in equal parts
You can make the batter using only beer or you can dilute it with the same amount of sparkling water to soften the taste of the malt. Put the leftover food in the refrigerator and drink it with your meal.
- Beer batter is in some ways similar to pancake batter, but you don't have to add milk, or it may curdle.
- Don't worry, the alcohol in the beer will evaporate completely during cooking. Even by increasing the doses, no diner will end up feeling tipsy.
Step 3. Incorporate an egg
Beat an egg directly into the beer until the mixture is frothy. Some people prefer to skip this step and make the batter with just beer and flour, which is just as good, but adding an egg gives it more body and flavor, while also making the food even more crunchy.
Step 4. Add the flour
Hold the whisk with your dominant hand, then start pouring the flour into the beer and egg mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Make sure you've incorporated it perfectly before adding more.
If you used a 33cl can or bottle of beer, you will need to add just under 200g of flour. With these doses, you will get enough batter for about 20 fish fillets
Step 5. Add ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
If you want the batter to be even lighter and fluffier, you can add a small amount of baking powder at this point, just as if you were making pancake dough. If you don't have it in the pantry, you can also do without it.
Step 6. Continue to incorporate the flour without ever stopping stirring until the batter reaches the desired consistency
Depending on how much you are preparing and the use you intend to make of it, you may want it more or less dense. Some people prefer it to wrap foods in a thick, full-bodied layer, while others prefer it in a more diluted and lighter version, which turns out to be more crunchy. Decide according to your tastes.
Some people suggest continuing to add flour until the batter is thick enough to keep the whisk straight. The advice is to adjust the consistency according to the variety of food you intend to fry. If you want to batter thin, delicate fish fillet or vegetable chips, it's best to make a light batter
Step 7. Season to taste
Generally, nothing is used for beer batter other than a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, but you can add any flavor that goes well with the ingredients you intend to fry.
- If you are preparing fish, you can flavor the batter with a mix of Cajun spices or fresh herbs.
- If you are making potato chips or fried vegetables, you can add a pinch of curry or turmeric powder.
Part 2 of 2: Batter and Fry the Ingredients
Step 1. Prepare the workspace
When the beer batter and the ingredients to fry are ready, set up a work area right next to the stove, so you can easily dip the ingredients in the oil and remove them from the pot once cooked. If possible, ask a friend or family member to help you out, as many of the next steps will need to be done pretty quickly.
- On the left, place the raw fish fillets, onion rings or the ingredients you intend to fry, then place the bowl with the batter between the food and the oil. On the other side of the stove, prepare a large plate lined with kitchen paper to place the fried food on as soon as it's ready.
- At this stage it is advisable to wear a pair of gloves and a garment with long sleeves; if you have long hair, it is better to collect it. In addition to getting burned, you can get dirty easily. Plus, open a window to let the fried smell out.
Step 2. Heat 2-3 cm of seed oil in a sturdy cast iron skillet
Cast iron is the best material to fry in because it distributes the heat evenly, thus ensuring more even cooking.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, use one with a flat, thick bottom or a deep fryer
Step 3. Heat the oil until it turns shiny
Seed oils need to reach 190 ° C to effectively fry foods. If the temperature is too low, the batter will absorb a lot of oil making it extremely greasy and cloying. If you don't have a cooking thermometer, the best way to tell if the oil is hot enough is to see if it's starting to get shiny on the surface.
Another useful method is to fry a small amount of batter alone while the oil is heating up. When you see that it starts to sizzle quickly, it means that it is time to batter and fry what you have prepared
Step 4. Start battering the food
When the oil is ready, not before, dip a few pieces of fish, vegetables or any ingredient you want to fry in the batter, then let the excess drain and place them directly in the pan.
- Make sure the ingredients are dry before battering them. If you are preparing very delicate or moist fish fillets or crustaceans, it is best to lightly flour them before dipping them in the batter to reduce the risk of it falling off during cooking.
- Don't let the ingredients soak in the batter. You have to make sure that they collect enough of it to form an external crust by immersing them for only a few moments.
Step 5. Fry the ingredients
Carefully place them in the hot oil, very gently, staying at a safe distance. Hold the fillet or vegetable vertically, dip the tip into the oil, then place it in the pan in the opposite direction to where you are. This way any splashes should not be able to reach you.
- Adding the ingredients will lower the temperature of the oil slightly, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry several times, putting in the pan only a few pieces at a time, based on the size, generally no more than 3-4. Otherwise the fried will be greasy and not evenly cooked.
- When the oil gets hot, it starts to sizzle and splash slightly, even before you put the ingredients to fry, so you need to be extremely careful not to risk burning yourself.
Step 6. Turn the ingredients with a metal utensil
Do not touch them while they are frying, just check the degree of browning of the underside every 1-2 minutes. Turn them upside down when golden and let them fry on the other side.
Step 7. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden brown
Fish and vegetables cook very quickly in hot oil, so it is generally best to remove them from the pan as soon as the surface of the batter is golden brown. Use a metal skimmer and place them on the paper towel-lined plate you prepared earlier.
Step 8. Take a cue from other wikiHow articles devoted to fried foods
If you want to know which ingredients you can batter and have more specific guidelines, take a look at the following articles, in all cases you can use beer batter:
- How to fry fish
- How to prepare the onion rings
- How to prepare English Fish & Chips with beer batter
- How to make French Fries