Alcohol Burn-off Chart


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It is a common misconception that when cooking with alcohol, the alcohol burns off.  This is not true. Some alcohol almost always remains.  If you are a recovering alcoholic or if you have to test for your work, you will find the following chart from the U.S.D.A. helpful.

Now, you should keep in mind that the percent listed in the chart below, is a percentage of the amount of alcohol that was in the particular beverage to begin with.  Most spirits, (ie. whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, brandy, rum etc.) around 80-proof, or about 40% alcohol.  So, according to the chart below, if the brandy you flame over your Crepe Suzettes began with 40% alcohol, after being flamed it will retain 75% of the original 40%.  I’m no mathematician.  You do the math.  On the other-hand, let’s say you’re going to make a pot of beans

cooked in beer and cook it for about two and one-half hours.  Most beer in the

U. S. is less than 5% alcohol.  Therefore, the amount of alcohol left in your beans will be 5% of about 5%.  Not very significant, but still some.  I hope this is of some help to you.

 Alcohol Burn-off Chart in Prepared Foods

Method of Preparation Percent of Alcohol Retained
No heat applied but stored overnight                      90%
Alcohol added to boiling liquid and removed from heat                      85%
Alcohol flamed                      75%
Alcohol added to food and cooked for  15 minutes                      45%
                                                        30 minutes                      40%
                                                       1      hour                      25%
                                                       1.5   hours                      20%
                                                       2      hours                      10%
                                                       2.5   hours                        5%


        Christmas Pudding with Flaming Brandy,  Steve Lupton/Corbis, RM, Christmas, Christmas pudding, Customs and celebrations, Festivity, Flame, Food, Food and drink, Holly, Nobody, Single object, Still life, Sweets           Flaming Chicken Saute (1598R-155957 / FD001726  Photodisc)

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