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Dec 21, 2007 06:17 AM

Substitute for Bourbon in Cooking

I'm cooking for some strict non-alcohol folks (AA, not teetotalers), but would like to make a roast that calls for bourbon both in the stuffing (a small amount) and in the gravy/sauce (2 cups). Are any of the recommended bourbon substitutes (vanilla extract, for example) worthwhile, or should I just look for an alternate recipe?

Any experiences with substituting for alcohol?

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  1. Wait ... you have a recipe for gravy using TWO CUPS of bourbon? Surely that is a typo? You are not supposed to get drunk on roast!

    I would just leave it out of the stuffing or substitute any other liquid) broth, juice, etc.) if it needs more moisture. And I would view the gravy recipe with suspicion. Just use another recipe!

    1. Absolutely find another recipe!

      Why use a recipe that's all about bourbon for people who can't have alcohol?

      Choose a recipe that doesn't use booze rather than sub for it.

      Alcohol never cooks out completely (I'm sure someone will say it's ok to use the bourbon, but it's def. not). Also, vanilla extract has a great deal of alcohol in it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        Yeah, I'm leaning towards another recipe. Perhaps a more standard pork gravy. The bourbon was to be mixed with apple cider and reduced greatly, but I also thought 2 cups seemed extreme.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          Why do you say alcohol nevers cooks out completely? You can cook water with a boiling point of 212F out completely right? Why not alcohol with a boiling point of 175F?

          1. re: FrankJBN

            It's actually pretty difficult to cook out every last molecule of ETOH. Here's a chart with info from (AFAIR) the feds:


            1. re: alanbarnes

              There is an article under the Nagging Questions section on Chow about this very thing, and no, it does not totally cook out.

        2. It's not even the alcohol that matters. DOn't make something that tastes of booze.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FrankJBN

            Frank, you are dead on! If someone is in AA they don't even need a whiff of the stuff!