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Cooking with Bourbon/JD

Can I use Jack Daniels in recipies calling for Bourbon (not cocktails but things like sauce for chicken wings, bread pudding, roast pork, etc)?

I was going to ask on the Spirits board but after reading through the "JD is not bourbon" thread I decided to ask here instead - those people scared the bejeezus out of me!

I don't drink bourbon and have a leftover bottle of JD. Will this work OK and if not, can someone reccomend a relatively inexpensive bourbon that would work better flavorwise?


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  1. I do. So far I have not been struck by lightening for this heresy. Jack Daniels is delicious stuff, though technically not a Bourbon and makes a fine substitute for Bourbon-based cooking.

    Vincent Price has a recipe for "Breast of Capon au Whiskey" and uses the term 'whiskey' and 'Bourbon' interchangeably (pg. 395, "A Treasury of Great Recipes"). I have made this for years, substituting chicken for the capon and JD for the Bourbon. It is a damned fine meal, whatever you call it.

    Don't let the zealots scare you. It's simply geography, JD is made in Tennessee, not Bourbon County Kentucky. In no way does this diminish its worth; "a rose by another name ............".

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sherri

      Thanks, Sheri. I just didn't want to make their heads explode by talking about cooking with their beloved elixer. This board seems more appropriate.

      Upside is I now know more about charcoal filtering, water sources and barrel wood options than I ever imagined!

    2. I bake a yummy persimmons quick bread that calls for bourbon. I always use JD. So cook away!

      1. Crack ham made with JD is yummy.

        1. I find that after about four shots of either bourbon OR JD, I no longer care so much how the rest of the meal will turn out.

          1. Maker's Mark had (has) a cookbook. Looked good, but nothing I tried the day I got it. Now buried in a box.

            Whiskey is whiskey. Hundreds of permutations.

            1. I'm late to this reply but I just found this bourbon made for cooking. It's called Rave Review bourbon. I tried it at a food festival and it was delicious to drink and they made these bourbon glazed meatballs that we're incredible. I bought their Brandy which I love. Don't know if you can get it everywhere.

              1. Yes! I had some grilled salmon in a JD marinade many years ago and really liked it. I don't drink bourbon either but bf drinks JD so I always have a bottle on hand for him.

                1. As NAFTA defined bourbon, JD is a bourbon.

                  I find it harsh and too banana-y to sip, but it cooks fine. All the harsh notes are volatile and cook off.

                  Don't think I'd use it in bread pudding, though. JimBeam is cheap enough to put in bread pudding and has none of the harshness of JD.

                  But you can buy little airplane bottles of better stuff like Knob Creek or Maker's for a few bucks too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sal_acid

                    sal_acid - I used to work in a five star restaurant in college. I will say that our bread pudding with "jack daniels sauce" was the best I've ever had. Of course, I was 22 at the time (25 years ago). The unique flavor of the JD barrels really came through in the sauce. Would like to taste such a sauce using Knob Creek, though. Love that stuff!

                  2. Whatever one calls it, it is nasty brown water, watered down to 80 proof. More akin to horse piss, than drinking whiskey I would imagine. ;)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      JD is somewhere between horse piss and whiskey.

                      Fine Kentucky bourbon exceeds all but the finest scotches.

                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                        Damn Uncle Bob, tell us how you really feel. Seems like that it's not that you just don't like it, but there is an emotional component. Do you often imagine drinking horse piss? Generally speaking, I don't.

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          Nor do I. Nor do I drink the brown swill that is JD. :)