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T2Eagle

Using Alcohol for cooking

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In many of the recipes I cook at home I use some sort of alcoholic beverage in the preparation or cooking: wine, beer, vodka, etc. When I think about what to cook on a campout not using alcohol cuts down my repertoire. What do folks think about using alcohol for cooking on a scout camping trip? I am not talking about bringing along a fifth in order to use a half cup, but rather just bringing the pre-measured amount a recipe calls for.

 

I look forward to hearing your opinions.

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Since the alcohol is burned off in the cooking, I don't see it different from any other spice and would treat it that way if asked.

 

Barry

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From the Guide to Safe Scouting:

The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.

Its in bold here as its in bold in the Guide to Safe Scouting

Now, I understand you are talking about cooking use only.

I am not saying don't do it, I am saying know what the rules are and how you would defend yourself if your use of alcohol was ever questioned.

 

 

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If you can't cook without alcohol on a Scout outing then stay home.

 

The adults/leaders (and that's really all you should be cooking for) can be an example of better prepared meals.

 

There are thousands upon thousands of camp menus that don't require alcohol.

 

It's a banned substance at the local camp we go to.

 

From the G2SS

The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.

 

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Alcohol takes longer than you might think to cook it off.

 

 

Percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish (i.e. not cooked off) based on various cooking methods (from a USDA study):

 

alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%

alcohol flamed 75%

no heat, stored overnight 70%

baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%

baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:

* 15 minutes 40%

* 30 minutes 35%

* 1 hour 25%

* 1.5 hours 20%

* 2 hours 10%

* 2.5 hours 5%

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While I appreciate great chow......Camp chow should be quick and easy.

 

But your menu sounds like trouble. But, you could probably precook at home then no alcohol on the camp and following the rules.

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I seem to remember that some years back there was a thread that got kinda big. - Not as big as the Eagle Problem thread, but it was up there about cooking with red wine at camp.

 

A week or so back there was a mention in another thread about sins.

One sin I have carried with me for over 40 years is that when I was a little Lad, while serving as an alter boy, I sneaked (Stole!) a drink of the communion wine. (At that time it was very rare for R/C's to have wine at mass and this was of course before the Mass and it was still just wine!)

I don't think I was that bad of a kid. Heck! How many bad kids were serving as alter boys?

Still the temptation was there and I fell for it.

I do enjoy the odd adult beverage.

Tonight I'm planning on having some New Zealand mussels cooked in white wine.

But there is a time and a place for everything.

Sure it might seem sad that your Coq au Vin can't have the "Vin". But there are lots of other good things you can make without running the risk of having kids like I once was maybe getting their paws on in and sneaking some.

Also I'm not sure about how things are in Ohio? But here in PA alcohol is not allowed in any State Parks. Our Council Camp is in a State Park. The Rangers don't see cooking wine or beer for the worlds greatest chili as being any different than any other wine or beer.

I suppose some might want to argue that the BSA has in bold print "The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages". And that this isn't really a beverage. But I'd play it safe and leave the booze at home.

 

Ea.

 

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almost all recipes i've seen that require (request) wine will allow for broth as an alternative. more than likely it is used to deglaze a pan, and broth will do very close to the same job.

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Presumably you're cooking for the adults (patrols cook for themselves, right?) so I don't think two cups of wine, cooked down, then split by 8 adults is a big hairy deal. To my thinking, the issue would be hauling a bottle of wine or beer with you prior to cooking. Could you reduce the wine at home and put it a plain container? Then it's just a "secret ingredient."

 

That's not to suggest that putting burbon in a Nalgene makes it okay for the adults to do shots around the campfire. Cooking with wine or beer is innocent enough, but you need to avoid the appearance that something more is going on.

 

Of course my first choice would be for you to adapt you recipies and avoid the problem all together.

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Four years ago at Wood Badge, I made a beef stew with a red wine in it. I did what I could before hand to render the wine "undrinkable" by putting it in a jar and adding all the premeasured spices (onion salt, garlic salt, pepper, minced onion, etc) direclty to the jar. The recipe turned out great.

 

Afterward, however, I had second thoughts, and decided I would not do that again, as in my opinion, it clearly violated the intent of the "no alcohol" policy in the G2SS.

 

I rarely drink, and this was probably the only time in the past 10 years I have even used alcohol while cooking, but it was my mom's stew recipe, and I was trying to adopt it to the dutch oven. Though it succeeded, I will at most use this for family campouts and not for scouting events.

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I only use wine in my stew at home in the slow cooker where it's in there for 8 hours.

 

But then I'm a commissioner, so I'm not cooking for anyone in scouting anyway.... except SR-1022 2nd weekend at the end of the month.

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I would go with the theory that it's not a beverage and I'd bring it in a separate container. I wouldn't object to it, but I wouldn't think I'd encourage it, either. It all might depend on the adult and how it's presented. If you're doing some great gourmet meals as an example for the Scouts of how to think bigger, then that could be great.

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There are non-alcoholic wines out there you can buy, often sold as cooking wine.

 

This site also has a list of substitutions:

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--580/cooking-with-wine-nonalcohol-substitutions.asp

 

I go with zero tolerance due to the slippery slope concern. I don't want a boy (my son) knowing that I brought some, even mixed with spices. I don't want an adult thinking that if I bring it to cook, he "just have small flask in my tent."

 

I say this as someone with a few hundred bottles in a personal cellar, a large collection of single malts, etc. I drink - but NEVER in anything remotely related to Scouting.

 

 

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Dang! I thought this was about stove fuel...

 

" I love cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food" ((attrib. to W.C.Fields))

 

I would eschew the wine. If, without it, the recipe is not well received, add catsup to it, the boys will understand... ;-)(This message has been edited by SSScout)

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