This is a good time to bring up how alcohol does cook off. It does not all cook off quickly at all. And it should be remembered that if you are preparing something for a recovering alcoholic, the flavor is still very much there.
Preparation MethodPercent of Alcohol Retained
alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%alcohol flamed75%
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%
Now, it may be that the amount of alcohol in a dish is modest to start with, but the fact that some of the alcohol remains could be of significant concern to recovering alcoholics, parents, and others who have ethical or religious reasons for avoiding alcohol. Madeleine Kamman, James Peterson and some of our other cooking heroes may be on the mark when stating that the harshness of the alcohol burns off quickly. But the alcohol itself is clearly another matter.