Cooking with alcohol is something that many professional chefs do but the process can be intimidating to the average cook. After all, you don’t want to set your house on fire and you don’t want your recipe to flop. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can follow to help ensure your experience is a good one. Here are just five simple tips for cooking with alcohol.

Never Add Alcohol Over a Heat Source

You should always remove the pan from the heat before adding alcohol. Not doing so can lead to a house fire. Another important piece of advice when it comes to pouring your alcohol in the pan is to never pour from the bottle. If the alcohol should immediately ignite it would quickly spread to the entire bottle and cause a small explosion and possibly cause you personal injury – not to mention damage to your home. Always measure out what you’ll need and pour from a smaller container.

Only Use Wine You Would Drink

Many people make the mistake of purchasing cheap cooking wine. The truth, however, is that if it doesn’t taste good in the bottle it probably won’t taste good in your food. Instead, choose a wine that you enjoy drinking. It may mean spending a bit more, but at least your dish will be edible.

Remember That All the Alcohol Does Not Cook Off

A popular cooking myth is that all alcohol cooks off as the dish is completed. This isn’t exactly true, especially if you’re using a high-proof spirit. Small amounts of alcohol will remain in the dish, but the best way to ensure that most of the alcohol burns off is to never add cold liquor to the pan and always add alcohol to hot food.

Be Careful Using Cream Based Sauces

Before adding cream to a sauce or dish you need to ensure that as much of the alcohol as possible has burned off. Wait until the flame subsides and then add your dairy products. This will help ensure that the cream doesn’t curdle in the pan.

Always Ignite the Alcohol with a Long Match or Lighter

You may have seen chefs simply tip the pan to the flame to ignite the alcohol in the dish. Not only is this process stupid, but it’s dangerous as well. You should always use a long match or barbecue lighter to ensure your safety when igniting alcohol.

Cooking with alcohol is a great way to add deep flavors to your recipes, but should be done with caution. Choose your favorite low calorie wine with a high quality taste. Otherwise, you could end up with a ruined recipe.