My cooking repertoire is pretty limited. I can make chicken Francese, chicken Piccata, and a few other things. While it is limited, most of the meals that I can make require alcohol. I make these dishes pretty often, and I was thinking the other day, how come I never get drunk when I make them? Does alcohol cook out once you add it to a dish? I took it upon myself to solve this mystery and did some research on the matter.

liquor, pouring, glass, Bottle, red wine, wine, alcohol
Caroline Ingalls

Alcohol is often used in cooking to add flavor to food, which happens through molecular bonding. While it usually does not completely cook out, it does cook out a decent amount. This happens through evaporation. In case you need a lil' reminder of what evaporation is, it's the process of liquid turning into gas. Heat is the evaporation catalyst.

Alcohol starts starts to boil out of sauce at approximately 173°F, but some say that it takes about three hours for the alcohol to boil out completely. While this may be true, enough of it over a shorter period of time will boil out to the point where it will not get you drunk. Most recipes call for a small amount of alcohol anyway.

So, like, penne vodka shouldn't get you hammered and neither will chicken piccata. Certain kinds of boozy ice cream might get you tipsy, considering that there's no heat used while making it, but I'm not totally sure about that.

dairy product, milk, beer
Zara Toh

If you're still paranoid and really don't want to risk it, try using chicken or vegetable broth instead. You can often substitute either one in place of wine if you'd prefer not to cook with alcohol. But take it from me, I'm a mega lightweight. So if I don't get trashed after a serving of penne a la vodka, you won't either.

The bottom line is that unless you have the time and patience to wait it out for three hours while your food cooks, the alcohol will not completely cook out. 

Not in my kitchen. Not in my house.