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Turn Beer into an Ice-Cold Slushy

By Paul Adams Published

Thailand’s bia wun is the coldest beer you'll ever drink.

The only way to make a cold beer on a hot day even more refreshing? Superchill it.

Beer superchilled until it has a slurpable, slushy-like consistency has long been popular in Thailand, and nowadays, some Thai restaurants in the United States are offering this cooling refreshment. Called bia wun, or “jelly beer,” the drink is typically made by chilling the bottles in a 25-degree or so bath of water, salt, and ice. The pressure inside the sealed bottle keeps the beer from freezing, then, when you open the container and insert a straw or pour the beer into a glass, its equilibrium is disrupted, causing tiny ice crystals to form instantly while the alcohol stays fluid. The result: beer slushy.

It’s easy to make a jelly beer of your own in your freezer: But because the average home freezer temperature hovers near 0 degrees, the beer will eventually freeze solid, so the trick is to take it out before that happens. Here’s the method we settled on in our testing.

1. Choose your favorite 12-ounce bottled beer. Note: Bottles will shatter if the beer accidentally freezes completely; if you're concerned about this possibility, choose cans instead.

2. Place a “canary bottle” in the freezer. This will help you determine when to take the rest of your bottles out. 

3. After 10 minutes, place the rest of your bottles in the freezer. If you don’t routinely chill your beer glasses, now is a good time to place those in the freezer as well.

4. Wait. Fridge-temperature beer usually reaches its target temperature in about 40 minutes; room-temperature, in 70 minutes. (Note that bottles of dry lager will slush up faster than beers with more alcohol, like IPAs, or more sugar, like stouts). 

5. Check your canary after the recommended time. It should be icy cold to the touch. Pop it open and pour it into a chilled glass.

6. If it's still liquid: Wait about 15 minutes before opening another beer.

7. If it forms a jellied slush: Wait just 10 minutes, and then round up your guests and pass the slushies

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JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.