A beer cheese dip that stays impossibly gooey for perfect dipping satisfaction every time. All thanks to one special ingredient – sodium citrate. Learn how to use this special ‘salt’ to enjoy the most unbridled cheesy flavor.
I have personally been the victim of cheese ‘dips’ that simply do not taste very cheesy. Sometimes it’s understandable – cheese is designed to harden when it cools. Dips are designed to be melty and liquified. So we usually throw in a ton of other stuff into cheese dips to keep them dippable and creamy. Sometimes it’s a roux (flour and butter), sometimes a can of some kind of condensed soup. But every addition detracts from the purity of flavor. The same can be said for actually picking up a bold beer taste in beer cheese. Often it’s missing because you simply can’t add very much liquid to make the dip work.
This is where one very special ingredient comes into play. Sodium Citrate. It’s the stuff that makes Velveeta and other processed cheeses so “melty”. In the cheese world, there are cheeses that naturally lend themselves to melting, like Mozzarella. And ones that become a giant clumpy mess when you attempt to melt them, like Parmesan. Sodium Citrate is the great redeemer, as it allows all varieties of cheese to melt perfectly. Sparing you the complete science of how it works, it effectively does some voodoo with calcium and proteins, and allows the cheese to better emulsify (the stabilization of fat and water).
This matters to people like you and I who are huge fans of cooking, flavor and food. It opens up our options to a plethora of fun cheeses to use, rather than being stuck with the same ol’ Velveeta. So basically, you can experiment beyond the cheese I have used in this recipe to customize your perfect mix. Sodium Citrate it’s perfectly easy to buy on Amazon and at specialty stores, and you really only need a very small amount. It’s also come in SUPER handy for nacho cheese. Trust me.
And so to the beer. Because the beer is going to completely determine the consistency of your dip, you can actually get pretty generous with the amount you add. And that means, instead of just having beer in the title of the recipe, you’ll actually get to taste it! YAY! I prefer to use Lone Star Beer (because Texas!) which is an American style lager.
Your selection of the variety bread which is to become the receptacle is of utmost importance. Hollowing out a basic white loaf will lead to breaches in your cheese dam. Which then leads to a big, fat, delicious mess. You’re not going to find what you need in the bread aisle at the grocery store. You need to source a sturdy loaf from a bakery. Something like a boule or sourdough. A super crusty French country loaf that has a hefty weight attached. It’s this kind of baked good that will truly contain the dip.Print