9 Excellent Ways to Cook with Cola

Cola-Marinated Flank Steak with Frito Chilaquiles © Christina Holmes
By F&W Editors Posted July 02, 2015

Sugary soft drinks might not be great for your health—but they can be very useful for cooking, especially when it comes to meat or anything grilled. Heated and reduced, Coke and Pepsi can impart an incredible caramel-like complexity to all kinds of dishes. Here, 10 incredible ways to cook with cola.

Sugary soft drinks might not be great for your health—but they can be very useful for cooking, especially when it comes to meat or anything grilled. Heated and reduced, Coke and Pepsi can impart an incredible caramel-like complexity to all kinds of dishes. Here, 10 incredible ways to cook with cola.

1. Tangy Sort-Of Jerk Chicken
Chef Steven Brown flavors his jerk-style chicken with a highly spiced, tangy marinade made with Coke, liquid smoke, citrus, soy and lots of spices.

2. Steak, Chicken and Vegetable Tacos 
The sweet Coca-Cola-and-tamarind marinade chef Sue Torres uses to tenderize and flavor skirt steaks was a discovery she made while traveling through Oaxaca. “Mexicans love Coke. They’d offer it to me at breakfast,” she says.

3. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Jerk Vinaigrette 
Chef John Fraser makes a punched up jerk sauce with multiple spices, molasses, soy sauce and Pepsi to coat his tender sweet potatoes.

4. Cola-Marinated Flank Steak with Frito Chilaquiles 
To make his version of chilaquiles (fried tortilla chips lightly cooked in salsa), chef Jamie Bissonnette unabashedly opts for Fritos.

5. Sweet & Spicy Jerky 
A Manhattan Special soda, a fizzy, coffee-flavored drink created in 1895, inspired this licoricey, Asian-inflected jerky.

6. Smoky Glazed Ham with Red Pepper Jelly 
This spectacular baked ham is glazed with a sweet-sticky mix of stock, water, cola (preferably GuS Dry Cola), red wine, sugar, honey, vinegar, chiles and ginger.

7. Tacos al Pastor 
These exceptional grilled pork for these classic tacos is marinated overnight in a mix of Coca-Cola, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar and spices.

8. Grilled Beef Ribs with Smoky-Sweet Barbecue Sauce 
Chef David Burtka braises beef ribs in Coca-Cola, then brushes them with homemade barbecue sauce before grilling them.

9. Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Barbecue Sauce 
The sauce for these incredible sandwiches gets its sweet, delicious flavor from ketchup, cola and molasses.

Related: DIY Soft Drinks
Delicious Grilled Chicken Recipes
Juicy Steak Recipes

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