Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds are a classic Wisconsin appetizer featuring gooey melted cheese waiting to ooze out of a crisp beer flavored crust!
In Wisconsin, we are the land of beer and cheese. Oh, and –insert obligatory Green Bay Packers reference here-. God gave Wisconsinite’s two hands, one to hold cheese, and the other to hold a beer. However one day, someone brought a Wisconsinite a second beer and he had no free hand to hold it, so he proceeded to dump it in with his cheese and deep fried it. Thus, Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds were born.
It went something like that, I’m sure.
If you live outside of Wisconsin, you likely never have seen Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds on your restaurant menu. And for that, I’ll lather you with a level of pity typically reserved for crippled puppies. However, deep fried cheese curds are a staple in Wisconsin restaurants, with beer battered cheese curds being the crème de la crème of this ultimate comfort food appetizer!
I love writing about Wisconsin food, and this recipe in particular I’ve been wanting to publish for the past year. Wisconsin has a number of culinary traditions I’m determined to spread nationwide: The Friday Fish Fry is certainly one (who doesn’t want to eat beer battered perch on a Friday evening?), and deep fried cheese curds are the other! Gooey melted cheese encased in a crisp beer flavored crust, who wouldn’t want that? Oh, and don’t forget to wash it all down with the quintessential Wisconsin cocktail, a Brandy Old Fashioned!
My wife likes using my Comeback Sauce recipe for dipping cheese curds. I like using chipotle ranch, though ketchup and marinara sauce works as well!
How to Make Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds
Deep fried cheese curds are typically made with cheese curds, obviously enough. However, don’t despair if you live outside of Wisconsin and can’t find this squeaky treat. You can use a block of mild cheddar and cut it into ~1 ½” x ¾” rectangles to mimic the curd shape, however simply cutting 1” cubes would also be fine too.
My Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds recipe calls for a pound of cheese curds, however if you buy a different sized bag, the recipe will still work well. You just may have some batter left over.
Your beer batter for deep frying should be like a thin pancake batter, a consistency similar to paint. My recipe calls for a cup of beer, however if the batter is still too thick, add another 1 – 2 tablespoons of beer to thin it out to the correct consistency. If you thin it out too much, add a small amount of flour to thicken it slightly.
Before you dive into deep frying your entire batch, test out one curd frying in the oil. You will be able to see if your batter is the right consistency and make adjustments before you accidentally ruin the whole batch. Plus, you get to snack on one early!
You will also want to have a good instant read thermometer to monitor your oil temperature. Proper oil temperature is essential anytime you are frying food, too hot and your food will burn, too cool and it will become oil logged. I never deep fry without one. Rather than buying a specific deep frying thermometer, I like using the same instant read thermometer I use for cooking meat (this is what I use) because I like tools that can multitask.
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Beer Battered Deep Fried Cheese Curds
- 1 pound cheese curds or cubed mild cheddar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup beer + 1-2 tbsp as needed
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp table salt
- Heat oil to 400 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Add beaten egg and beer and mix till combined. The batter should have the consistency of thin pancake batter. If it is too thick add additional beer as needed. If it is too thin, sprinkle in a little flour.
- Deep fry one cheese curd to test the batter if needed.
- Working in batches, add cheese curds to the batter and evenly coat then lift cheese out of the batter with a spider or slotted spoon and let the excess batter drip off before placing in the oil.
- Fry for 1 minute then remove curds to drain on paper towels.
- Let cool slightly and serve.
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