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!
Move over fried mozzarella sticks, in the world of fried cheese, the beer battered cheese curds reign supreme as the crème de la crème ultimate comfort food appetizer!
What are they?
Although Wisconsin would like to claim all the credit, deep fried cheese curds actually began with the ancient Romans, who enjoyed a dish called "Globuli". Globuli uses curd cheese which is then combined with semolina and formed into dumplings and deep fried. The modern-day deep fried cheese curd recipe has remained similar, except I use a beer battered crust for even more flavor.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cheese - Authentic fresh cheese curds are best. If you haven't tried fresh curds renowned for their squeaky cheese and rubbery texture, you don't know what you are missing! However, if you can't find them at your local grocery store my next recommendation is to purchase a block of mild cheddar cheese and cut it into cubes. Other cheeses, like pepper jack, can also be substituted.
- Beer - Beer forms the backbone of your batter. You don't need a fancy craft beer, actually, cheap beer is better in this case. Just an inexpensive lager will suffice. Miller, Pabst, etc...
- All purpose flour - Flour combines with the beer to create the batter. You are looking to create a thin consistency, just enough to cling to the cheese. Any all-purpose flour is fine.
- Egg - Beat the egg and combine with batter.
- Baking powder - Acts as a leavening agent, giving the crust better texture.
- Oil - Personally, I like canola oil for deep frying. It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, allowing the flavor of the beer and cheese can remain the star. Peanut oil can also be used.
- Dipping Sauce - Serve your beer-battered cheese curds with ranch dressing, marinara sauce, chipotle aioli, Comeback Sauce, or as a poutine with gravy and french fries!
Note: Some people combine flour with bread crumbs for the breading, but I find breadcrumbs in the flour mixture make the breading too thick on the coated curds.
How to make them
Begin making this deep fried cheese curds recipe by heating at least 2 inches of oil to 400 degrees in a deep-sided skillet or large pot. While the oil is heating mix together your batter ingredients in a large bowl.
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. You are aiming for a thin batter but 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, coat one curd in batter and fry it in the hot oil to test. You will be able to see if your batter is the right consistency and make adjustments before you accidentally ruin the whole batch.
Work in batches to batter all of the cheese curds and deep fry them for one minute in the hot oil until golden brown, then remove and place cheese curds on paper towels or a wire rack to let cool slightly before serving. If your cheese melts too much you'll see the curds begin oozing out excessively during frying. This means you are frying too long or too hot.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
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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 tablespoons as needed)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- Oil for deep frying
- Heat oil in deep fryer or skillet to 400 degrees. If using a skillet ensure enough oil is added to cover the curds (approximately 2").
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- 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, drop cheese curds into 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.
- Deep fry curds for 1 minute, or until golden brown, then remove the fried curds to drain on paper towels.
- Let cool slightly and serve.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com May 23, 2016.