Brine Pumpkin Seeds In Beer Before Roasting For A More Flavorful Snack

Pumpkin seeds boast a naturally rich and nutty flavor that is transformed and enhanced when roasted. Once freed from the snotty and stringy pulp they are encased in, these seeds are begging for a little culinary creativity. To create that familiar savory crunch that you know and love, pumpkin seeds generally take a quick plunge into saltwater before they hit the sheet pan; however, if you want to craft a truly unique flavor for these seeds, you should consider giving them a beer brine soak.

A beer brine is exactly what it sounds like. Beer, vinegar, salt, sugar, and any spices are mixed to form a magic potion your pumpkin seeds are boiled in and left to marinate overnight. As they are submerged, the seeds absorb malty and hoppy notes, depending on your beer choice. When you are ready to roast your pumpkin seeds, drain the brine off and pat the seeds dry. This step is pivotal because you want them to be free of any excess moisture so they toast up to give you that crunchy exterior and tender interior. You also want to ensure your oven isn't set too high and you don't leave them roasting too long or your seeds will burn.

What type of beer should you use?

To achieve beautiful gold-brown pumpkin seeds, the secret is to roast them for between 20 and 25 minutes, maintaining an oven temperature between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the seeds have achieved this desired hue, they are ready to come out of the oven and undergo some flavor accessorizing with any complementary herbs, spices, and seasonings of the sweet or savory variety that you want to add. The choice of these flavors will be linked to the beer you use for your brine, as it will significantly influence the overall flavor of your pumpkin seeds.

For a rich, malty flavor with citrus notes, a brown ale is the way to go while an amber ale is going to give you a sweet maltiness tempered by a little bitterness from the hops. If a stout or porter is all you have in the fridge, these are perfect for achieving a deep, velvety flavor with a tinge of sweetness.