There's something about a warm summer night that makes the idea of savoring a cold, frosty beer so enticing. Could it be the way the tangy smell of the hops wafts about in the humid air? For me, it's that tingle on my tongue that comes with the first refreshing sip.

Well, here's another way to enjoy summer's favorite beverage-use beer in cooking! Beer lends a unique and alluring flavor to foods. Whether it's pork, poultry or seafood, a splash (or more!) of beer will add a special kick to your meal that diners of all ages will rave about.

Here are 4 recipes that will get you to see your next beer as more than just a drink.

These pork carnitas have a little more flair and much less fat than the traditional deep-fried versions common to Mexican cuisine. Beer and dark tequila give them a very special flavor. Use leftover carnitas to make burritos, sandwiches or quesadillas.

Lovers of fried fish get the taste without all the calories, and the salsa adds a fresh, clean note. To complete the Baja theme, serve with black beans, some diced mango and a bit of light sour cream.

Here's our spin on the roast-a-chicken-on-top-of-a-can-of-beer technique that's popular with barbecue aficionados. To simplify things, we just pour a little beer inside the chicken as it cooks. The beer keeps the meat juicy and a smoky-flavored spice rub both under and over the skin gives it extra flavor.

Brisket, a naturally tough cut, becomes meltingly tender braised in beer and chiles. Try this with corn tortillas or as a filling for enchiladas or tamales. Or serve simply with rice and a green salad.