Basic Beer-Can Chicken
By Steven Raichlen
Basic Beer-Can Chicken Recipe
By February 22, 2013Published:
- Yield: 2-4 Servings
By Steven Raichlen
- 1 can (12 oz) beer
- 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons All-purpose Barbecue Rub or your favorite commercial rub
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- You'll also need:
- 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or cherry)
- soaked for 1 hour in water and/or beer to cover, then drained
- Pop the tab off the beer can. Pour half of the beer (3/4 cup) over the soaking wood chips or chunks, or reserve for another use.
- Using a church key-style can opener, make 2 additional holes in the top of the can. Set the can of beer aside.
- Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use.
- Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities.
- Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry,
inside and out, with paper towels.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the rub inside the body
cavity and 1/2 teaspoon inside the neck cavity of the chicken.
- Drizzle the oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin.
- Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of rub and rub it all over the skin.
- Spoon the remaining 1 1/2
teaspoons of rub into the beer through the hole in the top of the can. Don’t worry if the beer foams up: This is normal.
- If cooking on a can (rather than a vertical chicken roaster): Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity.
- Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.
- Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken’s back.
- Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.
- If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.
- When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips or chunks on the coals.
- Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat.
- Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through (about 180°F on an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh, but not touching the bone), 11/4 to 11/2 hours.
- If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.
- Using tongs, hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter.
- Present the bird to your guests. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off the can. Take care not to spill the hot beer or you will burn yourself. Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve.
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