Beer Can Chicken – an incredible summer chicken roasted/grilled to perfection on a can of beer with a smokey delicious dry rub for a more tender and flavorful dish. Requires little to no work at all. An easy and simple dish for your summer weeknight meal or get together.
I find it utterly silly the first time I saw a grilled chicken sitting on a beer can. It was like a comic character sunbathing under the sun, waiting for someone to hand him over his pair of glasses and jug of beer. 😀
But when I had my share of this silly chicken, I was so thrilled to make it at home that I even made it the following day. The beer can works like pure magic to the chicken meat.
This method of cooking was said to have originated in the U.S. in the sate of Louisiana. The beer can in this dish is inserted into the cavity of the chicken, to hold the chicken vertically as it cooks and to tenderize the meat.
It is said that during the process, the beer in the opened can steams right through the chicken, making its meat so tender and flavorful. But like most popular dish, there will always be a debate ; whether the beer actually adds flavor to the chicken as they claim it to be.
But as for me, I’d say, this Beer Can Chicken definitely hits a home run!
Some would also claim that the malt and yeast found in beer helps give a crispy skin finish to the chicken unlike any other regular whole grilled chicken.
Well, it certainly does. Look at the skin -SOOO Crispy – right out of the grill you think it’s fried.
That chicken skin right there isn’t just crispy-licious, but it’s also flavor-packed with my homemade and simple dry rub. You probably might have all the ingredients in your cupboard. Or better yet just use my homemade creole seasoning here
You can pair this Beer Can Chicken (aka Drunken Chicken) with your favorite salad or some salsa on the side. This would make a wonderful main dish on Father’s day or during any bbq party. Trust me, this taste waaaaaay too good than it looks! 😉
Tips and Notes:
- For a more no-fuss meal, you can even go as simple as salt and pepper as a chicken dry rub or homemade cajun creole seasoning
- If you’re not a fan of beer, you can replace it with ginger ale, chicken stock or lemon juice and water mixture. Any variety of beer will do.
- When you place the chicken on the grill, keep it away from direct heat, i.e. no charcoals under the chicken , if using charcoal grill.
- Adjust cooking times according to size of chicken – it takes between 50 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of your bird to cook.
- You can also grill this chicken dish using the Oven Method instructions below.
- Be careful when handling the can and the meat. It gets too hot that you need proper tong to work on it or a mitten.
- Let it sit for 10 -15 minutes before carving it out.
- It’s best to use your hands, rather than a brush to rub in the spices, you might get your hands dirty , but the result is far better than just using a brush.
- You can also use your favorite spices to spice up the chicken and any extra flavor the beer as well . It’s your chicken do with it as you wish .
Beer Can Chicken
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 pound whole bone-in chicken , skin on
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder more or less , optional
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion powder
- 2 tablespoons thyme, oregano or basil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 beer can (any variety)
- Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken with water, inside and out, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Rub inside and out chicken with salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine spices. Generously rub the chicken with spice combination, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Open beer can empty half of it . If you are a drinker have a few gulps . Don’t go over -board – make sure you leave enough to cook the chicken. If desired place a sprig of thyme into the can beer.
- Place beer can on a solid surface. Then gently place the whole chicken over the beer can, with the chicken in the upright position.
- Transfer chicken together with the beer can onto the the grill , then use the chicken legs to support it’s body , so it acts like a tripod , preventing the chicken from falling over.
- Grill chicken, over medium- high heat covered, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh.
- Carefully lift chicken off the can, have one person remove the chicken while the other hold the beer . You will have to use paper towels to kitchen cloth. . Place chicken on a platter or carving board. Let it sit for another 10 minutes before carving. Discard beer.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil.
- Transfer chicken together with the beer can onto the the roasting pan , then use the chicken legs to support it’s body , so it acts like a tripod , preventing the chicken from falling over.
- Roast chicken until no longer pink – an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh and juices run clear , about an hour and 10 minutes or more.
- Carefully lift chicken off the can, have one person remove the chicken while the other hold the beer . You will have to use paper towels to kitchen cloth to prevent any burns.
- Place chicken on a platter or carving board. Let it sit for another 10 minutes before carving. Discard beer.