Ingredients

How to make it

  • ~*Marinade/Brine*~

  • Make the marinade by combining all marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, whisk well to mix
  • Remove and discard any giblets and fat just inside the body and neck cavities.
  • Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water, then drain and blot dry inside and out with a paper towel.
  • Place chicken with the marinade inside a large non-reactive bowl or a resealable plastic freezer bag and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, turning the bird several times to marinate evenly.


  • ~*Soak wood chips*~

  • Open the beer can and pour half the beer over the soaking wood chips.


  • ~*Rub*~

  • Make the rub by combining all rub ingredients - mix well; set aside
  • Remove the chicken from the bag with the marinade.
  • DISCARD marinade. Pat chicken dray with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp. of the dry rub inside the neck cavity of the bird.
  • Drizzle oil over the outside of the bird and rub until completely covered.
  • Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 Tbsp of rub all over the skin.
  • Using a church key can opener, make 2 additional holes in the top of the can.
  • Spoon the remaining dry rub into the half-filled can of beer (beer may foam, which is normal).
  • 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 body cavity. Pull the legs forward to form a 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 BBQ grill for indirect grilling - meaning that you will grill the bird on one side of the grill not over your heat source (gas or charcoal)

  • Charcoal
  • Dump or rake glowing coals into two piles on opposite sides of the grill or if your grill isn't large enough rake to one side.
  • On the side that there isn't any coals, place a drip pan to catch the juice to prevent flame-ups.
  • Keep your grill at a medium heat - around 350 degrees F
  • Toss drained wood chips in with hot coals
  • Place chicken on BBQ grate/rack above drip pan
  • ***If you only use coals on one side you will need to rotate the chicken for an even grilling

  • Gas
  • Light grill let heat to medium or 350 degrees F
  • When warmed, turn off one side of grill burners and stand the chicken upright on the can over the NON-LIT burner.
  • Place oven thermometer beside the chicken, not above the direct heat.
  • Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil, punching a few holes in the foil to allow smoke to escape, and place foil pouch directly over the LIT burner.
  • Reduce heat, if necessary, to maintain interior temperature at 350 F. Close lid.

  • Grilling
  • Cook until chicken skin is dark golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Use an instant reading meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone; chicken is done when the meat thermometer is 180 F. If chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil. When done, remove bird and let rest, standing on a platter at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Lift chicken off the can, taking care not to spill hot beer.

  • Let chicken rest for 5 - 10 minutes before carving.
  • ***I wrap mine in foil and let sit for about 10 - 15 minutes before carving***


  • ~*Dark Beer BBQ Sauce*~

  • While the bird is grilling....
  • Melt your butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add bacon and onion, cook until golden brown. (5-8 minutes)
  • Add beer, bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer until reduced by half.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except for the salt and pepper.
  • Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened.
  • Taste then season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Let cool to room temp before serving.



  • ~*Cook's Notes*~
  • If I'm smoking/grilling more than one chicken I'll brine them in trash bags stuffed into a small cooler that I can fit into a fridge or if I'm smoking several chickens I'll brine them in trash bags in a large cooler - on ice of course.

  • I usually double my rub recipe – I’ll rub the chicken with 2 Tbsp of the rub then dump the rest into the beer can that I’m inserting into the chicken.

  • I use a small washed potato or peeled onion to shove down in the neck opening to seal shut so the steam from the chicken and can of beer doesn’t escape.

  • The beer can get stuck to the chicken making it risky trying to pry it out of the chicken while the beer in the can is boiling hot – I usually coat the outside of the beer can with a little oil to keep it from sticking to the bird.

  • If your chicken skin starts to burn or gets too brown – lightly tent the chicken with foil.

  • I cook the chicken to a temp between 160 and 170 degrees then wrap in foil to rest for about 10 - 15 minutes before carving - chicken will continue to cook and reach the recommended safe consumption temp of 180 degrees.

  • When I carve the bird I usually carve it in a plastic bowl with a lid. The bowl catches all of the juices – the bird will be super juicy – I let the meat sit in these juices until it is served. The juices will marry with the rub and will make the best flavored sauce.
Brine Chicken   Close
Rub   Close
Pat 'er dry   Close
Grease 'er up   Close
Rub 'er down   Close
What's Cookin Good Lookin   Close

Reviews & Comments 6

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    " It was excellent "
    omrebel ate it and said...
    Awesome! This is the best beer can chicken I've ever made. THANKS :o)
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
  • mark555 5 years ago
    You are right there is a lot going on in this recipe. If I can find the time it will take to do this recipe Justus I will give it a try. It does look fantastic! I do like your name for this recipe.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
  • suestonebender 5 years ago
    This sounds absolutely incredible. What a lot of trouble you've gone to in sharing this as well! Want to try it this weekend since we finally got rid of the damned snow here ... lol.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
  • possumqueen 6 years ago
    I know that there is a lot going on in this recipe - but I swear it is the BEST beer-can chicken I have ever tasted!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    borius ate it and said...
    Beer can chicken is one of my all time faves! Very nice recipe. My grill is under snow right now, but it gets thawed today for new years day grillin'. 9F at 9 pm yesterday. BURRR! Happy new year my friend.
    M
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  • wynnebaer 6 years ago
    Incredible post....Beer butt chicken is my husbands favorite...This is definitely a must do..Gotta shovel a path to the grill first though.....;D
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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