Ingredients

How to make it

  • BBQ Rub
  • Put the salt, brown sugar, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix. (Your fingers actually work better for mixing the rub than a spoon or whisk does.) Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 6 months. Makes about 3/4 cup
  • The Beer Can Chicken:
  • 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 (Drink it!)
  • If cooking the chicken on the can, using a church key-style can opener, make 2 additional holes in its top. Put a couple cloves of crushed garlic, some onion, some salt and pepper in the beer. 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 a hole in the top of the can. Don’t worry if the beer foams up: This is normal.
  • If cooking on a can: 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. If cooking on a roaster: Fill it with the beer mixture and position the chicken on top, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • 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 of 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 a 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.
  • If cooking on a can: Using tongs, hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. If cooking on a roaster: Use oven mitts or pot holders to remove the bird from the grill while it’s still on the vertical roaster.
  • Present the bird to your guests. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself. Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve.
  • Variations - You can also barbecue a chicken on a can of cola, lemon-lime soda, or root beer. Use a "tall boy" (16 ounce) can of beer to barbecue a capon or duck. Use a "mini" (8 ounce) can of beer to barbecue a game hen.

Reviews & Comments 19

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    " It was excellent "
    schubo52 ate it and said...
    You make this just like me , been doing it this way for 25 years now
    High fives for great recipe
    This Bud's for the Birds, Mmmmmmmmmm
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    rottman ate it and said...
    Tried this last evening. Dynamite! Thanks. The combination of adding the garlic, onion, etc to the beer, and the excellent rub, make this recipe outstanding.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    mrtnzangel8 ate it and said...
    I stand corrected...we did this with a BBQ rub and it was fantastic! Way better than the cajun spice. :)
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    lincolntoot ate it and said...
    Made this tonight as I said and will make this again and again and again!!! Was so good!!!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    lincolntoot ate it and said...
    Making this tonight. Can't wait - sounds delicious. Thanks
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  • juliecake 9 years ago
    I've seen many variations of this but I do believe your is one of the best!! Thanks will be trying this soon.
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  • knoxcop 9 years ago
    I've read about this kind of chicken for a long time. Tell me---does the beer have an effect on the flavor of the chicken, or is it more for novelty purposes?
    Thanks,
    --Kn0x--
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
  • vulcans_grill 9 years ago
    Beer can chicken, Bud beer...stop, your killin me!!! No one is that perfect...lol
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    " It was excellent "
    zena824 ate it and said...
    Make beer can chicken all the time... Will try this variation...thanks for the wonderful post!!!!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    gingerlea ate it and said...
    Used to fix all the time when lived in Panhandle and Mississippi. Can't grill where we now live to really miss it.
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  • werblondz 9 years ago
    This sounds fantastic I can't wait to try it. I use my grill all the time even in the dead of winter here in WI too! I can't believe that I haven't tried this myself yet......I will soon!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    winny ate it and said...
    Making these for the Super Bowl party too! Love the version of rub.
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  • lillyann 9 years ago
    I NEVER wait for the "season" to make this =) Not even in Chicago. We'd had enough of Turkey after this past Thanksgiving, so this was our Christmas feast. BBQ'd 3 of them outside--in Chicago--on Christmas day. It was fun and much better than deep fried turkey!
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    " It was excellent "
    wolfpackjack ate it and said...
    This looks awesome... 5 5 5 I say!!.... thanks.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    mrtnzangel8 ate it and said...
    We do alot of drunken chickens in the summer and sometimes in the oven through winter. We like to use a cajun spice rub. Great post!
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  • kochhexe 9 years ago
    i've never heard of this strange american custom of bbqing chicken - but i am certain my son and his friends will love it. i'll be sure to surprise them as soon as bbq season is here again! thank you for posting and sharing!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    shirleyoma ate it and said...
    love beer can chicken! what can I say... 5
    lol
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  • jenniferbyrdez 9 years ago
    Love beer can chicken and the kids got a new grill for Christmas. Can't wait.
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  • cheryilyn 9 years ago
    haven't tried this yet, but will in the near future
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