Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1178 Calories
63g Fat
18g Carbs
122g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 81%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 380mg 127%
Sodium 1530mg 67%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 122g
Calcium 173mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This basic variation of the "beer in the butt" chicken recipe combines the flavors of a great spice rub with the flavors steamed out of the beer can. This is an easy and fun way to cook a whole chicken on the grill.


  • 1 chicken (about 4 pounds/1.8 kg)
  • 1 can/12 ounces beer (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • For the Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh, chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat grill for medium heat. 

  3. Combine all rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

  4. Remove giblets and the neck from chicken if needed.

  5. Sprinkle all over with rub, including cavity and under breast skin.

  6. Open can of beer and discard (or drink) half of it.

  7. Place minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in it.

  8. Make sure to pierce two more holes on the top of beer can to release steam.

  9. Place chicken on top of the can.

  10. Place the bird on grill balanced by the beer can.

  11. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 F/82 C.

  12. Remove chicken when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes before carving.

  13. Wearing heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove can from chicken cavity. Discard. 

  14. Place chicken onto cutting board and carve.

  15. Serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!