Classic Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken
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  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

This quick, easy method of roasting a chicken yields a crispy skin and tender moist interior. You may never roast a chicken in the oven again!

It's important to have a large chicken so it will fit over the can of beer (a chicken 5 pounds, or close to 5 pounds, is ideal).

There are other ways to make this chicken. There are a number of stands that help keep the chicken stable. Some let you add the beer can and some have cups in the center.


  • 1 large chicken (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's
  • 1 12-ounce can beer

Steps to Make It

  1. Remove insides from the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. 

  2. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken evenly with the Cajun seasoning. 

  3. Fold the tips of the chicken wings behind the back of the chicken. Allow the chicken to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes (if it's a hot day, refrigerate the chicken for 60 minutes).

  4. Heat the barbecue grill to medium heat. 

  5. When the grill is heated to medium (about 400 F) open a 12-ounce can of beer. Pour about half the beer out of the can (preferably into a glass, to drink it while you're cooking). Make 3 or 4 additional holes in the top of the beer can with a can opener.

  6. Set the beer can on a flat surface and place the cavity of the chicken directly over the can. With the can as the base, balance the bird on 3 points like a tripod, with the two legs and the can as the 3 points that stabilize the chicken.

  7. Set the chicken on the hot grill directly over the coals or burners, stabilizing it on the grill just as it was on the flat surface. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer placed into the thick part of the thigh. The temperature should reach 170 F, and the juices should be clear and not pink.

  8. If the temperature has not reached 170 F, continue cooking the chicken, checking the temperature every few minutes, until the temperature has reached 170 F.

  9. Place a sturdy baking sheet or platter near the grill and carefully transfer the chicken to it. Allow the chicken to stand for 10 minutes, then carefully lift the chicken off the can of beer. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and serve.

  10. The chicken is best hot but can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature.