Drunken Chicken

Drunken Chicken

Andrew Berndt / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
354 Calories
18g Fat
4g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 354
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 2765mg 120%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 35g
Calcium 28mg 2%
*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 beer can chicken recipe (aka beer butt chicken, chicken on a throne, and dancing chicken) adds crab boil and Cajun seasoning to the beer, making this whole chicken even more tender and flavorful—with a little kick.

The idea behind beer can cooking is that as the chicken is cooked under indirect grilling, the open beer placed in the bird's cavity will add moisture and steam the meat from the inside, adding flavor. Many regions, including Louisiana and Memphis, Tennessee, have attempted to take credit for originating this style of cooking.

This simple, four-ingredient recipe is a set-it-on-the-grill-and-forget-it (at least for 45 to 60 minutes) kind of meal that can be served simply or gussied up with various sides.


Steps to Make It

  1. Tear a piece of aluminum foil paper about 12 inches long. Fold in half and put on the grill top, folding edges under the grill to secure it in place.

  2. Remove any excess fat or skin hanging from chicken, and rinse with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken well inside and out with Cajun seasoning. Make sure to get under the skin of the breast.

  3. Open can of beer and pour out 1 ounce of liquid—you can either drink it or discard it. Add liquid crab boil to beer. Separate chicken skin from the neck area by pushing a finger between the skin and meat. While holding pocket open, pour beer into the pocket. Do this in several areas. A large injection needle also works well for doing this.

  4. Next, slide the bottom-end of the chicken over the can of beer. While holding the beer can and the chicken, gently place on the foil-covered grill. Close grill cover and cook for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is done. The internal temperature must be 165 F in the breast meat and 175 F in the thigh area. 

  5. Once cooked, using heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove the chicken from the grill (still with the beer can inserted) and place onto a large cutting board with a lip to collect any juices. 

  6. Remove beer can and loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 8 to 10 minutes before carving. Reserve any juices from the beer can and cutting board to make a pan sauce or gravy.