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How to Make Beer Can Chicken
The most basic version of beer can chicken recipe requires only a whole chicken and a can of beer. However, if you really want to add a lot of extra flavors, you should also include a good Spice Rub. It can be a basic mixture of salt and pepper or a fancier concoction of additional herbs and spices. It's entirely up to you. This recipe for beer can chicken includes a great rub you concoct yourself.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
The Setup for Beer Can Chicken
Taste preference is important in selecting a beer. Some people are militant about this decision. Many will argue that stout is the only beer for beer can chicken while others favor any beer but stout. Some like a good, malty beer.
Tip 1: Before we get started. Make sure that the can of beer fits inside the chicken. You don't want to fight with this over a live fire.
Tip 2: Make sure the place that you set the chicken is tall enough for it to be in an upright position. You don't want to lower the lid of your grill only to find that the chicken doesn't fit.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Preparing the Can
Cut off the top of the beer can. This maximizes the flow of moisture from the beer to the bird. Most can openers can be used for this task. Next, pour out (discard or consume) some of the beer until the can is half full. How you choose to do this is up to you. Add 1/2 cup of your poultry rub to the can and give it a quick stir. The can is now ready.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
Rub the Chicken
Take the other half of your spice rub and apply it to the chicken. Don't worry too much about getting it on the skin. The skin won't let flavor reach the meat, so try to work your spice rub in under the skin as much as possible. Get it inside the chicken as well. The spice in the can adds flavor but not like direct contact.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
You will be grilling your beer can chicken indirectly. This means that the fire will either be to the side or around the chicken. The example is set up on a kettle style grill with charcoal on either side of where the chicken will be sitting. This will give even heat without turning the chicken.
If you have the ability to put the fire (either gas or charcoal) on two sides then you won't have to worry about turning the bird. If the fire is on one side, you will need to rotate the chicken 180 degrees every 30 minutes while it cooks.
Place the beer can on the grill right where you want the bird to be.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
Putting the Chicken on its Throne
With the can in place, it's time to cook the bird. You want to slowly and gently sit the chicken over the can. Try not to force it or put too much pressure on the bird to get into position.
Now, wedge the piece of onion into the neck of the chicken to seal the top of the bird. This holds the moisture inside and is the real secret of beer can chicken.
Close the lid on the grill and wash everything you used to prepare the bird.
Try to maintain a grill temperature around 300 to 325 F during the cooking time. Of course, you can smoke it, but it should be cooked at a temperature several degrees above the boiling point of water. If not, then the liquid in the can won't do anything for the bird.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
07 of 07
Finishing the Chicken
Depending on how even the heat is you shouldn't have much to do now but wait for the beer can chicken to cook. Time isn't important to chicken, temperature is. When this bird reaches an internal temperature of 175 F it's ready to come off. Measure the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone with your thermometer. Once removed from the grill, allow the chicken to rest for ten minutes before carving it.
A 5- to 6-pound bird should take about two to three hours to cook depending on the temperature. Lay the bird down and pull the can out gripping it with a pair of tongs.
When the can is out of the chicken, carve it up and enjoy.