Memphis Style Beer Can Chicken

Memphis-style beer can chicken

Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1124 Calories
61g Fat
11g Carbs
120g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1124
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 61g 78%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 380mg 127%
Sodium 950mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 120g
Calcium 78mg 6%
*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.)

You can never have too many beer can chicken recipes. This chicken is coated in a rich, flavorful Memphis style rub and is cooked right on your grill. Always a fun way to cook chicken and great for entertaining. Serve with your favorite sides and table sauce.


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds/1.8 kg.)
  • 1 (12 ounce/350 mL) can of beer (room temperature)
  • For the Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL paprika
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 mL black pepper (freshly ground)

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

  2. Preheat grill for medium heat.

  3. Remove giblets and the neck (if applicable), from chicken.

  4. Pat chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. Make sure you've removed a lot of the moisture.

  5. Apply half of the rub mixture all over the chicken, taking great care to get it under the breast skin as well. 

  6. Open can of beer and discard half of it (however you choose to). 

  7. Add remaining half of rub mixture to can. Gently swirl to combine.

  8. Pierce two more holes on the top of the can help release steam during the cooking process.

  9. Place chicken on top of can and then onto the grill balanced by the beer can.

  10. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of thigh is 180 F/82 C. in the thigh area.

  11. Once cooked, using heat resistant gloves carefully remove chicken from the grill.

  12. Let rest (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes.  

  13. Gently remove the can and discard.  

  14. Place chicken onto a cutting board, carve and serve.