Oven Beer Can Chicken

A slice of chicken with a tumbler of beer
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Beer can chicken, also known as beer butt chicken, is a popular outdoor grill recipe, but it is not feasible for everyone, nor at any time of the year. The solution is this easy beer can chicken made in the oven. It is incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful. The only thing you may miss is a slightly smoky flavor that naturally comes with a grill. The spice rub is particularly delicious, so double or triple it to keep on hand.


  • 1 empty beer or soda can (rinsed)
  • 6 ounces beer (may substitute sangria, wine, fruit juice, soda, or broth)
  • Dry Rub Spice Mix:
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage (dried rubbed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (roasted ground or traditional ground cumin)
  • 1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken (innards removed and reserved for other uses; let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before starting)
  • 1 bottle Worcestershire sauce (as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil.

  3. Using a pointed can opener, punch 5 holes around the outside lid of an empty beer or soda can to allow liquid to vent through the sides. Fill can halfway with beer or your choice of liquid. Set aside.

  4. Whisk together brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, thyme, salt, garlic powder, sage, cayenne pepper, and cumin until well-combined. Set aside.

  5. Sprinkle chicken cavity with salt. Rub the skin of the chicken all over with Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle evenly with the spice mix.

  6. Stand up the chicken with the large cavity down and place it on top of the half-filled can (see Note) in the prepared roasting pan.

  7. Roast for 1 and 3/4 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before removing from the can and carving to serve.


  • You may wish to invest in a beer can chicken stabilizer. It is a footed framework that helps stabilize the chicken on the can. If you do have an outdoor grill and the nice weather to go with it, feel free to use this recipe in the traditional grill method.
  • To enhance the process even further, use a wedge of fruit (such as apple or orange) to block the top neck cavity hole.