Beer in the Butt Smoked Chicken Recipe

Beer in the Butt Smoked Chicken Recipe

The Spruce / Loren Runion

  • Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
349 Calories
18g Fat
6g Carbs
34g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 1097mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 34g
Calcium 38mg 3%
*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 smoked version of the classic beer butt chicken recipe takes the temperature down so that the beer won't boil. The advantage is that the light steam will marinate and moisten the chicken while it slow roasts to perfection, in a smoky environment to further impart flavor.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • For Seasoning Rub
  • 2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For the Beer Can
  • 1 can of beer
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Beer in the Butt Smoked Chicken Recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. Preheat smoker to 225 to 250 F.

  3. Combine seasoning ingredients and rub all over chicken.

    rub seasoning on whole chicken

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  4. Open the beer and pour out (or better yet, drink) half of the can. Then, with a can opener, cut off the top of the beer can. Add onion, vinegar, and garlic to beer.

    onion, vinegar, and garlic with beer in a beer can

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  5. When the smoker is ready, place the beer in the middle of the rack.

    can of beer on the rack in a smoker

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  6. Carefully place the chicken over the beer standing up. You might need to get a little creative to make it stand up properly. Make sure the beer can is completely covered by the chicken.

    chicken on top of a can of beer in a smoker

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  7. Smoke chicken for about 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of both the thigh and breast reach between 165 and 170 F.

  8. Once cooked, remove from heat and place onto a cutting board. Loosely tent chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 7 to 10 minutes before carving.

    aluminum foil on top of a chicken

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

Recipe Variation

  • If you're looking for a different type of flavor, try using wine or soda, in place of the beer. We do recommend still using a metal can (canned wine is now readily available), as that will hold up to the heat that is given off from the grill.