Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken Recipe

A beer butt chicken roasting in a pan
Jack/Flickr/CC BY SA-2.0
  • Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
349 Calories
18g Fat
6g Carbs
34g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 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.


  • 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 onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves minced garlic

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat smoker.

  3. Wash and trim chicken.

  4. Combine seasoning ingredients and rub all over chicken.

  5. While the smoker heats up, open the beer and drink half and only half. With a can opener, cut the top of the beer can off. Add onion, vinegar, and garlic to beer.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Carve and serve with your favorite sides.

  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Variation

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