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Barbecued beer can chicken recipe

Barbecued beer can chicken recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Whole chicken

Whole chickens are rubbed with a spice rub, before being place onto a half full can of beer and barbecued. This recipe produces a robustly flavoured chicken, every time.

30 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 230g cherry wood chips
  • 2 (440ml) cans beer, half full
  • 110g dark brown soft sugar
  • 115g sea salt
  • 55g paprika
  • 4 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 (1.35kg) whole chickens

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Extra time:10min resting › Ready in:2hr5min

  1. Soak wood chips in water for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat an outdoor barbecue for indirect medium heat.
  3. Mix together dark brown soft sugar, sea salt, paprika, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Place two half full cans of beer on a baking tray. Spoon 1 teaspoon seasoning mix into each can. Be careful, this will make the beer foam up and out of the can.
  4. Rub each chicken with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire chicken, inside and out. Fit each chicken over a can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright.
  5. Drain the wood chips and place them with the coals or in an tin on or under the barbecue grate as directed by the barbecue's manual. Place the two chickens, standing on their cans directly on the barbecue. Close the lid and barbecue the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 82 degrees C. Remove the chickens from the barbecue and discard the beer cans. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of foil and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.


Cherry wood chips can be purchased online.

BBQ tips

Check out our BBQ how-to guides and videos for easy tips on how to BBQ to perfection!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(40)

Reviews in English (34)

by Jillian

There's nothing quite like Beer Can Chicken at an outdoor BBQ! Ever since stumbling onto recipes like these here on AR we make these every summer. And, since there's never a shortage of beer in this house or neighbor's to help us eat these birds they've become a favorite. One I made with regular paprika and one I made with smoked paprika and I added a couple teaspoons of garlic powder to each one. It's much easier to take the seasoning mixture and blend it with melted butter vs. veg. oil and place half of it into the beer can and baste the chicken with the other half. Invest in the holder that you can purchase at Wal-Mart or Bed, Bath, & Beyond, you'll be glad you did!-10 Jul 2011


I used this recipe as my template - I sprayed the chicken with cooking spray, rubbed on my favorite spices and used the rest for the beer can. Wood chips are a must! I used indirect heat (one side of grill turned off), kept the temp at 350 turning the chicken around halfway thru. Best chicken ever - moist and tender and flavorful. We are SO using this to make dinner for Father's Day. Best thing? No hot oven to overheat the house during the summer. Thanks, this is a keeper!-03 Jun 2010


I also put a small red potato over the neck of the chicken so the meat steams from the inside and stays nice and moist. you could also use small balls of aluminum foil. 6/24/2010 For those of you that don't have a rack use a 24oz can for more leverage. 7/11/2010 Sorry that's a 16oz can.-16 Jun 2010

Basic Beer-Can Chicken

Steven Raichlen

Okay, here it is. The master recipe for the ur-beer-can chicken, the showstopper that will dazzle your family and friends. If you’ve never made beer can chicken before, start here, and once you’ve mastered the basic procedure, there’s no limit to its variations.

Chicken Recipes You Have to Try:

Basic Beer-Can Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika , (see Shopping Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile , (see Shopping Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably pale ale or American lager, divided

Preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 400 degrees F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400 degrees F).

Combine paprika, oregano, salt, brown sugar, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chile and pepper in a small bowl.

Remove giblets from chicken (if included) and trim any excess skin. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the spice mixture under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat, a little on the skin and inside the cavity. Tuck wings under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen string.

If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). If using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side. Wearing an oven mitt, carefully place a drip pan under the grill rack on the unheated side. Place the chicken breast-side down on the rack over the pan. Pour half the beer into the cavity (it's OK if some drips out into the drip pan).

Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 45 minutes.

Turn the chicken breast-side up. Pour the remaining beer into the cavity. Cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • ½ (12 ounce) can beer (such as Budweiser®)

Combine onion powder, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and brown sugar in a small resealable plastic bag and shake the bag to mix the spices. Pour spice mix into a small bowl.

Make 2 cuts in the chicken skin, on front and back of chicken insert your hand underneath the skin in front and back and loosen and separate skin without tearing it. Rub the chicken skin and cavity with vegetable oil, and rub the spice rub over the chicken skin, inside the cavity, and beneath the loosened skin.

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Place the beer can on the preheated grill and sit the chicken onto the beer can. Grill until chicken is thoroughly browned, the juices run clear, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the breast, not touching bone, reads at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of beer
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • lemon peel


Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS1500 pellet grill to 350°F.

Loosen the skin from the meat by hand. Mix equal parts Plowboys BBQ Fin & Feather Rub and Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Rub. Season the meat, under the skin, with the rubs. Season the inside of the cavity as well as the skin.

Fill the canister from the beer can chicken roaster pan with beer. Add the rosemary, garlic and lemon peel. Place the lid on the canister and place it in the grill to warm up.

When the beer is warm, place it in the canister holder in the roasting pan. Place the chicken upright, on the canister. Cook on the smoker until the internal temperature in the breasts reaches 165°F (about 2.5 hours for a 4-5 lb. bird).

Immediately after removing the bird from the cooker, glaze the outside with Smoke on Wheels Kansas City Bootleg BBQ Sauce.

Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken is a great way to prepare a whole chicken. Although the beer can chicken can be cooked in the oven, it is especially flavorful when done out on a grill where it takes on that smoky grilled flavor. Making a beer can chicken is a very easy process, which can be done with the use of simple seasoning or it can be dressed up with special rubs, marinades, or glazes. There are many recipes that can be used or you can make up your own by simply using your favorite seasonings.

Grilling Beer Can Chicken

The preparation and grilling instructions below are for preparing a basic beer can chicken. Grilling the chicken over the beer can produces a very moist meat that is imparted with a delicate beer flavor along with the smoky grilled taste that you would expect when grilling any type of meat. Remember that this method of preparing beer can chicken will provide you with a naturally grilled chicken flavor but there are an endless number of variations that can be used to produce various flavors. Don't be afraid to experiment with some of your favorite seasonings.

Beer Can Chicken Preparation

  • 1 chicken - approx. 4 lbs.
  • 3 tbsp. of barbecue rub (see recipe at right)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 12 oz. can beer
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tbsp. pepper
    Mix and store to use on any grilled chicken.
  • Clean the chicken properly. See Chicken Preparation - Cleaning Chicken for information on how to properly clean the chicken before beginning other preparation. Be sure to pat the chicken dry with paper towels both inside and out before continuing.
  • Pour the vegetable oil over the breast of the chicken using your hands rub the oil all over the chicken until the entire outside has been coated with oil.
  • Now sprinkle the outside evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the barbecue rub. Use your hands again to rub down the entire chicken so that it is evenly coated with rub.
  • Prepare the beer can by opening and then removing approximately 1/2 cup of beer. Poke several more holes in the top of the can with a church key type can opener. Additional hole are required because the pull tab opening in the can is not enough to allow the proper amount of steam to be released.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of the rub to the beer remaining in the can. Be prepared for some foaming when the rub is added.
  • Using two hands hold the chicken up with the legs at the bottom. Carefully slide the chicken over the can so that it slides into the cavity without tipping the can.
  • The chicken should be able to support it self and stand on its own. It is now ready to place on the grill or in the oven.

Grilling the Beer Can Chicken

Grilling the Beer Can Chicken

  • Set up the grill for indirect heat according to the type of grill you are using. Allow it to heat to a medium temperature. See Grilling - Grilling Methods and Grilling - Outdoor Grill Preparation.
  • Once the grill is ready, place the foil pan on the side of the grill that the heat is turned off. Carefully pick up the chicken while holding on to the can and set the chicken and beer can upright in the foil pan.
  • Place the cover on the grill and allow the chicken to cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is properly cooked.
  • Check the temperature of the chicken with an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should registers at 170° F before removing the chicken from the grill.
  • Once the chicken reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the grill. Hold on firmly to the top using a potholder, layers of paper towel, or large tongs to protect against burning protect your other hand with an oven mitt or use another set of tongs to get a firm hold on the beer can then lift the chicken off the grill and set it in a baking pan or dish.
  • Allow it to stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. During this time the temperature of the chicken should rise at least 5° F and will then be at a safe temperature of between 175° F to 180° F.
  • After allowing the chicken to stand for 15 to 20 minutes remove it from the beer can. Use tongs to get a good grip on the chicken through the neck and then twist and pull the can out of the chicken. Be sure to protect your hand from the hot can and be careful of any steam that may escape when removing the can.
  • Place the chicken on a cutting board or another surface suitable for cutting on and carve the chicken as you normally would.

Roasting Beer Can Chicken

The beer can chicken is prepared in the same manner when roasting in the oven as it is when cooked on a grill. See Preparing the Beer Can Chicken above.

    After preparing, carefully pick up the chicken while holding on to the can and set the chicken and beer can upright in a roasting pan.

Barbecued beer can chicken recipe - Recipes

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Thank you for being a loyal Perdue Farms customer. Please reach out to our Consumer Relations team, should you have any additional questions or concerns.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ (12 ounce) can beer

Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in water in a large bowl and stir in lime juice. Soak chicken in the mixture for 10 minutes rinse and pat chicken dry with paper towels. Pierce the chicken all over with a fork to make many tiny holes.

Stir vinegar, cumin, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, paprika, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, soy sauce, and black pepper in a small bowl mix in enough beer to form a paste, about 2 tablespoons. Retain remaining beer in the can.

Rub spice paste all over the chicken, beneath the skin, and inside cavity refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat grill for medium heat a grill thermometer should read 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) with the lid closed.

Sit the chicken upright on the partially-filled can of beer and extend drumsticks to the grill surface to form a tripod shape to hold up the chicken.

Grill chicken with the lid closed until the skin is brown and crisp and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast, not touching bone, reads 170 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chickens
  • 2 (12-oz.) cans beer (such as Modelo Especial)

Stir together salt, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. (If necessary, remove giblets from chickens, and discard or reserve for another use.) Sprinkle skin and cavities of chickens with salt mixture. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on 1 side. Open beer cans pour out 1/2 cup beer from each can. (Drink the poured-out beer, or reserve for another use.) Working with 1 chicken at a time, hold chicken upright with cavity facing down, and insert 1 opened beer can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chicken to stand upright.

Place chickens upright on unoiled grates over unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, until the skin is crispy and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F, about 1 hour, 40 minutes. Remove from grill rest 10 minutes. Carefully remove cans cut chickens into quarters.

Recipe: BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Hosting a BBQ at your place this weekend? Impress your buddies with this quick and easy BBQ beer can chicken recipe. Simple ingredients, simply delicious.


  • 1 (4-pound or 1.8 kilogram) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of dry spice rub
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 can of beer

Prep and cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.


    Remove the giblets and neck from the inside cavity of the bird. Give your bird a good rinse and dry off with paper towel.

Looking for a side to go with it? Check out our Campfire Dinner Recipe for a delicious baked potato and veggie dish to make on the BBQ.

Barbecued beer can chicken recipe - Recipes

Beer Can Grilled Chicken is a bit of a misnomer really because it's cooked indirectly on the grill. It can also be smoked using wood chips soaked in the beer but I prefer to drink the beer. such a waste.

The basic principle is that you stand a chicken on a beer can (ie. the beer can goes into the cavity) that's been cut in half, filled with liquid and the liquid steams the chicken from the inside out.

The liquid can be the remains of the beer but I prefer to use wine with a few added ingredients such as garlic and onion. The world is your oyster so don't necessarily follow me, try what you want.

The basic principle is good because it's the bony cavity that you need to ensure is cooked through (and therefore safe to eat) so steaming the inside of the cavity can only help the process. Certainly a lot safer than stuffing the bird for added flavour which is only going to create a bigger mass to heat up and therefore more chance that the bird is cooked on the outside but under-cooked in the middle.

Standing a chicken on a beer can however is a pretty precarious business and somewhat hit and miss because to prepare a stable "upright" chicken you have to create a tripod using the beer can and the two chicken legs. It's really easy for the chicken legs to move (as they contract) during the cooking process and drop down the gaps in the grill which usually tips the contents of your beer can onto the coals.

I prefer to use a vertical roaster and find a way to insert the beer can inside the roaster. It's a lot more stable doing it this way and you're guaranteed a result every time. In fact, better still are the vertical roasters that include central cylinder to replace the beer can, not only does this give stability to the chicken, you can fill the central cylinder with whatever you want and there's a drip tray to capture the juices.

For seasoning, you can use your favorite rub but I prefer the simple salt and pepper. We've got all that good flavoring going on inside the chicken why over do it?

Preparation Time:- 15 minutes
Cooking Time:- 75 minutes

Total Time:- 1 hour 30 minutes


I've used wheat flour in the gravy which contains gluten. You can substitute cornflour (1 teaspoon) if you wish.


  • 1 chicken (gutted)
  • ½ beer can
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the gravy


The first job is to prepare the contents of your beer can so because I'm not using beer I've opened the can and had a beer before starting!

Place the garlic, onion and white wine in the empty beer can and sit the chicken on top of it with the legs pointing down. Use the cooking oil to rub the chicken skin and then rub in the seasoning of your choice (salt and pepper in my case).

Place the chicken over indirect heat at approx 320°F or 160°C for 75 to 90 minutes or until the internal thigh temperature reaches 170°F or 75°C

Note:- You need to cook at over 150°C or 300°F to ensure that the Maillard reaction takes place and you get brown crispy skin. It's perfectly OK to cook for longer and more traditional "low and slow" temperatures (110°C or 225°F) and you'll still get supremely moist chicken but the skin will be chewy and not something you would want to eat.

Allow your beer can grilled chicken to stand for 15 minutes before serving so that the juices get sealed into the meat. If you've used a vertical chicken roaster with a drip tray then it's time to make the gravy.

Pour off the chicken juices from the drip tray into a small saucepan and sprinkle in the flour. Stir and cook until all the liquid has bee absorbed (you've formed a basic roux) and allow the flour to cook for a minute of so. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add the white wine whilst continuing to stir, once all the flour paste has dissolved, re-apply the heat to thicken the gravy. Season with salt and pepper and you're good to go.

Once you've done this beer can grilled chicken recipe once, you may never do chicken any other way. Thankfully however, there's a myriad of options available as to what to put in the beer can and what to rub on the skin so lack of variety is not going to be a problem.

If you prefer to follow the beer can grilled chicken video, then here it is.


  1. Mokatavatah

    and how to find out - to pozon and run over?

  2. Devereau

    does not agree with the previous phrase at all

  3. Aldin

    Of course. It was with me too. Let's discuss this issue. Here or at PM.

  4. Voodoogal

    What do you want to say about it?

  5. Akinokora

    In my opinion you are wrong. I can prove it.

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