24 May 2011

Beer Can Chicken

This is my favorite way to roast chicken.  It seems to be the only way I can manage to make a moist, flavorful roast chicken.  It works really well on the grill or in the oven.  My grill is too small for this, so I always make it in the oven and it work just fine.  Its great for tailgating, and it puts me in a summery mood any time I make it.

My kitchen helpers
I really love that this is super simple to make.  It can be seasoned any way you like, but I typically use a basic poultry or barbecue rub.  Whats important is the process.  Because of that, this post will be formatted different that normal.

Before you start, gather the following:
     - Whole chicken (about 6 lb)
     - 3-4 T seasoning or rub (whatever you like)
     - 1 can of beer or soda (or an empty can and a bottle of beer or soda)
     - 8" square pan (if you are roasting this in the oven)

Can with top removed, beer and seasoning added to can
Preheat your oven to 375-degrees, or your grill to medium.  Use a can opener to cut the top off the can you are using.  If your can opener won't fit on the can (like mine), just poke lots of holes in the top of the can.  Fill the can half way with beer or pour half of the beer out of the can (another reason I love this recipe - its a good excuse to drink the leftover half a beer while you're cooking!).  Add a tablespoon of your seasoning to the beer.

Sprinkle seasoning all over chicken
You're going to be roasting this chicken whole, so you don't have to worry about trying to butcher the chicken.  Typically when you buy a whole chicken, there will be a packet of guts inside the cavity.  Discard this.  Then cut off the extra flap of skin and fat at the neck.  Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.  Sprinkle generously with the remaining seasoning.

Stand chicken up on can...
...and place in baking dish
Now, stand the chicken up, and carefully lower the cavity onto the can.  If roasting in the oven, place the chicken and the can in the baking dish, and position the legs to the chicken is "standing" stable in the pan.  Put the chicken in the oven or on the grill.  Make sure the chicken is stable!  Cook for 1.5-2 hrs, or until skin is golden brown and the meat is cooked through (should be 165-degrees).  Take the chicken out of the oven/grill, cover with foil, and let rest about 10 minutes.

mmmmm... Roast Chicken!
Cut apart the chicken however you like, and serve with you favorite cookout sides!


  1. This was really good chicken. Can you do this on a grill?

  2. Yes! You use the same process to cook this on a grill. I haven't done this on a grill because mine is tiny. I would still recommend putting foil under it or putting the bird in a foil pan so it is more stable, so you catch all the drippings as it cooks (you'll need those if you want to make a sauce or gravy), and so the bottom doesn't burn being over direct heat.

    If your bird is bigger or smaller, a good guideline is 15-20 minutes per pound. If your grill cooks hotter than 375, cook for less time. If your grill cooks cooler than 375, cook for more time. I did 15 minutes per pound and it came out perfect!