Beer can chicken. Have you heard of it? We knew it could be done, we just didn’t realize how easy it was!
Beer can chicken is a dish where you prop your meat (chicken or turkey are popular choices) on a cut open, half-full can of beer and grill or bake it to crispy, seasoned perfection. The trapped steam from the beer inside the chicken keeps the meat juicy and tender, inside and out, and you don’t have to worry about even heat distribution because the chicken’s propped up…it’s a breeze! With the easiest spice rub ever – and a little beer to get us started on the right foot – we made this the other night and you can bet we’ll be making it again real soon!!
Beer Can Chicken
- 1, 5-6 pound whole chicken
- 1 can beer, light lager
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Preheat your grill to high, setting it up so the chicken is not directly over the main heat source.
Note: if using a gas grill, preheat the whole grill, then turn off one of the burners where you will place the chicken. If using charcoal, stack your lit charcoal to one side of the grill and place chicken on the other side.
- Place a drip pan with 1/2-inch of water in it underneath the unlit portion of the grill.
- Make sure the cavity of your chicken is empty, then rinse it and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Combine spices in a small bowl and rub them generously onto the outside and inside of chicken.
- Take can of beer and drink or pour out 1/2 of the beer. Use a can opener to cut off the top portion of the can and throw that away, then place 1/2 full beer onto a stable surface.
- Carefully hold your chicken upright (holding each downward-facing leg) and lower it onto the beer, so the cavity fits over the can and the chicken can stand on its own.
Optional: truss chicken legs if it helps maintain balance and stability over beer can.
- Transfer chicken (and beer can) to the grill, over the water-filled drip pan, cover and grill for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature registers 165º F.
- Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes before removing the beer can and carving the chicken.
Note: if you don’t have a grill, preheat your oven to 425º F, place your chicken in a roasting pan and roast until inner thigh temperature reaches 165º F. About 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit