Basic Beer Can Chicken Recipe

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Servings: 4


Cost per serving $1.89 view details
  • 1/4 c. kosher or possibly sea salt
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly-grnd black pepper
  • 1 can beer - (12-ounce)
  • 1 whl chicken - (3 1/2 to 4 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp. Barbecue Rub (see above) (or possibly your favorite commercial brand)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. hickory or possibly cherry wood chips or possibly chunks


  1. Soak wood chips for 1 hour in water and/or possibly beer to cover, then drain.
  2. To prepare rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, paprika and pepper. Stir to mix. (Note: Use fingers; they work best.) Store rub in airtight jar away from heat and light. Will keep at least 6 months.
  3. To prepare charcoal grill: Set up grill for indirect grilling. Preheat to medium. Place large drip pan in center. Toss all wood chips or possibly hunks on coals.
  4. Or possibly to prepare gas grill: Place all wood chips or possibly chunks in smoker box or possibly in smoker pouch. (To make pouch, wrap soaked chips in foil to make a pillow-shape and poke a few holes in top of pouch. Place pouch under grate over burner.) Preheat on high till you see smoke. Reduce heat to medium.
  5. To prepare beer can: Pop tab off beer can. Pour 3/4 c. beer over soaking wood chips or possibly chunks, or possibly reserve for another use. Using church key-style can opener, make 2 more holes in top of can. Set aside.
  6. To prepare chicken: Remove packet of giblets from body cavity of chicken. Set aside for another use. Remove and throw away fat just inside body and neck cavities. Rinse chicken, inside and out, under cool running water. Drain. Using paper towels, blot dry, inside and out. Sprinkle 1 tsp. rub inside body cavity and 1/2 tsp. inside neck cavity. Drizzle oil over outside of bird. Rub or possibly brush oil over skin. Sprinkle outside of bird with 1 Tbsp. rub. Rub it all over skin. Spoon remaining 1 1/2 tsp. rub into beer through hole in top of can. (Note: Do not worry if beer foams up; this is normal.)
  7. To position chicken: Hold bird upright, with opening of body cavity at bottom. Lower bird onto beer can so can fits into cavity. Pull chicken legs forward to create tripod so bird stands upright. (Note: If cooking on roaster, fill it with the beer mix and position chicken on top, following manufacturer's instructions.) Tuck tips of wings behind chicken's back.
  8. To cook chicken: Stand chicken up in center of warm grate over drip pan and away from heat. Cover grill. Cook chicken for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs, or possibly till skin is dark golden and very crisp and meat is cooked through (about 180 degrees on instant-read meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh but not touching bone). Add in 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour. (Note: If chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent bird with foil.)
  9. To serve chicken: Using tongs, hold bird by can and carefully transfer to upright position to platter. Let chicken rest for 5 min. Carefully lift it off can. (Note: Take care not to spill warm beer or possibly otherwise burn yourself.) Halve, quarter, or possibly carve chicken. Serve.
  10. This recipe yields 2 to 4 servings.
  11. Steve Raichlen"


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 443g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 834  
Calories from Fat 486 58%
Total Fat 54.14g 68%
Saturated Fat 13.94g 56%
Trans Fat 0.18g  
Cholesterol 231mg 77%
Sodium 7299mg 304%
Potassium 788mg 23%
Total Carbs 20.49g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2.6g 9%
Sugars 14.05g 9%
Protein 58.8g 94%
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