Grilled Beer Can Chicken

by | Recipes

Grilled beer can chicken is a classic and crowd-pleasing dish that epitomizes the essence of tailgating. Imagine the mouthwatering aroma of tender, juicy chicken, infused with smoky flavors and complemented by the excitement of game day. This recipe is your ticket to creating a show-stopping centerpiece that will not only impress your fellow tailgaters but also elevate your tailgate party to new heights of culinary delight.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of a beer can to prop up the chicken during grilling. This technique not only ensures even cooking but also imparts additional moisture and flavor to the chicken. The beer gently steams the bird from the inside, keeping it incredibly juicy while infusing it with subtle hints of malt and hops.

Preparing grilled beer can chicken is surprisingly simple, requiring just a few steps to achieve culinary excellence. With a bit of preparation and a hot grill, you can transform an ordinary chicken into a masterpiece that will captivate your guests and leave them craving for more.

Grilled Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (- 4-5 lbs)
  • 1 can (12oz) beer of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite dry rub or seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • fresh rosemary and thyme (- optional for stuffing the cavity)
  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat, aiming for a temperature of around 350°F (175°C). If using charcoal, arrange the coals to one side for indirect grilling.

  2. Remove any giblets or excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub or seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.

  4. Rub the chicken all over, including the cavity, with olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the entire chicken, ensuring it's well-coated inside and out.

  5. If desired, stuff the chicken cavity with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, which will add extra flavor during cooking.

  6. Open the can of beer and take a few sips or pour out about a quarter of the beer to prevent overflow.

  7. Place the beer can on a solid surface. Grab the chicken by the cavity and lower it onto the beer can, inserting the can into the chicken's cavity. Stand the chicken upright, with the can and two legs acting as a tripod for stability.

  8. Carefully place the chicken, standing upright with the beer can, on the cool side of the grill. The chicken should be balanced on the can and the grill grates, with the legs facing down.

  9. Close the grill lid and let the chicken cook indirectly for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone.

  10. Monitor the grill temperature and make any necessary adjustments to maintain a consistent heat level throughout the cooking process.

  11. Once the chicken reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the grill, using oven mitts or tongs to steady the chicken and remove the beer can.

  12. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the chicken to remain moist.

  13. Carve the chicken into pieces and serve as the centerpiece of your tailgate feast.

Main Course
American, BBQ
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