Guest Post from The Seasoned Dad: Beer Can Chicken

Greetings, Seasoned Mom readers! Despite the fact that Old Man Winter is still refusing to let go, Blair and I took advantage of a rare warm March day to do some grilling. We had always wanted to try Beer Can Chicken. Besides the good excuse to fire up the smoker, it seemed mildly entertaining to violate a piece of poultry with cheap beer. Is this recipe a little gimmicky? Yes. And, yes, there has been a lot of debate about whether this trick actually improves flavor, but, honestly, who cares? We had fun doing it and so can you!

Beer Can Chicken

First, go pick up a 3-4 pound whole chicken, and make sure he (or she?) is thawed out. Un-package the lucky bird and be sure to remove all of the “giblets” if they are in there. So nasty! If you love these random innards, great, you are a weirdo! But, they have to be removed to make room for the beer. You should marinate or use a dry rub to add flavor. In our case, we rubbed the bird with extra virgin olive oil and then used our own rub (the recipe is below).

Now comes the fun part! Get a can of beer. Proceed to drink half of it. Next, slide the remaining half-full beer can into the chicken’s cavity. Try not to laugh. You will not be able to! Proceed to reference favorite butt joke with your friends or spouse. The best way to cook this type of bird is on a charcoal grill or smoker, but if you have a gas grill, no problem, just make sure you use indirect heat. In our case, we used the charcoal smoker side of our Brinkman Grill. Prepare a nice charcoal bed on one side of your grill and let the charcoal get white hot to a temperature of 350-400 degrees. If you have smoke chips or other wood to put on top of the charcoal, it will make it even better. We used a combination of oak and peach wood. Apple wood chunks are really good for poultry, too, if you can find them. Prop your bird up on the opposite side of the grill from the heat source, making sure the legs act as tripods to keep the bird upright. You will notice in the picture below, we actually did two birds at once; the more the merrier. 

2 chickens

In about 90 minutes, your bird will be ready. Get ready to enjoy an extremely crisp, but yet juicy bird! We combined ours with Crispy Oven-Roasted Seasoned Potatoes, pea salad (recipe to come soon!), and fresh dinner rolls.

dinner photo

Here’s how we did it:

Beer Can Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • “Old Pratts” Barbeque Rub:
  • • ½ Tsp of Garlic Powder
  • • ½ Tsp of Onion Power
  • • ½ Tsp of Paprika
  • • ½ Tsp of Chili Powder
  • • ¼ Tsp of Cumin
  • • ¼ Tsp of Ground Mustard
  • • ¼ Tsp of Ground Black Pepper
  • • ¼ Tsp of Salt
  • • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Additional Ingredients:
  • 3-4 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 can of beer (1/2 full)
  1. Combine all of the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the chicken with olive oil and then rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken.
  3. Place a half-full can of beer up the bottom of the chicken.
  4. Heat one side of a charcoal grill until it reaches 350-400 degrees F in temperature (or use indirect heat on a gas grill).
  5. Prop your chicken up on the opposite side of the grill from the heat source, making sure that the legs act as a tripod to keep the bird upright.
  6. Cook chicken for approximately 90 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Looking for other man-friendly meat recipes?  Try these:

Slow Cooker Barbecue Brisket

Slow Cooker Barbecue Brisket

Maria’s Ranch Chicken Kabobs


Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Melts


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