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Beer can chicken on the BBQ recipe

Beer can chicken on the BBQ recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Whole chicken

This is a well-flavoured barbecued chicken dish. The resulting chicken is moist, tender and utterly delicious.

42 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 whole chicken

  • 1 (0.9-1.35kg) whole chicken
  • 1 (440ml) can beer
  • 5 tablespoons chicken seasoning
  • 4 dashes liquid smoke flavouring
  • 4 bay leaves

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:15min resting › Ready in:2hr30min

  1. Lift skin from breast and thigh areas, slide bay leaves under skin. Coat chicken with chicken seasoning.
  2. Drink/discard 265ml of the beer and add liquid smoke to the remaining beer in the can. Raise tab on beer can until it is in the straight up position.
  3. Insert beer can into chicken from the bottom until even with bottom of chicken. Insert skewer through the wing, ribs, tab on beer can and out the opposite side. (This keeps the can from falling out the chicken).
  4. Prepare barbecue: light the coals and when they are ready, spread coals to form a ring around the outside edge of the barbecue.
  5. Place chicken in centre standing up on can to cook. Cover and cook for two hours.
  6. Remove carefully from barbecue so as not to spill the contents of the can. Remove skewer and beer can, let chicken sit for fifteen minutes before slicing.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(46)

Reviews in English (38)

by LucyDelRey

I recommend mixing the seasonings with some olive oil to ensure a crispy tasty skin with a nice color (SEE MY PHOTO). I used seasoning salt (about 2 tsp) instead of poultry seasoning.-12 Aug 2005


I am so happy that I was able to erase what I just wrote. By mistake I thought this recipe was another similar one who did not say to spread the coals out. Very important to not grill under direct heat. Could cause fire... like in the other recipe. Thank you for saying indirect heat.-10 Jun 2001

Classic Beer Can Chicken

Description: This classic beer-can chicken has a spicy dry rub applied to the outside. A classic pilsner, or lager is used to provide moisture and flavor to the bird. Recipe submission by Patrick Davis. His author page is here

Main Ingredient: Chicken Thigh

A chicken thigh fillet has its skin and bone removed. This brown meat contains slightly more fat than chicken breast. However, due to its fat content the chicken thigh contains more flavour than the breast. Chicken thigh fillets are great to use casseroles, bakes or stir-fries.

Get a holder

Despite what everyone says, propping up the chicken for on the grill isn’t easy. You’re effectively trying to form a tripod out of the beer can and the chicken’s two legs, and then hope that holds in the grill for well over an hour.

Purists might be up in arms over me suggesting such a thing, but there’s no harm in pulling in a little outside help with this. I recommend getting a beer can chicken holder, like this one on Amazon. It makes the whole thing much easier and lets you get on with, you know, actually cooking the chicken.

Beer Can Chicken

Roast chicken, quite rightly, is one of our most beloved comfort foods. In the summer, to keep the heat out of the house, I make beer can chicken seasoned with our Goodness Me! BBQ Rub. (recipe below)

The Sober Carpenter dealcoholized beer is perfect to impart a lovely malty note as well as steam from the inside will the chicken roasts from the outside.
On a gas barbecue set have your burners on ½ and cook the chicken on the other side set up on a tray to catch the drippings.

  • 1 humanely raised Blue Goose whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup GM all-purpose BBQ rub (see recipe for the BBQ rub here)
  • 1 can Sober Carpenter IPA

  1. Preheat BBQ to 350F.
  2. Pat down chicken with dry paper towel inside and out. Sprinkle 1 ½ tsp BBQ rub inside the chicken.
  3. Lightly oil the outside of the chicken all over, this helps the rub adhere to the skin. Generously sprinkle the remaining BBQ rub over the whole chicken.
  4. Open can of Sober Carpenter beer and drain off ¼ to ½ of contents then insert the can, open side up, into the chicken cavity.
  5. Place the raw beer chicken onto a cooling rack on top of a BBQ proof pan or baking sheet.
  6. Place the chicken set up into the BBQ and allow to cook, 350F for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  7. Check the chicken after an hour with a meat thermometer, then every 15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 164F.
  8. Remove from the BBQ. Carefully pull out the beer can and discard.
  9. Lay the chicken onto a plate or tray to rest, be sure there is enough space to catch juices as they release from the bird. Wrap in tinfoil to help keep the roast warm. Allow to rest 10 minutes then carve and enjoy.

Goodness Me! BBQ Rub

This is a great all-purpose spice rub for the barbecue. Use it for brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken wings, really anything you might slow cook on a barbecue . I added smoked paprika and chipotle for smokiness even if I’m cooking in the oven.

Keep in at room temperature in a sealed container that blocks light as the sugar and salt in the recipe will cause the rub to clump and light exposure reduces spice flavour if left out.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of beer
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • lemon peel


Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS1500 pellet grill to 350°F.

Loosen the skin from the meat by hand. Mix equal parts Plowboys BBQ Fin & Feather Rub and Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Rub. Season the meat, under the skin, with the rubs. Season the inside of the cavity as well as the skin.

Fill the canister from the beer can chicken roaster pan with beer. Add the rosemary, garlic and lemon peel. Place the lid on the canister and place it in the grill to warm up.

When the beer is warm, place it in the canister holder in the roasting pan. Place the chicken upright, on the canister. Cook on the smoker until the internal temperature in the breasts reaches 165°F (about 2.5 hours for a 4-5 lb. bird).

Immediately after removing the bird from the cooker, glaze the outside with Smoke on Wheels Kansas City Bootleg BBQ Sauce.

Preparing the Bird

While the beer will keep the bird moist and tender throughout the smoking process, it won’t impart all that much in the way of flavor—at least not on its own. That’s what the seasoning process is for. Fortunately, the chef will find no shortage of options when it comes to seasoning a chicken for the smoker.

Our recipe below utilizes a simple barbecue rub recipe with onion, garlic, and chili powder, but poultry makes for an exceptionally versatile canvas. Once you’ve gotten the hang of making your own smoked barbecue chicken, feel free to get creative with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Marinade isn’t strictly necessary for beer can chicken, as the beer provides all the moisture you’ll need, but if you have a favorite recipe that would complement the smoky flavor, go ahead and use it.

Alternatively, you can experiment with different herbs and spices—tarragon, rosemary, and thyme are all excellent partners for chicken—to create an individualized spice rub. Be sure to record your ingredients if you go this route—you may need the reminder the next time you fire up the smoker if the results end up impressing your guests!

Pro Tip: When applying spice rub to a chicken, be sure to really massage the mixture into all of the crevices, including inside the body cavity. This will help to ensure that the flavor is evenly distributed, so that you’ll be able to enjoy every last fall-off-the-bone morsel.

Recipe: BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Hosting a BBQ at your place this weekend? Impress your buddies with this quick and easy BBQ beer can chicken recipe. Simple ingredients, simply delicious.


  • 1 (4-pound or 1.8 kilogram) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of dry spice rub
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 can of beer

Prep and cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.


    Remove the giblets and neck from the inside cavity of the bird. Give your bird a good rinse and dry off with paper towel.

Looking for a side to go with it? Check out our Campfire Dinner Recipe for a delicious baked potato and veggie dish to make on the BBQ.

Beer can chicken recipe

More than just a gimmick, cooking your chicken in this admittedly rather odd-looking position means more flavour and the most tender, succulent meat. Combined with tart and creamy Alabama sauce, there won&rsquot be many leftovers after this one.


  • 1.8 kg whole chicken with giblets (we like field&flower)
  • 440 ml can of beer
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (optional)
  • 4 lbs whole chicken with giblets (we like field&flower)
  • 15.5 fl oz can of beer
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (optional)
  • 4 lbs whole chicken with giblets (we like field&flower)
  • 1.9 cups can of beer
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (optional)
  • 230 g mayonnaise
  • 55 g apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 0.2 tsp paprika
  • 8.1 oz mayonnaise
  • 1.9 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 0.2 tsp paprika
  • 8.1 oz mayonnaise
  • 1.9 oz apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 0.2 tsp paprika


  • Cuisine: American
  • Recipe Type: Chicken
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 90 mins
  • Serves: 4


  1. Remove the chicken from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  2. Prepare your BBQ, ideally using wood chips alongside charcoal for added flavour. Let the BBQ reach an indirect smoking heat of approximately 175°C/347°F.
  3. Drink half the beer (optional but recommended). Place any fresh herbs you are using into the beer can with the remaining beer.
  4. Position the beer can into the cavity of the chicken, creating a tripod with the legs so that the chicken stands.
  5. Place the chicken onto the BBQ and cook with the lid on until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C/167°F in the thickest part of the bird.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the Alabama sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together. Serve the cooked chicken with the Alabama sauce and salad of your choice.

This recipe is courtesy of online butcher, fishmonger and deli field&flower.

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The Cook

Time to get smoking! Fire up your smoker, aiming for cooking at around 300ºF (149ºC). Once the cooker's good to go, place the drunken chickens over indirect heat, and let the smoke do its magic.

Now, once the beer can chicken has been cooking for about 1 hour, it's time to start monitoring its internal temperature for doneness. Use an instant-read digital thermometer to check in both the thigh and the breast. The chicken should be cooked to at least 165ºF (74ºC) to be safe.

Since the thigh is not as thick as the breast, it's going to be the last spot to hit the target temp - when that happens, pull the chickens off the heat.

  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer
  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Barbecue Rub (see Step 2, below) or your favorite commercial rub
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Step 1: Pop the tab off the beer can. Pour half of the beer (3/4 cup) over the soaking wood chips or chunks, or reserve for another use. If cooking the chicken on the can, using a church key-style can opener, make 2 additional holes in the top. Set the can of beer aside.

Step 2: Remove the packet of giblets fro the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the All-Purpose Barbecue Rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 teaspoon inside the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle the oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of rub and rub it all over the skin. Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of rub into the beer through a hole in the top of the can. Don’t worry if the beer foams up: This is normal.

Step 3: If cooking on a can: Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity. Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.
If cooking on a roaster: Fill it with the beer mixture and position the chicken on top, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Beer can chicken on the BBQ recipe - Recipes


Clean your chicken then place on paper towels.

Mix up your wet rub in a bowl. Add whatever dry herbs and powders you may like extra, chuck em' in there too (maybe some onion powder, garlic powder, some parsley flakes, you know what I'm a saying, aye!)

Goop n' smear the wet rub on your hands and coat that bugger inside and out till she's soppen' with it.

Open beer can and drink about a third of it. (Oh yeah! Cook'n and sobriety don't mix!)

Set the can upright in a cake pan. (It catches the juice.)

Now pick up that bird and shove it butt first right down on the beer can. Make sure it stays steady upright. (When cooking the beer can is going to infusing yummyumm juice into that old hen till she as soft and sweet and tender! Oh yah! I guarantee!)

Gently cover it all up with foil over the top and crimped down around the pan to make a light steamy pressure seal. (This is optional, some of the ol fella's like to do this on d' grill without the foil. I like's mine to be moist an' juicy!)

Put that bad ol' hen in to the oven and roast her up for about 45 minutes. Then carefully peel off that foil and brown her up real good. (Maybe spritz her with some basting juices.)

Pull her out of the oven when she is golden brown and place her on a carving platter. Let her rest for about 10 minutes. Carefully pull the beer out of her butt and sprinkle some of whatever left in it on top of her.

Carve her up on da table. Serve with some baked potatoes and greens. Call d' family around and pass out from eating all d'at OohhYaaahoo, goodness that Lord God be blessing ya'll with!!