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Beer Can Chicken on Gas Grill ?

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Hi. Can anyone tell me whether "beer can grilled chicken" is worth giving a try? And is it ok to do it on a gas grill?

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated. I saw this on tv once and it looked kind of great.

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  1. r
    Ralph Hamilton

    Yes. It is worth a try, or two, just to get it right. I prefer those chicken holders that hold the chicken upright. I do not see the reason for the beer or water, but you said gas grill. So then perhaps a can of beer will help with the flavor and moisture. Best of luck, and remember, mistakes are edible! Ciao!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ralph Hamilton

      I just tried the beer can chicken for the first time this weekend and it was awesome. Here's what I did:

      1) I bought a 4 pound fryer
      2) i rubbed it with a variety of spices including: Tony Chachere's, Cayenne, Garlic power, black pepper.
      3) I started up my weber two burner gas grill
      4) i opened a can of miller lite (it was all i had lying around)
      5) I set the chicken down in it, closed the lid.

      I have a remote thermomter, so I fiddle with the burners for awhile until I was getting a stead 300 degrees. Then I let the bird cook for 90 minutes turning once half way through.

      Let me say, this was so freaking good. the meat was incredibly moist, the skin was nice and crispy. It was perfection. I could probably fit about four of the little 4 pounders on the grill, and that's exactly what I'm going to do next time, because I ate that whole chicken standing up in the kitchen.

      1. re: Chris Stein

        Where do you put the can of beer? Next to the chicken?

        1. re: fatboy

          You set the chicken on the beer can, shoving the can into the body cavity. When you set it on the grill the two legs and the can form sort of a tripod. Be sure to punch 3-4 additional holes into the top of the can with a beer can opener.

    2. On a gas grill's the only way we've ever done Beer Can Chicken (Steven Raichlen's recipe) and it works just fine. I'm seriously considering getting one of those gadgets that holds the chicken upright on the grill, rather than using the beer can method, as it has a tendency to tip over if you're not really careful. You could just pour the beer and other ingredients into the receptacle.

      By the way, the dry rub from his recipe works great on ribs, too. We parboil the ribs (more like a simmer than a full, rolling boil), then put the rub all over them and cook them over medium heat. Great taste and no sticky barbecue sauce necessary.

      1. Yes! I did it once, and the chicken was very moist and tender. I think the beer in the can must partially steam the flesh. I would consider another liquid however (ok, I used budweiser, not yummy in my opionion) for better flavor.

        2 Replies
        1. re: shrimpbird

          This is correct, the heat from the grill flames heat the can, which in turn heats the water to its boiling then steaming point. The flesh comes out very moist and is great to mix with something like stuffing or gravy, or even plain I guess. However, the 4-5 times I've cooked them, the flavor hasn't seeped into the meat so well. Perhaps you should try marinating/brining the bird first, then use a rub as suggested below.

          1. re: shrimpbird

            Besides beer, I have tried the "Can in a Chicken" with wine and it also turned out great. Remember to pour about a third of the beer out before inserting the can into the chicken -- this prevents spillage and boil overs when the beer starts boiling.

          2. I have always had superb results with moist, tender meat, evenly cooked white/dark, and crisp skin from simply putting a whole chicken, lightly trussed and seasoned with salt and pepper, in the center of a charcoal grill with a strong fire on both sides of the bird (ca 450-500 deg F) for forty or fifty minutes. I shoot for an internal temperature of around 180 in the thick of the thigh. I imagine that this would work in a gas grill although you might want to add some herbs since you would miss out on the light smoke flavor of charcoal. I think beer-can recipes are too much like playing with your food and I cannot imagine my chicken coming out any juicier than it does already.

            1. We cook beer can chicken on the gas grill a couple of times a month and it always is moist and evenly cooked. My grill has 4 burners and you should place the chicken over the middle 2 burners TURNED OFF (with the outside 2 turned on) so that you're cooking over indirect heat. Once I forgot to turn off the middle burners (probably too much of the aforementioned beer) and the skin was destroyed.