Beer Can Chicken ?
Am planning on trying beer can chicken for the first time this weekend. Have seen numerous recipies that are all very similar. For those of you who have cooked chicken this way before, do you use a dry rub on the bird prior to cooking? If so, would you please post your rub recipe here? If you don't use a rub oon the chicken first, what pre-cooking prep do you do to the chicken? Thanks in advance.
I second (18th?) the beer can chicken love. Definitely use a dry rub, since part of the beer can chicken appeal is the all-over crispy skin and it's so nice to eat the terribly unhealthy crispy skin with the rub cooked into it. We've had great results injecting assorted flavors into the chicken, but that's not really necessary. I like rosemary and garlic on chicken in particular...mince some up very fine, mix with salt and pepper and rub all over the chicken, including the inside. Shove some rosemary sprigs and some garlic slices under the skin on the breasts and thighs and stick some more inside the beer can (which as people have mentioned can be an anything can...soda, juice, etc. Or a can emptied and refilled with wine or anything else that suits you). Get the chicken on your can, plug the neck with a lemon or onion and you are good to go.
We also use one of the cage things that holds the can provides a wide base to prevent tipping. Somebody else mentioned these things...we've been happy with them. Definitely do the chicken on indirect heat! Don't wanna scorch that lovely skin with flare-ups.
I mix together minced garlic, sea salt, coarse ground pepper, lemon pepper, tarragon, thyme, oregano, rosemary and whatever other herbs I have. I make sure all of it is finely minced and/or crushed. Then I oil the bird, and put the rub on the inside and the outside. I chug part of the beer, about 1/3, and then add either orange juice, or lemon juice along with a dash of the seasonings and a blast of liquid smoke. I put the can in the chicken can holder and put the chicken on top. I let it sit for awhile for the flavors to penetrate it. You could put it in the fridge if you have a hot kitchen, for about 30 min, but it needs to be room temperature before you put it on the grill. Then I take an onion, or and orange and put that on the top where the neck is (make sure you trim the neck down.) That was when you are cooking it you have even more flavor going down into it, as well as keeping flavor from escaping. Oh goodness, is it good! I even have made it in our oven during winter time. Always moist and tasty.
I used Penzey's Bay Leaf Seasoning, oil and fresh ground pepper as a rub. I put rosemary sprigs, garlic and a small bay leaf in the beer. It turned out great, DH could not stop raving over how tasty it was. I do recommend the recipe southerncooker refers to, it gives a lot more instructions than many that are on the web. I did see after the fact that one recipe recommends slightly oiling the beer can on the outside. I think that would help a lot in removing the chicken from the can. However, I'd like to get the chicken sitter for future forays in beer can chicken.
re: Tracy L.
There are tons of products available for cooking a beer can chicken. The one I have is basically a little standing cage in which the can sits, which is then shoved up the chicken. I don't put much stock in the concerns regarding heating aluminum for beer can chickens. It's in a cold bird for part of the cooking, with liquid, and not on the grill an inordinate amount of time. Furthermore, grilling and the high heat which supposedly produces carcinogens in the charred meat would theoretically cause more concern. But you only live once.
Also note, there are entire cookbooks available for this processes. Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken is probably the most popular I think. If you're interested in that, please buy through the chowhound link!
Weber has a really nice online recipe for Beer Can Chicken.
I also received a different (but also excellent) e-mail recipe from Weber that I'll paraphrase here:
Beer Can Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 can beer (12 ounces) at room temperature
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
Lightly coat the chicken with the oil and season it inside and out with the rub.
Open the can of beer, drink (or just empty) about half the beer, and make two extra holes in the top of the can. Place the next 5 ingredients in the can.
Place the chicken on the can and balance it on the grill using the two legs and the can as a tripod.
Grill the chicken (indirect/medium heat) until the juices run clear (1 to 1 1/2 hours depending upon the size of the bird and the temp of the grill).
Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill; do not spill contents of beer can, as it will be very hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting from the beer can and cutting into serving pieces.
Here's the link to the online recipe. It has a rub that's quite different from the one here.
I've been using a thingy I bought years ago to stand chicken up in the oven. I usually put rosemary in the chicken, sometimes a couple of lemon slices, and I rub the outside with olive oil and garlic. A misto is really handy when the chicken is standing up, because you can spray it while it cooks. So I tried the beer can approach because I thought it would lend extra flavor, and I have to honestly say that it didn't seem to add much. But someone told me you really have to do it on a grill, not in the oven?
Beer can chicken is great in the barbecue or in the oven. I just use salt and pepper and brush the skin with some melted butter. I like chicken to taste like chicken.
I used to have balance problems and occasional tip-overs with beer cans, so I purchased some ceramic "chicken sitters" and problems over.
Also, some people have mentioned concerns about toxins from the aluminum, paint and dyes on the beer can getting into the chicken. No such concerns with a "chicken sitter."
Thanks for the information. I just tried beer can chicken last weekend and was concerned with tip overs and general flimsyness of the beer can. I liked the results, the chicken was very tasty and thought at the time it would be great if there was product that was more stable that produced the same results. Thanks again for sharing, the chicken sitter will really help.
I trimmed my rosemary bush the day I tried beer-can chicken teh 1st time. Stuffed a bunch of branches in the cavity of a 6-lb bird, used wine in a coke can. Mounted same on a tripod and catch basin from Canadian Tire (Cdn$ 4.99). Results: can came out cleanly; bird was stable; and the juice from the bird made 3 other dishes as the best stock I've made! No issue with paint/chemicals coming off teh can. Did see regeence to folks using mason jars for industrial level B-C birds FYI.
The "ink and chemicals" are not actually ink and chemicals, everything used in the production or aluminum cans "HAS TO BE" Food Grade. My concerns into this issue have led me to investigate a little further into it.
I called Coors in Golden, Colorado and asked them about the "Frost Brewed Lining" on their beer cans. They told me that the frost brewed lining was a secret formula and not a "plastic or other" coating that some presume. The formula is owned by Coors and not to be disclosed. I asked directly about using the can in this manner of cooking chickens and the lady had told me that they get this question more often that you think. There is no problems using it for this manner because once again "Everything is food based and meets FDA requirements"
Using anything other than a beer can takes away the novelty of the dish.
I use a dry spice rub called a Memphis Rub that I also use for ribs...For the beer can chicken, use
3 Tablespoons of this mixture per chicken:
1/4 cup paprika
1 Tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Brining would work well, particularly if using a spicy brine. The beer steams the chicken, so the flesh comes out incredibly moist. However, it can also be somewhat bland if you don't season it well. It might be overkill, but little birds are cheap, so maybe brine for a few hours and rub then also add some spices to the beer can too.
I would also make some gravy in case the bird comes out too bland.