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Beer Can Blunder !!

Today I was out at the grill thinking, Gee what can I grill today ? When it came to mind that I haven't served up any beer can chicken in a while and it is always amusing to watch. As I was preparing the chicken of course I needed a little beer off of the can. I drank of the 1/2 that was rightfully mine and started to fill the can with spices when WHALLAH !!! DARN, HECK !!! The wife looks and says "What's the matter?" I said COOR'S LIGHT !!! She asked "Thats the problem?". I repied "Well it might be". It didnt occur to me that what Coor's Light has developed as the "Frost Brewed Liner" may or may not be a problem, I don't know what it is nor do I want to find out with an aftertaste or fire on the bird. I immediately turned it into Soda Can Chicken, what a downgrade for manhood but what could I do ? Can anyone comment on what this Frost Brewed liner is made of and Is it high heat stable? my guess is that it isn't and not worth the risk, and yes I know, shouldn't be using light beer for this to begin with but the amount of Chow I cook on the grill each year I need LIGHT beer.

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  1. It's a thin layer of plastic. After accidentally getting a Ziploc bag stuck to a cookie sheet in the oven, I would say it's best to not use Coors Light for beer can chicken.

    And I'd rather drink one good beer than two Coors Light. If you're intent on watching caloric content on beer, at least go with Sam Adams Light or Guinness, both have only 15 more calories per serving than Coors Light.

    14 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      I believe all cans are lined these days, no?

      I never understood why people would want to stick something they eat on a painted can that is over heat to begin with. I have seen non-painted metal containers the size of a can sold for the purpose fo making "beer can" chicken though.

      1. re: LStaff

        Its all for the purpose of entertainment, the beer can that is. Not to much happens to the paint actually and it is on the inside cavity of the bird anyways. I think to many people are a little to panicky about these simple heath issues. You never heard anyone say anything back in the day when we all as kids drank from the garden hose. How about putting marshmallows on a tree branch to roast them? Maybe an insect deficated on that branch, or maybe it was sprayed with mesquito spray, who knows? Lets not panic over the beauty of a chicken on a can, have you ever looked at a chicken before you bought it in a store ?

        1. re: Jimbosox04

          If it's all the same I'd rather avoid the exposure, there are alternatives without the risk -- http://www.amazon.com/Sittin-Chicken-...

          Even if you do decide to use a beer can you should have these -- http://www.amazon.com/Ceramic-Drunk-C...

          1. re: Jimbosox04

            It's not so much the health issue I'm thinking of... I think that if the liner melted, it would make the chicken taste, well... plasticky.

          2. re: LStaff

            No. Not all beer cans are lined. Drank a PBR last night, and it's the same cheap can it's been for years.

          3. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            A glass canning jar won't do? Would it not withstand the heat?

            1. re: SweetPea

              It would take away the manhood of cooking with beer and using a beercan.....we need to make this MANLAW !!! No Beercan chicken without an actual beercan !!

              1. re: Jimbosox04

                You don't have to use a beer can Jimbo. You can use any canned drink and it won't make you less of a man. Keep your beer for drinking and use something else for cooking. Steve Raichlen even has recipes that use root beer instead and they come out very tasty. Of course I am not a man, so this isn't an issue for me.

                1. re: danhole

                  Yeah I know that, they evne make stand with little holders for the liquid, but yest it does make you less of a man, only a man would know.

                  It like Tim Allen ya know "Huh Hoo Huh"

                  1. re: Jimbosox04

                    Personally didn't think the chicken was any better in Raichlen's recipe, and we most certainly did use a can of beer, what flavor, I don't recall bc this was a while back, and the DH only drinks beer out of bottles or Riedel Pilsner glasses (I know, big Snob!).

                    But haven't made it since, bc grilling a chicken in halves or quarters seems to be easier since you can get a good sear on the bird's skin first, then just keep the beer for drinkin'!!

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      I actually don't use Raichlen's recipe for anything more than a sort of guide. I like to mix my own rubs, and use whatever I want for the canned drink. The root beer was interesting but I did add some other seasonings in the can. I'm not really good at reading a recipe and following it exactly as written, unless it's something that needs to be baked.;-) The only point I was making was that you have plenty more options than beer.

                      One other thing - if I let my DH gril the chicken in halves or quarters it is guaranteed to be burnt! The beer can way is much safer if he is manning the grill. LOL!

                      1. re: danhole

                        MANLAW - "Beer Can Chicken must use only the recommended 12 ounce aluminum beer can, or else it is not beer can chicken"

                        If you wanna make root beer soda chicken, feel free, its a wonderful country we have here. Maybe you can even try mustard jar chicken !!

                        1. re: Jimbosox04

                          Oh, tough crowd!!

                        2. re: danhole

                          Got it!! Hey, I burn sh*t too, that's why He's in charge of grill, I'm in charge of Kitchen!!

            2. I like beer can chicken and cook it occasionally. Lately I have been wondering what actually goes on in the cooking process. It seems to me that the beer, considering it is covered by cold bird, the small amount of can surface facing the heat, the fact that the beer usually starts cold and the denseness of a solid liquid mass, does it really do much? I figure that the bird is only going to cook to 180 deg F anyway and little liquid would evaporate. I suspect that the beer / can keeps the heat from the cavity and forces the chicken to cook from the outside in, giving a nice crunchy skin and moist meat. If that is the case, many similar modifications that block cavity heat will work as well. That being said, I know I am overthinking this and should just enjoy what is. But does anyone think this is what happens?

              1 Reply
              1. re: byteme55

                Not only did I stop using the beer can, now I just plop the chicken down in a roasting rack, use whatever rub and/or injection I get the urge to, and put some sliced onions or citrus in the cavity. Plenty moist and tastes better overall imho.

              2. I made beer can chicken about two weeks ago using an unlined PBR can and things turned out great. I did my best to simulate indirect heat by only turning on one side of the grill, putting beer soaked hickery chips in a smoke pouch, and then putting the chicken on the other end. It turned ok if not real slow cooking with a smoker and it even had a bit of a smoke ring on it.

                1. Remember to plug the neck hole to keep the vapors inside the cavity. I break off the right size chunk of a head of garlic which makes a nice extra treat when it is all done.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: atheorist

                    Ii have also plugged up the neck with an orange, lemon, or an onion. I'll have to try the garlic next time. Good tip.

                  2. jimbosox04
                    the beer can liner is probably the same liner included in EVERY aluminum can, every beer, every soda can. the special coors light liner is probably marking fluff. Hopefully you will hear from a few aluminum can packaging specialist to confirm it. In the meantime, go back to your beer butt chicken. Best to use a better beer too, even an ale if you want more flavor and not just moisture. And get a Red Bird Farm chicken if you can. They are the best.

                    1. I doubt it needs to be high heat stable. Assuming the can never goes empty and you dont over cook your chicken, its not going to get much hotter than 150!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: nkeane

                        Huh? What theory of physics states that a meat of a chicken fully insulates the inside cavity from the heat of a 400+ degree grill? NASA may want to think about surrounding the next shuttle for re-entry with that little data point.

                        1. re: jfood

                          lets assume both the can of beer and the chicken start at room temp(72 degrees). now lets assume you put it in in tthe grill.......even if you obliterate the chicken and cook it to 200(hell, I dont want chicken cooked past 160) the liquid in the can will never get above its boiling point(assuming alcohol content and impurities, prolly around 190) until the liquid is gone, either will the can(more importantly the liner which is touching the liquid)

                          If the inside of the chicken, complete with almost full can of beer, gets 400 degrees, any chemical residue that may come off the can, is the least of your worries!?LOL

                          furthermore, if this were a problem, Larry The Cable Guy fans would be dropping like flies!

                          1. re: nkeane

                            Correct and wrong at the same time:

                            - The air itself is probably over 400 degrees
                            - Liquid in the can will reach it's boiling point and then covert from liquid to vapor (duh) which is above your 150, depending on the liquid itself probably ~200, but because the exterior heating environment is 400 this will occur
                            - Vapor is will be hotter than the liquid by definition which is above your 150
                            - Can will get as hot as its melting point, but will be waaaaay above your 150. If you not belive this grab a pan of boiling water from the stove. It is waaaaay above 212 of the water-steam.
                            - The cavity of the chicken will be greater that 150 since people cook chicken's inside temperature should be greater than 160

                            And your Larry the Cable Guy comment is uncalled for.

                            1. re: jfood

                              you completely discount the insulating properties of the chicken itself.

                              dont assume everyone overcooks their chicken.

                              my Larry The Cable Guy comment is/was spot on.
                              (hoping jfood understands the light hearted nature of my retort)

                      2. I think as long as liquid remains in the can, everything is going to work out fine and no one will die. Beer vs. Soda though? The only thing it really does is prop the bird up. I don't think any flavor is imparted into the meat - and especially not by any light beer in a can.