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Alcohol-free beer can chicken?

c
Cakegirl Sep 19, 2008 04:00 PM

Does this work with alcohol-free beer? Please advise...

  1. g
    gordeaux Sep 22, 2008 06:59 AM

    Absolutely works with another liquid besides beer as everyone has stated. The liquid is used for adding steam to the meat inside the bird to keep it moist. Although I usually use the leftover liquid after pouring out half of the can, I would not hesitate to use other liquids besides beer. I always stuff extras in the can just like janniecooks suggested. One of my favorites is lemon balm leaves (along wioth extra rub, and other spices) or kefir lime leaf. I'll betcha orange zest would be pretty cool too. It permeates the flesh of the bird making it so flavorful (especially the lackluster breast meat.) This is kinda reminding me that I gotta get my ducks in a row for my big end of summer smoke-off. I usually do about 10 birds, and then vaccum pack / freeze them for summer bbq in the middle of winter. They freeze exceptionally well.

    1. DrivingMishCrazy Sep 21, 2008 11:53 PM

      May I ask why you don't want to use regular beer? I'm curious.

      I wish I could be of more help, but my aunt loves to cook beer-in-the-rear chicken using real beer, and at first I had concerns about the beer part, as I'm not old enough to consume alcohol legally, but she assured me that after the chicken was cooked the alcohol would have no affect.

      But the suggestions that other people have put in sound interesting. Dr. Pepper sounds interesting.

      1. ipsedixit Sep 20, 2008 11:14 PM

        Use a can of red bull for "a virgin beer can cornish game hen"

        1. g
          Grillncook Sep 20, 2008 10:06 AM

          Yes it will work with just about any liquid. Beer Can Chicken, anymore is a description of the cooking technique rather than what you use. When originally discovered the beverage of choice was beer, so the name stuck. A couple of things that most recipes don't tell you is to make sure the can is about half full or empty, depending on your point of view, if you don't it will boil over and douse you fire, if you are cooking on a grill. I usually use a sweet citrus soda, like 7-UP or Sprite to which I'll add lemon zest and other herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley. The effect of beer can chicken is actually steaming the chicken from the inside and as such you can use the process for infusing flavors deeply. If you are using a rub make sure that you rub the interior of the bird well also. To make it all come together, there's one step that I've never seen in a recipe but it increases the beer can chicken effect. Take a fruit like a lemon, I usually use the one I took the zest off of and stuff it in the end of the chicken that's up. It keeps all the flavor in and increases the steaming effect.

          1. weinstein5 Sep 20, 2008 09:45 AM

            I concur with theother posters any beverage will do - I have used coke, sprite, dr pepper and root beer all cam out great - I also recently purchased a 'beer can roaster' made out of stainless steel so it is dishwasher safe with its own resevoir so I can create whatever liquids I want -

            1. j
              janniecooks Sep 20, 2008 09:27 AM

              Any liquid will do - even water! Check out cookingforengineers.com - that guy ran a taste test of beer can chickens with and without beer and his conclusion was that the liquid in the can did not transfer its taste to the chicken.

              I've used beer, I've taken an empty rinsed beer can and partially filled with a mixture of water, lemon juice, garlic, and the rub I used on the chicken, and I've used plain water and really can't detect much difference. Certainly not enough to cause any angst!

              1. r
                rllevy Sep 19, 2008 05:46 PM

                if you are cooking for someone who cannot have alcohol for medical/health reasons, DO NOT use nonalcoholic beer.

                nonalcoholic beer has a small amount of alcohol. legally, you cannot buy nonalcoholic beer if you are not of age -- because it *is* an alcoholic beverage.

                a close family member cannot have alcohol -- even NA beer.

                I'd suggest using Dr. Pepper or another dark soda.

                1. apilston Sep 19, 2008 05:25 PM

                  Something we love to do is Cornish Game Hens with those little cans of pineapple juice. Comes out great every time.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: apilston
                    yayadave Sep 20, 2008 10:34 AM

                    WOW!!!

                    Do you baste with the pineapple juice?

                    1. re: yayadave
                      apilston Sep 24, 2008 05:32 PM

                      I don't think we've ever bothered, but I might try it next time. That's a great idea.

                  2. HillJ Sep 19, 2008 04:44 PM

                    cakegirl, my brother is a big beer can chicken fan; including entering a few bbq contests and when this specific chicken preparation hit the circuit everyone tried to reinvent the wheel..namely, what besides beer can be used.

                    The current favorite is using Doctor Pepper soda if you like a sweet grill taste and lemon-lime soda if you like a tangy taste. The web has entire sites with recipes devoted to vertical chicken grilling including beer can chicken ideas.

                    Enjoy!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HillJ
                      chowser Sep 20, 2008 08:19 AM

                      I've had it with root beer, too, along the lines of Dr. Pepper.

                    2. j
                      Jane917 Sep 19, 2008 04:29 PM

                      I would assume so, since it works just as well with a can of pop.

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