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Beer Can Chicken

Anyone have a good Beer Can Chicken recipe to share?

I've been on a BCC kick this summer, and looking for interesting rubs or preps to use before putting it all on the grill.

I can't believe I've never cooked chicken on the grill this way before and I'm just lovin it!

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  1. I like to drink enough of the beer to make room for the juice of a lime, plus a couple cloves of garlic in the can, then shove the squeezed lime, a little fresh thyme and a small onion in the neck of the chicken to 'seal' in the steam a little.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tacosandbeer

      Thanks....made this tonight and would definitely make it this way again. The onion in the neck to seal seemed to make the skin extra crispy which I liked.

      1. re: Uncle Bob


        I did pick up some tips here. and I would agree with their conclusion. The chicken doesn't taste any better or worse than cooking it without a beer can when attended to and cooked properly.

        The reasons I like this method is because it cooks vertically so I can do two, even three chickens on my grill, and I don't really have to handle the chickens until they are time to remove.

        1. re: Infomaniac

          The ceramic chicken sitters work really well, at least for the birds I do in the overn. They are much more stable. I fill them with whatever wine I have that's been open for too long, and a little garlic and rosemary. The testers are probably right that it doesn't enhance the flavor of the chicken, but it does create some wonderful cooking aromas!

      2. I use this one and add about a tbls of five spice powder. I think the main benefit to beer can chicken is you park it on the grill and forget abut it for a couple hours and it leaves room on the grill for lots of sides.

        1 Reply
        1. My husband makes a spice rub and rubs the inside and outside of the chickens before impaling them on the cans. The spice rub varies according to his mood but it adds a lot of flavor. There's always brown sugar and cayenne, sometimes he'll use tandoori seasoning, etc. It's never the same twice.

          1. I can't believe I've never cooked chicken on the grill this way before and I'm just lovin it!

            Read this: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/beercanchick...

            Drink the beer. Don't cook with it.

            1. I mix rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic in olive oil, then rub the mixture all over the brined chicken before putting it on the can. I add the rosemary stems to the beer. I also coat potatoes with the oil and roast along with the chicken. I buy my chickens from the Asian markets, so they have the head on...seals in the moisture when I grill it.

              1. I just did one for the first time last week or so and I brined the chicken first. I wasn't planning on doing beer can as I was just planning to brine, but there was a nasty bud lite sitting in the fridge and thought, why not!? I had tarragon, oregano and basil in the brine and then rubbed the outside with a touch of Penzeys Northwoods Fire seasoning, garlic, etc.

                I swear that chicken was done in 30 min! It was only about 3.5 lbs. So unbelievably delicious. Not sure if it was the brine, the beer or a combo of both. I'm not a breast eater and the breast were probably the best I've had.

                1. I recently learned on these boards that beer and soda cans are lined with plastic, and that it contains BPA, an endocrine disruptor. So it might be wise to use a different container or a ceramic roaster instead of burning plastic to cook your food.

                  I'm seriously bummed, I switched to cans to avoid the BPA in plastic seltzer bottles.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mcf

                    Thanks for the warning, and good point.

                    I consult about product compliance, and have a good understanding about the new CPSIA laws, Prop 65, and all that other BS that is helping drive up the cost of a lot of consumer goods. Having compliant product isn't cheap, and someone has to pay for it/

                    My understanding is that BPA seems to have little effect in adults. The main concern is the chemicals effects on developing fetuses and children. So it's a good warning for pregnant woman and children under 12yo to limit your Beer Can Chicken intake.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Yes almost all aluminum cans are lined with BPA. The only way that the BPA will get up out of the can and into your chicken is for the BPA to boil and vaporize. The boiling point of BPA is 428° and it's very unlikely that the internal temperature of the chicken will get anywhere near that hot. Plus, as long as there is liquid beer in the can, the can can't get any hotter than the boiling point of beer which is about 212°. It's like when you boil a pot of water; no matter how high you turn up the stove, the water in the pot won't get hotter than 212°. Therefore, cooking a beer can chicken won't vaporize the BPA lining in the beer can unless you boil away all the beer (which never happens) and also extremely overcook the chicken.

                      1. re: Berners

                        That information is just false, it leaches into the contents and will rise with the steam.

                    2. The only real benefit to BCC -- and it is huge -- is the verticalness of it, as is pointed out quite convincingly in the links posted above. So just get a metal vertical roaster -- I have dozens of them, all different models, although I like the Spaneks the best -- and don't waste a perfectly good beer, and don't worry about BPA.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Hi,

                        You may find Meathead's views on the subject useful:

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bcc

                          Interesting, if he is correct then not only doesn't the BPA get into the chicken but neither does the beer. I'm going to try grilling one on the vertical stand with no beer can and see if it is as good.

                          1. re: Berners

                            Berners, I'm not a beer-drinker myself, but I can definetly taste a hint of the hops from the beer in the chicken after using this cooking method. That's one of the main reasons (besides the all-around crispiness) that we cook chicken this way.
                            I'd be interested to find out whether you do or don't taste the beer, as well, contrary to many of the posts above.

                            1. re: Midknight

                              I definitely tasted beer in some parts of the chicken, but I did not taste beer at all in the breast!

                        2. Lots of good ideas for beer can chicken in Steven Raichlen's book

                          "Beer an Chicken"

                          1. We have Steven Raichlen's grill book and we use this recipe all the time and love it! We also like a lot of his other grilling recipes. It's a great book. http://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink...

                            Here is his book: How to Grill:
                            The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques, A Barbecue Bible! Cookbook

                            Two things we do though, we bought a "beer can chicken stand" and I use a drip pan to get all those great juices. Oh, it is wonderful!