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Mar 26, 2013 10:23 AM

Best beer for beer can chicken?

I'm planning to make beer can chicken but I want to use a good beer to bring extra flavor. I've normally had beer can chicken with regular Budweiser but I feel there are better choices out there. I was thinking of Kona Brewing Company's Longboard Lager but I would like to hear what everyone else thinks too

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  1. Any 16 oz can. The height helps to hold it upright. The beer adds nothing to the chicken as it doesn't get hot enough to steam.

    2 Replies

      I agree with you, but there are a few who do can use any liquid to hold the can upright.

      1. re: fourunder

        <"I agree with you, but there are a few who do not.>"

        This would be the same group that still believes the earth is flat......

    2. Around here we drink half the can and refill it with red wine and lots of chopped herbs like thyme and rosemary and garlic. I'd stick with Bud or Miller or some other less expensive beer.
      Save the good beer for drinking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hippioflov

        Agreed. Granted that you wouldn't want to cook with anything that you wouldn't drink, considering what you're doing with it, I'd use the cheap stuff in the oven, the good stuff in the glass.

      2. I'd be amazed if you could tell the difference between a beer can chicken using Budweiser vs. any other beer. It might be fun to do a taste test when cooking two chickens - one with Bud and one with a craft beer (obviously, some adjustments would have to be made to put this beer into a can), and do a side by side comparison to see what your guests can discern. Between the spice rub and the grilling, it would be interesting to see if there is any difference in the final product.

        1. I've always been skeptical that beer can chicken actually provides anything other than a way to stand the chicken vertically while roasting. I can't imagine that the beer actually imparts any flavor to the bird, and I agree with other respondents that if you are going to go this route, just use plain ol' Bud or similar brand.

          My biggest complaint about beer can chicken is that it breaks my #1 Rule with extreme prejudice, which is to cut the back out of the bird to allow in the interior to cook at the same rate as the outside. Not only does BCC keep the back intact, but it stops up the interior with a can! Air circulation is key to a great roasted chicken, in my opinion, and BCC does the exact opposite.

          Here is a great article "de-bunking" the beer can chicken method:

          1 Reply
          1. re: EarlyBird

            Interesting article. Actually, I thought of that...what I do is fill the can less than half...juice or wine or beer...whatever's handy. Punch holes in the top half of the can to let out more "perfume" and let the meat get more exposed.

          2. I tried it a few times and came to the conclusion it was much ado about nothing. A can of water would probably impart as much flavor as any beer.