I don't know what it is about beer can chicken that gets everybody so excited. It could be that the chicken itself is joining in on the fun of having an afternoon brewski, or it could be the fact that the result from the chicken sitting on a can of beer makes it exceptionally moist, juicy and flavorsome.
No matter what the real reason is, I do know that beer can chicken is a favorite around my grill.
"It's actually one of those recipes that you can use something different every time and still come away with a delicious result."
This recipe is by no means hard, nor does it use a lot of ingredients. It's actually one of those recipes that you can use something different every time and still come away with a delicious result.
If you don't have your own chicken rub, here is my secret smoked chicken rub recipe. Use it as is or adapt it to your flavours, the possibilities are endless.
It's a great way to use those older herbs and spices in your kitchen, or those weird craft beers leftover from your cousin rick at Christmas.
Smoked Beer Can Chicken
- 1 can 12 ounces beer
- 1 chicken 4 - 4.5 pounds
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite homemade rub premade store bought rub is also fine
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Preheat your grill (with a lid) to 225°F. If you are using wood chips in your smoker now is a good time to get them soaking. I like to use around 1/4 of the beer mixed with a little bit of water or whiskey. Make an additional 2 holes in the top of the beer can, this will help the beer absorb into the chicken better.
Remove the giblets from the chicken's cavity and rinse the chicken thoroughly with lots of fresh running water. Dab completely dry with a paper towel both inside and out.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of your favorite rub, (or your homemade concoction) inside the bird's cavity. Drizzle the oil over the entire outside of the bid, making sure to rub it all over with your hands for an even coating that the rub will stick to. Sprinkle over around 1 tablespoon of the remaining rub onto the outside of the bird. Put the remaining rub into the beer can. The beer should foam up slightly, don't worry this is normal.
Next, we need to place the bird on top of the beer can. Hold the bird upright with the cavity facing towards the bottom. Lower the bird onto the beer can and lower until you get around 3/4 (or more) of the way down the can. Once the can is in place pull the legs forward to form a tripod. This should be enough to support the bird standing by itself.
Tuck the wing tips behind the chickens back.
Set up your grill for indirect grilling according to your grill manufacturers instructions.If you are using a gas or charcoal grill place a large drip pan under the chicken as there will be lots of runoff (perfect for making gravy later).
Place your chicken in the center of your cooking grate. You want it to be balancing on the can and the two legs. Make sure the chicken is sitting over your drip pan, this is very important. You want to savor all those delicious juices for a gravy, and obviously stop any potential flare-ups from occurring.
Cover your grill and cook until the chicken skin is a dark golden brown and super crispy. You want your chicken to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. The best place to check the temperature is in the middle of the thickest part of the thigh, making sure to not touch the bone. This should take somewhere around 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 hours. If you do notice the bird browning to fast, wrap it loosely with aluminum foil until it has come to temperature.
Once the bird has come to temperature, remove from the grill. Do this by using tongs to grab the can and carefully transfer it to a platter.
Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes to let the juices rest and the proteins to redistribute. Remove the chicken from the can and serve!
I hope you enjoy this smoked beer can chicken. Your chicken should be juicy, moist and bursting with flavour. I find the perfect occompanymet is fresh corn on the cob and smoked potatoes.
If you have saved the drippings from the drip pan, I would encourage you to make a quick and easy gravy to serve with this beauty. Mix in any left over beer too, you will be amazed how much flavour is in there!
If you are not quite sure about what rub to use for this recipe, some of my favourite rubs can be found
Do you have a super (not so) secret rub recipe you would love to share with the world? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to give it a try!