This dish for Beer Can Chicken may surprise you at first since it involves using a beer can like stuffing a turkey… but we guarantee that this recipe will make your chicken succulent, highly flavorful and filled with bursting herb flavor! We love this recipe because it uses our favorite appliance (the grill, of course!) and, this dish can feed a crowd of hungry people! Beer Can Chicken works well paired with your favorite roasted vegetables and a crisp, light beer to wash it down.
1 whole chicken
1 twelve ounce can of light beer
Choice of herbs – rosemary chopped or full sprigs; salt; creole seasoning (or meat seasoning of choice) any herb combination you want; minced garlic – at least 3 big cloves of garlic Tony’s is the spice of choice for Kevin
4-6 T of olive oil – for glaze; can use oil or not; the oil holds the herbs onto the chicken well and helps brown the skin for a crispy skin!
Large pan to catch drippings
- Locate a big pan that is large enough to catch overflow from the whole chicken but is also big enough to fit on your grill.
- Pre-heat the grill to a medium to medium-low setting.
- Make the rub with your choice of herbs. Herbs that are typically mixed with chicken like rosemary, sage, and thyme, are all great for this recipe. Save some of the stems (to place inside the beer can in next step) and chop herbs finely. Some other rub mix ideas include creole seasoning; rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper; cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt; the possibilities are endless so choose the flavors that you like the best!
- Drain (or drink) about ½ to 2/3 of the beer out of the can.
- Make a few incisions on the side of the can with a sharp knife. Make sure you do this ABOVE the liquid line inside the can, so the liquid doesn’t spill out.
- Put a portion of your rub ingredients into the beer inside the beer can – i.e. a fat sprig of rosemary, some garlic, and rub spices of choice. When the beer and herbs in the can start to boil inside the chicken, it releases steam and flavor and makes the chicken nice and juicy! Set the can with the herbs, aside.
- Pull out all the innards inside the bird (gizzards, organs, etc.) so that it’s basically empty inside (this is a similar process for prepping a turkey on Thanksgiving!) Once you clear this cavity, sit the chicken on top of the beer can that contains the herbs and bit of liquid. The beer can should stick out only about a half inch to an inch, so you can still see it.
- Stabilize the chicken by spreading the legs so they are resting away from each other. Take the wings and prop the elbows inside the thighs so it looks like the chicken is squatting and resting its elbows on the inner thighs. This part is just about stabilizing the chicken, so it doesn’t tip over while cooking. However you can stand it up, is probably a fine way to do it.
- Finally, rub olive oil and the rest of your spice rub all over the skin of the chicken.
- Place the pan and chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken covered, low and slow until the internal temperature reaches 180° F. The trick to this is to leave the chicken on the grill not to check it too much so the steam and heat and flavor stays inside the grill.
- If you’d like to try this recipe but do not have a grill, you can replicate the same steps but, put the bird in the oven at a pre-heated 375° F oven for about an hour or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 180°F.
- Use a meat thermometer and the range for chicken should be 180 degrees. It’s a good idea to check multiple parts of the chicken that are thickest, i.e. thigh and breast to be absolutely sure it’s done.
- This chicken is super succulent so if you feel like you have overcooked it a bit, don’t worry! It’ll probably still be moist.
Whether you’ve cooked this chicken for a whole crowd of folks or just for yourself, any leftovers can be used for sandwiches or just on its own and the bones can be used for highly flavorful stock or broth!