Menu Enter a recipe name, ingredient, keyword...

Beer Can Chicken


Note: you can use one of the little stands sold at most BBQ suppliers & home improvement stores, instead of relying solely on the can to hold the chicken upright.

Google Ads
Rate this recipe 0/5 (0 Votes)
Beer Can Chicken 1 Picture


  • Spice Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons beer
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Beer and Chicken:
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans beer
  • 4 crumbled bay leaves
  • 2 whole chickens (3 to 3 1/2 pounds each), patted dry
  • 4 cups wood chips


Servings 4


Step 1

1. For the spice rub: Mix brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in bowl.

2. For the glaze: Stir brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, beer, and hot sauce together in medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon spice rub.

3. For the rest: Measure out 1 cup beer from each can; take 2 tablespoons from measured beer and add to ketchup glaze. Prepare beer cans as shown in photo 1, and add 2 crumbled bay leaves to each can.

4. Use a church key can opener to punch holes in the top of the can; Loosen the skin on the breasts and thighs of the chicken by sliding your fingers between the skin and the meat, then massage the spice mixture on the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity. Using a skewer, poke the skin all over. Invert the chickens onto the beer cans so that you form a tripod using the chicken drumsticks and the beer can to form the three "legs." Tuck the wings onto the backs of each chicken.

5. Soak wood chips in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (about 90 coals) and burn until charcoal is covered with fine gray ash. Place 13 by 9-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan in center of grill. Pour half of coals into pile on each side of grill, leaving pan in center. Scatter wood chips evenly over coals, set cooking grate in place, cover, and let grill heat up 5 minutes.

6. Place chickens (on cans) on center of grate, using drumsticks to stabilize them. Cover and grill until skin is well browned and very crisp, 40 to 60 minutes. Brush with ketchup glaze and grill, covered, until thigh meat registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Wearing oven mitts or using wad of paper towels, transfer chickens (still on cans) from grill to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Hold base of can with oven mitt or wad of paper towels, insert tongs into neck cavity of chicken, and pull chicken off can. Carve and serve.


Review this recipe