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I have been making beer can chickens for years and was looking for variations, this is a great recipe and thank you for sharing. I have previously marinated the chicken overnight in a freezer bag with a 40/60 mix of beer and buttermilk with my spices added to the marinade. Then I roasted it on the beer can WOW This was probably the best chicken I have had.
Cans insides are lined with a bpa film, outsides are either labelled with plastic, shrink sleeved, or ink and varnish coating. Heated and eaten it must be a great way to foster cancer.
Thank you for your comment. Safety is important to us. The folks at Cook’s Illustrated looked into this, as far as it pertains to emissions of BPA from the can lining as the chicken cooks, and they concluded it was safe, at least as far as BPA is concerned. But that does remind me there are alternatives, such as purchasing a vertical roaster.
Question about the (Weber charcoal) grill. Should the vents on top and bottom be open?
All the way, half way?
Hi Debra, you should have the vents open a little bit, otherwise not enough oxygen will get to the coals. That said, the wider open the vents are, the hotter the coals will burn. You do want to maintain an even temp of indirect heat, so open the vents (both above and below) enough to maintain the heat, but not so much that the coals burn too quickly and heat up the grill too much.
It’s my favorite way to cook a whole chicken! I have “BBQ” heat proof gloves that I use to slide the can out and then place the cooked chicken in a bowl so all the juices are captured. After it has cooled for a little while, I break it down or pull it like pork bbq. My wife and I claim the wings as our appetizer .. :D Also, tinker with different beer flavors, it really does make a little difference in the flavor…right now my favorite is Shotgun Betty but that’s just me.
Great idea to use BBQ heat proof gloves, Dale! Would you mind sharing what kind they are? I’ve been on the look out for some good BBQ gloves.
I brine the chicken with an apple cider recipe before grilling. More flavor and moist.
Hi Shari, brining is a great way to keep chicken moist!
Beer cans are not intended for high temperatures and can emit toxic and harmful substances.
Thank you for your comment. Safety is important to us. The folks at Cook’s Illustrated looked into this, as far as it pertains to emissions of BPA from the can lining as the chicken cooks, and they concluded it was safe, at least as far as BPA is concerned. But that does remind me there are alternatives, such as purchasing a vertical roaster. Also, why is it necessary to line beer cans with BPA in the first place? Oh, the dilemmas of modern life…
What if I have two 4 In chickens. Same time frame?
If you are cooking two 4-pound chickens at once, the cook time should be about the same, yes. Happy grilling!
Hey guys if you need to turn the chicken on the grill after about 35 to 40 minutes to evenly cook the chicken to a golden roasted color and doneness. Depending on your grill ?
If you know there are hot spots on your grill, yes, you can pivot the can/chicken after 35 to 40 minutes. But I’d say that’s a precaution, not a necessity. Do keep the chicken upright on the can the entire grilling time, though.
I love Beer can Chicken. So delicious and incredibly easy to make.
Cherry 7UP is excellent in the butt of a chicken.. Also Cherikee red soda is the best (I make my chicken spicy with this soda)
I use sprite with my chicken. The lemon/lime flavor adds to the chicken flavor. I have tried beer but the sprite is much better and so moist.
i looked up the recipe and you were the only one to tell me the grill has to be at 350. thank you and thanks for a great recipe.
Made this for years. I use coca cola instead of beer. This is so easy and delicious. The easiest meat I have ever cooked.
An hour and a half was way too long for us. Chicken was black and dry but we managed to salvage enough for our dinner. Made for a funny story! Tried it again for an hour and it was great!
She said to check on a regular basis with a thermometer.
Made it twice now. Both times was absolutely DELICIOUS! the rub is so good. Nothing was left but bones. I think we’re ready to try coke and a bbq rub! Do you have a bbq rub Elise?
Hi Dana, here are two rubs I like to use for pork. I might scale back the sugar in the first one if using for chicken:
BBQ Rub (enough for a 4 pound roast)
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
Santa Maria Rub (enough for a 4 pound roast)
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp finely ground black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
1/2 teaspoon dry sage
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Great moist flavored chicken from just putting in a beer can unbelievable
This was great! My family loved it. The chicken was moist and the skin was crisp. I served it with the German potato salad and carrot salad from your website, plus corn bread with honey butter. I was a little nervous but it was super easy. As you can tell we use your recipes frequently. Thank you for the delicious recipes.
Will the liquid in the can, whether beer or lemonade, steam at 165*. Isn’t this method actually Roasting a chicken? The inside of the chicken does not get that golden brown color as the outside. Beer boils at 212*F so go figure. Although Roasted Chicken tastes good, it’s not a good as spatchcocked w/ a good dry rub and smoked.
Eh? 165 is the ‘cooked’ temperature for the chicken.
The oven is 350 so yes the liquid will steam…
Actually Matthews makes a great point. The inside of the chicken will never get even close to 200 degrees let alone boiling temp. So the liquid inside won’t steam much and will have very little effect on flavor. What this technique does accomplish is cooking the bird on end and allowing it to cook more evenly. The juiciness comes from not overcoming certain parts of it.
I use a apple ale. Family love it.
I never have any problems. You just have to cut open the butt end more to accommodate the can. You can use a sharp knife or poultry shears. If your hand can go in it to rub inside, the can will fit no problem.