Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Beer can chicken

I was born and raised in Italy, so of course I knew nothing about beer can chickens until a few years ago. I don't remember where I had my first one, but the notion of cooking a whole chicken with a beer can up his butt was quite hilarious (I'm easily entertained, I guess) and the result was a juicy, delicious chicken. Ever since then I've been trying to find the perfect recipe to make my own and -after a few tries- I think I've come up with one that is good and spicy. The secret is to keep the breast from drying up, which is pretty easy if you baste it with lots of liquids before you put the bird on the grill. The marinade also infuses the meat with a delicious BBQ-like flavor, while the beer and the liquid smoke do the same from the inside.


1 whole chicken
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 can beer
3 tablespoons barbecue smoked seasoning

Preheat grill on medium high.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken. Loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.Be careful not to pierce the skin -it's what keeps the bird from drying.

Combine ketchup, sugar, paprika, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and vinegar in a bowl. Rub it under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks.

Drink 1/2 cup beer (or discard it, but seriously, why throwing it away when you can drink it?) Add liquid smoke to can. Holding chicken upright with the body cavity facing down, insert beer can into chicken butt. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, and spread legs out to form a tripod to support the chicken.

Place on preheated grill, lower heat and cook slowly, with the lid closed, for about 1 1/2 hours or until desired internal temperature is reached.


  1. I've actually been wanting to try beer can chicken (it sounds so good!). Your marinade sounds delicious, maybe I'll give this a try!

  2. This is an interesting way to do chicken. I like it! I need to pick up some more propane so I can give it a try!

  3. I don't care for beer myself but I'm sure my boyfriend would make sure that extra half cup of beer didn't go to waste! The rub sounds really good.

    Welcome to the Food Blogs group!

  4. Thanks Jennifer! I prefer wine myseif, but the beed does a great job at keeping the bird moist!



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