It's hard to think of a more masculine meal you could prepare than beer can chicken. Essentially, it's a whole animal, roasted over a fire, complete with its own can of beer. And it's a lot easier to make than it looks. You simply perch the chicken atop a throne of beer, shut the lid to your grill and the malty, steamy alcohol rises throughout the cavity, keeping the meat moist, tender and tasty—like basting, but without all the work. Sure, it may look kind of funny, but the recipe only calls for a few, simple ingredients and the end result is an impressive looking bird with juicy, flavor-infused meat under crackling, crispy skin. And the whole thing starts by you chugging half a can of beer. What's not to like?
1 whole chicken
(approx. 4 pounds)
(see recipe below)
12 oz can of beer (lagers work great, but any favorite will do)
Prep you grill for indirect heat by piling coals on one side or only using one set of burners so that one side is hotter than the other. You're aiming for an internal grill temperature of 350°.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and then rub all over with the softened butter before seasoning the skin liberally with the spice rub.
Drink half the can of beer. Drop garlic cloves inside and place the cavity of the chicken, legs down, onto the open can so that it supports the chicken upright.
Place the chicken-topped can on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and let it cook for one hour before checking the temperature. (Charcoal grills may require more coals to maintain heat.) Cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°.
To remove from grill, slide a metal spatula under the can while grabbing the top of the chicken with a pair of tongs. Carefully transfer it to a nearby cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing.
Easy Spice Rub
This is a simple go-to spice rub that works with a range of meats so feel free to double or triple the recipe and store for future use.
4 tbsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp each of cayenne and black pepper
You can roast beer can chicken (sitting inside a roasting pan
to catch the drippings) in a 350° oven for about 1.5 hours.