Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beer Can Chicken: a How To Pictorial

Beer Can Chicken: a How To Pictorial

Beer Can Chicken: Great On the Grill

Recipe By: From author Steven Raichlen ( modified a little by me)
Serving Size: 6


Special Equipment: 1 1/2 cups mesquite chips, soaked in cold water to cover for 1 hour and drained


1 large whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
3 tablespoons Basic Rub for Barbecue or your favorite dry barbecue rub
(all Purpose BBQ Rub Recipe at Bottom)
1 can (12 ounces) beer


1. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body cavities of the chicken. Remove the package of giblets, and set aside for another use. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water. then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the rub inside the body and neck cavities, then rub another 1 tablespoon all over the skin of the bird. If you wish, rub another 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture between the flesh and skin. Cover and refrigerate the chicken while you preheat the grill.
(The All-Purpose BBQ Rub- Recipe is at the bottom of this post)
(When I make Beer Can Chicken I usually do two at a time)

2. Set up the grill for indirect grilling, placing a drip pan in the center. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high; then, when smoke appears, lower the heat to medium.
(On my grill I place the coals on the right side and place a drip pan , if I am using one, on the left side of my grill for indirect grilling. Use the method that works for your size and shape grill. On my grill I mound about 45 coals in a pyramid and light. Once the fire has died down and the coals are all grey, I spread them out on the right side of my grill and put the iron grill grates on. Today I am not using the soaked wood chips because I do not have any. If I was using them I would put a few on top of the hot coals. I am not using the side smoker box today.)

3. Pop the tab on the beer can. Using a "church key"-style can opener , make 3 or 4 holes in the top of the can. Pour out the top inch or a bit more of beer, then spoon the remaining dry rub through the holes into the beer. Holding the chicken upright, with the opening of the body cavity down, insert the beer can into the cavity.

(Now you can Just put the beer can in the butt cavity of the chicken [sometimes this recipe is called Beer Butt Chicken] and stand the chicken tripod style up and that will work, but I have these nifty holders just made for beer can chicken. I got them at target in the BBQ seasonal section. They make the chicken more stable in my opinion but they are not necessary.)
(Another step I do is to place a quartered or halved onion in the neck cavity and pull the chicken skin over and use a skewer to secure everything.)
4. When ready to cook, if using charcoal, toss half the wood chips on the coals. Oil grill grate. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan. Spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod, to support the bird.

5. Cover the grill and cook the chicken, until fall-off-the-bone tender, 2 hours. If using charcoal, add 10 to 12 fresh coals per side and the remaining chips after 1 hour.

6. Using tongs, lift the bird to a cutting board or platter, holding a large metal spatula underneath the beer can for support. (Have the board or platter right next to the bird to make the move shorter. Be careful not to spill hot beer on yourself.) Let stand for 5 minutes before carving the meat off the upright carcass. (Toss the beer can out along with the carcass).

I served these with Grilled Criss Cross Potatoes
and Corn On the Cob

All-purpose Barbecue Rub Recipe

Recipe By: From Beer-Can Chicken by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing)
Yield: Yield: about 3/4 cup


This barbecue rub may be used on poultry, pork, seafood, and all varieties of meat. You can vary the heat level by using hot paprika instead of sweet. Try it with the interesting Beer-Can Chicken recipe.


1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


Put the salt, brown sugar, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix.
Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 6 months.


Excellent with Beer-Can Chicken

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