My inspiration for Beer Can Chicken came in 1999 when we happened to be in New York City and bought a copy of the Times. Steve Raichlen wrote an article entitled “So a Chicken Walks Into a Bar…..”
Over the years, I have pretty much stuck to the same recipe and plan. I use a gas grill, but have cooked my chicken on a covered charcoal grill using indirect heating. I suggest you read the article and follow the expert’s direction. I will add my rub recipe to this post and include some pictures of my latest creation.
As for the beer……. I firmly believe in the quote by Ben Franklin, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” (Even though many say this was a misquote). That said, this recipe is by far the best summer time chicken recipe I have ever seen! I only cook it once or twice each summer, and I firmly believe there is no place for cheap beer in this recipe. I also believe that high fructose corn syrup laced soft drinks don’t belong anywhere, let alone stuffed up a chicken. I never use a whole can of beer – I generally like to place some garlic cloves and onions in the beer can for added flavor. That gives me an excuse to taste test the beer prior to using it in the chicken.
If you have concerns about the chemicals in the beer can, studies have shown it to be safe! There are racks, etc for sale to do beer can chicken in the oven, or to help hold it on the grill. In my humble opinion it is a waste of money. Beer Can Chicken is for summer time grilling. When the cold Wisconsin winter hits, I will add my favorite all time whole chicken oven recipe!
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon pepper (I mix half white and half black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon dryoregano
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix it all together. Wash and dry the chicken, place the rub all over the bird, get underneath the skin the best you can! Keep the chicken in the refrigerator until ready for the grill.
Preheat the grill. Place the beer can in the chicken’s cavity, practice propping the chicken up on its legs. I had one bad experience with a chicken that toppled over on the grill, and now take great care to prop up my chicken carefully. Place the chicken on the preheated grill. I use a Weber Genesis grill, and turn off my middle burner for indirect heating. I adjust the burners to medium, which is about 350 degrees. Sometimes I add wood chips, sometimes I don’t. At this point, check the grill occasionally. I usually check the temperature of the chicken after about 1 hour just to be on the safe side. 165 degrees is the posted temperature for chicken. I generally go a little higher. Make sure the juices run clear.
I placed some garlic cloves and olive oil in aluminum foil on the grill for about 45 minutes. I used the garlic in my mashed potatoes.
Carefully place the chicken and beer can on a platter when done, and let it rest for 15 minutes. I grilled some summer squash while the chicken was resting and mashed my roasted garlic and potatoes. I grab the beer can with tongs, and carefully remove it from the chicken. Cut up the chicken and serve!