LOOKING for: beer can chicken recipe

ctsuvgalApril 10, 2003

Does anyone have the recipefor Beer Can Chicken? I would like to serve this for my relatives whom I am visiting.

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Here's one, there are several other varieties out there. I think you can use seasonings of your choice, its the cooking method that makes it so good.



This odd recipe makes some of the most moist, succulent, flavorful barbecued chicken I've ever tasted. The secret: an open can of beer is inserted into the cavity of the bird, which is cooked upright on the grill. Besides being incredibly tender, the bird makes a great conversation piece. The recipe was inspired by the Bryce Boar Blazers, a barbecue team from Texas I met at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The proper beverage? Beer, of course.
1 large whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
3 tablespoons Memphis Rub* or your favorite dry barbecue rub
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, the 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 the skin. Cover and refrigerate the chicken while you preheat the grill.

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.

3. Pop the tab on the beer can. Using a "church key" style can opener, make 6 or 7 holes in the top of the can. Pour out the top inch 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.

4. When ready to cook, if using charcoal, toss half the wood chips on the coals. Oil the 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 wood chips after 1 hour.

6. Using tongs, lift the bird to a cutting board or platter, holding the 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.)

*Memphis Rub

1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons accent (MSG; optional)
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Combine all the ingredients in a jar, twist the lid on airtight, and shake to mix. Store away from heat or light for up to six months. Makes about 1/2 cup. Enough for 4 to 6 racks of ribs.

** Indirect grilling on a Charcoal Grill:

To set up you grill for indirect grilling, light the coals. When they are blazing red, use tongs to transfer them to opposite sides of the grill, arranging them in two piles. Some grills have special half-moon-shaped baskets to hold the coals at the sides; others have wire fences that hook onto the bottom gate. Let the coals burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash. Set the drip pan in the center of the grill, between the mounds of coals. Place the food on the grate over the drip pan, and cover the grill. YouÂll need to add about 10 to 12 fresh briquettes to each side after an hour of cooking.

If you want to add a smoke flavor, add 1 to 2 cups of presoaked wood chips, or 2 to 4 chunks, to the coals just before you start to cook, and again whenever you replenish the coals.

Serves 4 to 6.

The Barbecue Bible
Steven Raichlen
Workman Publishing

    Bookmark   April 10, 2003 at 3:01PM
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I am a major, big time, fan of beer can chicken. It produces the moistest, most flavorful chicken I have ever had. We sometimes rotisserie our chicken on the grill, and that comes closest, but does not surpass the beer can chicken.

You can use any flavorings you like. The key is to empty half the beer from the can. You can also substitute any other liquid for the beer.

Add your favorite dry rub or herbs to the can, but make sure there some breathing room inthere. Don't want anything exploding.

Rub the chicken with whatever rub or spice/herb mix you like, and sit the chicken on the can. I place the can/chicken on a foil pan and add some beer, wine, whatever to it so the grease that drips from the chicken doesn't smoke.

Put it on the grill for an hour or so (for a 3-4 lb chicken), turning it at the half hour mark.

Be careful removing the can; be sure to use a good even mitt and you need a good grip. That can may need a little twisting.

I once left 3 chickens sitting on their cans and didn't realize that the heat was up so high on the grill. The birds charred on the outside and I thought they were ruined. They weren't. The inside was wonderfully moist.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2003 at 3:37PM
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I like to rub mine with cajun spices. Then add slices of onion and a garlic clove to the beer.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2003 at 5:51PM
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Another fan of beer can chicken....I like to stick an oiled head of garlic on the chicken where the head was.......and use it on bread......
Don't cook it as long as Lakeguy....find the breast is less dry with about 1 hour to 1 1'4 hours on the fire.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 14, 2003 at 10:16PM
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Linda C is right on the cooking time, about 1.5 hours is what I do depending on the size of the bird.

Have to try that garlic trick next time, love roasted garlic! Thanks for the idea.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2003 at 1:06PM
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Thanks so much for all of your help! I was on vacation and my hostess liked the idea of cooking a chicken in that manner but we needed the recipe and you all came thru for me.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2003 at 8:18PM
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