Yeah, we know, we’re about 15 years late with this beer can chicken recipe. Although better late than never when we’re talking about a recipe that turns out such shatteringly crisp chicken skin yet tremendously moist chicken meat the likes of which we’d never before seen. If you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some chickens to cram on cans…–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Wait, It Gets Even Better Note
Apartment dwellers and grill phobes, rejoice! Beer can chicken can also be made in the oven, rather than the grill, for year-round beer can chicken indulging. Just check out the instructions for the oven variation found beneath the recipe.
Special Equipment: About 2 cups wood chips (preferably hickory or pecan)
Beer Can Chicken Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 8
- For the dry rub
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- For the chicken
- 2 (12-ounce) cans beer, hard cider, even sparkling wine
- Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens
- Make the dry rub
- 1. Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Make the chicken
- 2. Place 2 cups wood chips (we prefer hickory or pecan but by all means don’t use a soft wood like pine) in a 6-by-6-inch or 7-by-7-inch aluminum pan. Douse with 1/3 of the beer, wine, or cider from both cans (about 4 ounces or 1/4 cup total). Let soak for 1 hour.
- 3. Massage the chickens with the dry rub. There’s no need to be perfect here, but the more evenly the rub is applied, the more perfectly seasoned the skin that you’ll be fighting over.
- 4. Arrange the charcoal on one side of the grill and light it. Once the coals are almost ready, drain the wood chips and place them in the foil pan directly over the charcoal. Place 1 can beer up each chicken’s back end and set each chicken in an empty foil pan. Place the birds on the other side of the grill from the wood chips and charcoal. Cover the grill and let it do its thing until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 165°F (74°C) on a thermometer, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of your birds and the temperature of your grill.
- 5. Use a pair of tongs to grab the can and another pair to grab the bird, and pull the bird off the can. Be careful, as there will be steam coming from the cans. Put the birds on a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve or pull off the meat.
Beer Can Chicken in the Oven Variation
- To make beer can chicken in the oven, arrange the chickens side by side in a roasting pan after you situate them on their beer can perches. Carefully slide the roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven and roast at 375°F (191°C) until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 165°F (74°C) on a thermometer, 45 to 70 minutes, depending on the size of your chickens.
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