Grilled Beer Can Chicken

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Grilled Beer Can Chicken is an ingenious way to prepare chicken that is succulent, juicy, and flavored quite unlike any chicken you’ve ever had. Americans love beer, they love chicken, and they love grilling. So hey – small wonder that this grilled beer can chicken recipe was dreamed up in the backyards of America, eh?

Beer Can Grilled Chicken

(Photo Attributed to: Jack. License –

Grilled Beer Can Chicken Recipe-


You will need: a large (26″ or bigger) kettle grille

  • Fire up your kettle grill with the charcoal arranged in a ring around the perimeter, with the center of the grille’s bottom left open – this is so the heat will be indirect for the grilling.
  • If your chicken still has the neck attached, remove it, and also check the cavity and remove any giblets. Rinse the chicken well and then pat it dry with cloth or paper towels.
  • Rub the chicken all over with the oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons of dry rub seasoning, and rub into the skin well. Set aside for now.
  • Open the can of beer. Pour about 1/2 of the beer into a cup. You can either drink it, or, what I like to do is save it to pour the beer over the hot coal during the grilling – it flavors the steamed heat. Make a second hole in the top of the beer can with a can opener. Add the rest of the dry rub seasoning into the beer can, along with the thyme, rosemary and garlic.
  • Holding the can upright, place the chicken, bottoms up, over the half-empty and herbed beer and slide the chicken down over the can. Fold the wings in back of the chicken and make sure the legs are in front of the can – this will provide a “3-point stance” with the two legs and the can of beer to support the chicken upright as it cooks on the grill. Now place the chicken inside a roasting or baking pan, or any suitable vessel to contain it while it grilles and collects the cooking juices.
  • Place the entire assembly in the center of the grille’s grate, lower the lid on and cook the chicken until golden it is a rich, deep, golden brown – about 1-1/2 hours should do it. It you have an instant-read meat thermometer (an ideal tool for this!) check that the internal thigh areas are 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and 160 degrees in the breast areas. While it cooks, baste the chicken occasionally with the juices collecting in the pan.
  • When done, remove from the grill, exercising caution not to spill any beer left in the can on yourself (it will be scalding hot!) and allow the bird rest for about 8 to 10 minutes before carving. Lay it on its back and use kitchen thongs to remove the beer can.
  • To serve your Grilled Beer Can Chicken, carve up slices of dark and white meat, place on a serving platter, and also pour the remaining beer and juices together in a gravy bowl and set that on the table for au jus.

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