i have to admit i always thought “beer can” chicken was a gimmick. i had it once years ago and it wasn’t memorable experience. recently, my sister in-law was visiting and said we had to give it another try and i was amazed at the results. crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. we’ve made it a few more times and served it to some folks who really enjoy food, had never heard of the technique and looked on with skeptically raised eyebrows until they tasted it.
there some debate about whether or not the beer is actually doing anything but the folks america’s test kitchen give it their approval and my taste buds give it two thumbs up. do note that the beer increases the chances of undercooking the chicken so make sure to get the chicken to 165 degrees F throughout.
we haven’t used any rubs but i’m sure you could and it’d be mighty tasty.
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 can beer
– heat grill to 410 degrees F. use indirect heat ( i.e. don’t turn on burner under the chicken ).
– prepare the chicken as you normally would. rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry. then rub chicken lightly with oil and sprinke on salt, pepper inside and outside the bird
– open the beer can and drink half of it. some recipes recommend poking several more holes in the top of the can.
– place beer can in bird’s cavity. this can be tricky and it might require two people if you’re not coordinated.
– holding the beer can with an oven mitt place the chicken on the center of the hot grill and carefully balance the bird. i rest it against the grate on the back of the grill and use the legs and the beer can like a three legged stool.
– cook for 75 minutes or so until the bird has reached 165 degrees F throughout. take several measurements.
– carefully remove from the grill ( this can also be tricky and if you’re not careful you’ll end up with greasy beer all over the place ) and let rest for 10 minutes or so.