Taste preference is important in selecting beer. Some people are militant about this decision. Many will argue that stout is the only beer for beer can chicken, while others favor any beer but stout. I don't want to get into that here. Personally, I like a good, malty beer with lots of flavor. (My friend Bryce has much more to say on the subject).
If you don't like beer, there are other options. Wine has become a popular substitution for this recipe. People who prefer to keep their alcohol far from their food (and themselves) as possible, have started using canned chicken broth with seasonings in it. The flavor combination is entirely up to you. Just make sure there is a good source of liquid to keep the chicken moist as it cooks.
In fact, an actual beer can isn't required for this recipe. It is quite common to see avid grillers using one pint mason jars instead of cans. There are also a wide range of chicken roasters on the market that do exactly what the can will, but at higher cost.
Having said all that, the ingredients for this recipe are:
- 1 whole 5 to 6 pound chicken
- 1 can of beer
- 1 cup spice rub
- A wedge of onion
Tip 1: Before we get started. Make sure that the can of beer fits inside the chicken. You don't want to fight with this over a live fire.
Tip 2: Make sure the place that you set the chicken is tall enough for it to be in a upright position. You don't want to lower the lid of your grill only to find that the chicken doesn't fit.