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Beer Can Chicken

User Rating 5 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Beer Can Chicken
This basic variation of the "beer in the butt" chicken recipe combines the flavors of a great spice rub with the flavors steamed out of the beer can.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 12 ounce can beer (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • For Rub:
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


Combine all rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Remove giblets and the neck from chicken. Sprinkle all over with rub, including cavity. Open can of beer and discard half of it. Place, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in it. Make sure to pierce two more holes on the top of beer can. Place chicken on top of can.

Preheat grill for a medium heat. Place birds on grill balanced by the beer cans. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until internal temperature of thigh is 180 degrees. Remove chicken when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes before carving.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
This is SO Good!, Member CALouise

This is a great summer meal because it cooks up quickly, it uses chicken and vegetables, and it cooks outside, so the kitchen stays cool. The first time, I propped the chicken on a pan (instead of on the grill directly) and then filled the pan with potatoes at the last 30 minutes and let them cook in the chicken drippings at the same time. The potatoes were great but I had to finish them in the oven to fully cook them; the next time I will put them in the potatoes in at the start of the process, versus the last 30 minutes, to ensure they cook all the way. The next time I cooked the recipe, I put cut up summer squash (zucchini and yellow) plus some onion in the pan, put them in at the start, and let that cook in the chicken juices as the chicken roasted. IT WAS FABULOUS. It has become my favorite way to eat squash. The other thing I did was after I propped the chicken on the beer can, I made sure I blocked the other end with a piece of potato (or squash, or onion) so that the steam stays inside the chicken. I have also used this recipe for Cornish game hens; I had to use smaller cans (Red Bull, as it turn out, but I used beer instead of Red Bull) They turned out great, too. The hardest thing about this recipe is removing the chicken from the hot can without spilling everything all over the place. Otherwise it is really easy.

190 out of 198 people found this helpful.

See all 4 reviews

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How to Make Beer Can Chicken
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