Now that summer’s here, we’ll be grilling and cooking out most of the time. It will be a summer of grilled meats and vegetables with lots of fresh salads. On Memorial Day, we made Grilled Beer Can Chicken. We’ve all had grilled chicken that was so dry that it was inedible. This method of cooking makes the chicken super moist and flavorful.
I wanted to use a flavored beer like Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat or Red’s Apple Ale or even a dark larger, but I didn’t get to the store in time. Instead, I used a light beer. You can also use soda, too. I’ve made this before using 7-Up and root beer. Both were moist and tasty, but I do think I like the beer best. I did not rub my chicken with olive oil, but instead applied a heavy coat of Penzeys Bicentennial Rub (my favorite rub), an authentic colonial poultry and meat rub, all over the chicken, including the cavity. I also added about a teaspoon of minced garlic and a sliver of sliced onion to the beer.
We also made beer can chicken at my dad’s a few weeks ago. He rubbed the chickens down with extra virgin olive oil before applying a different rub on each chicken. The difference is that the olive oil produces much darker skin. The chicken is wonderfully moist and flavorful. I think we’ll be making this a lot this summer.
Grilled Beer Can Chicken Recipe
- 3-1/2 or 4 pound chicken
- 12- ounce can beer or soda
- small potato or onion
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- minced garlic
- chopped onion
- fresh herbs
Light the grill and let the coals get hot and white. Slide the coals to the edges to make a ring.
Clean a whole chicken, removing the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out with cool water. Pat dry with paper towel.
Pour out half the beer or soda. If desired, add smashed garlic clove, a slice of onion, or a tablespoon of fresh herbs to the liquid in the can. Place the can inside the rack, then place the chicken over the can. Stuff the neck cavity with a small potato or onion. If using olive oil, rub generously over chicken then apply a seasoned rub. Place a small tin pie plate in center of grill and fill with about 1/4 cup of water. Place chicken in center of pie plate.
Close the grill lid. Cook chicken for 1-2 hours until internal temperature reaches 180°F and the chicken is dark golden brown and crispy. Note: if you use olive oil, the chicken will become dark brown early. Check internal temperature before eating.
Using tongs, carefully remove chicken from the rack and beer can in an upright position. CAUTION: The liquid hot could be boiling!
Carve or quarter chicken as desired.
Recipe NotesMake sure you use a grill with a lid large enough to cover a chicken standing.
I shared this recipe at some of these awesome parties.