Happy Memorial Day!!!
What better way to celebrate the beginning of grilling season then with beer can chicken? Its beer, chicken and a grill! all the things summer is famous for.
This chicken was actually the first large cut of meat I ever made on the grill. At first it seems intimidating but its really easy, all you need is a whole chicken and a can of beer. Actually I’m told you can use soda too but I’ve never tried, the alcohol cooks out and you don’t really taste the beer, it just adds moisture to the bird and helps the skin brown and crisp.
You’ll want a small chicken around 5lbs. Also they sell stands to hold the beer can, it makes the process easier (I found mine at Lowes in the BBQ section). You will also need some wood chips and your favorite spice rub.
Once you have everything together you rub the chicken with oil then coat it with the spice rub making sure to get it everywhere, even inside the cavity and under the wings. Place that in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight. After the chicken has been marinated lite up your grill with the charcoal on 1 side, this will create a indirect heat source. When the grill is ready take your chicken and either place it on the stand or on top of the beer can with its legs out to prop it up like a tri-pod. You need about 3/4 of a 12oz can so you’ll want to either pour out or drink some of the beer.
Place the the standing chicken on the grill away from the charcoals. Then add some wood chips directly on top of the charcoal (soak the chips for about 30 min first). This will create the smoke that will give the chicken all kinds of flavor. Cover the grill and walk away. Now all you need to do is check on the chicken to make sure there is still charcoal or to add more wood chips. It should take about 1.5 hours co finish cooking.
When your done you end up with a tender and juicy chicken with a smokey flavor and wonderfully crispy skin.
Beer Can Chicken
1 can (12 ounces) beer (I’ve used light and a stout either works)
1 chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
2 tablespoons Commercial Barbecue Rub
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
You’ll also need:
-2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or cherry), soaked for 1 hour in water
-Vertical chicken roaster (optional)
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the rub inside the Chicken cavity and 1/2 teaspoon inside the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle the oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of rub and rub it all over the skin. Place chicken in Refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight
If cooking on a can: Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity. Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can. If cooking on a Stand: follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.
When ready to cook toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through (about 180F degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh, but not touching the bone), 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add fresh coals or wood chips after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.