Recipe: How to Make Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

Numerous men and women credit score grill master Steven Raichlen with inventing beer can rooster. He didn’t. But he did popularize it, bringing the cooking approach from, as he places it, “the barbecue backwoods to the American mainstream.” What Raichlen taught the entire world was that environment a rooster on a beer can to cook upright—thus melting extra fat out and crisping the skin on all sides—is a surefire way to grill a better fowl.

“It’s also amazing,” he provides. “And you should by no means underestimate the amazing element.”



If that seems cavalier, rest assured that Raichlen is something but. Before releasing the preeminent guide on the subject, he place his beer can rooster recipes by means of a barrage of laboratory checks. He proved that no metallic or label dyes had been absorbed by the meat and discovered that the best way to make sure the full point won’t topple over is to take care of the can like a person leg on a tripod—the chicken’s legs currently being the other two.

Raichlen recommends that cooks test out beer can rooster making use of a charcoal grill and by no means place the fowl immediately over the hearth. As a substitute, use oblique heat to crisp the outdoors and maintain the inside of moist. And use a charcoal grill that has sufficient clearance under the lid—this indicates a 22 1/two-inch kettle (18 inches is way too small). From there, it’s just a make any difference of how artistic you want to get.

Steven Raichlen’s Primary Beer Can Rooster

(Serves 4)


  • 1 can (twelve ounces) beer
  • 1 rooster (3 1⁄2 to 4 pounds)
  • two tbsp handmade rub
  • Optional: Fresh herbs, chopped (thyme, oregano, rosemary, and so on.)
  • two tsp vegetable or olive oil
  • two cups wooden chips or chunks (preferably hickory or cherrywood)

Deciding on the correct can: As a substitute of beer, you can also use a can 50 percent total of soda, wine, or fruit juice. Use a twelve-ounce can for a typical rooster, an 8-ounce can for a match hen, and a 1-liter “oil can” for a small turkey. For quail, a small can of pineapple juice is suitable, even though a duck wants a tall boy.


1. Pop the tab off the beer can. Pour 50 percent of the beer out (ideally into a glass for you to consume).

two. Take out the packet of giblets from the system cavity of the rooster and established apart. Take out and discard the extra fat just inside of the system and neck cavities. Rinse the rooster, inside of and out, under chilly managing water and then drain and blot dry, inside of and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the rub inside of the system cavity and 1/two tsp inside of the neck cavity of the rooster. If sought after, insert contemporary, chopped herbs under the chicken’s skin. Drizzle the oil over the outdoors of the fowl and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outdoors of the fowl with 1 tbsp of rub and rub it all over the skin. Spoon the remaining 1 1/two tsp of rub into the beer by means of the gap in the leading of the can. The beer may well foam up—that’s typical.

3. Keep the fowl upright, with the opening of the system cavity experiencing down, and decrease the fowl onto the beer can so the can matches into the cavity. Pull the rooster legs forward to type a type of tripod, letting the fowl to stand upright. The beer can should be the rear leg of the tripod. If cooking on a standup roaster that incorporates a can, fill it with the beer-rub combination and placement the rooster on leading, subsequent the manufacturer’s directions.

4. Tuck the guidelines of the wings powering the chicken’s again.

5. Set up the grill for oblique grilling and preheat to medium. If making use of a charcoal grill, spot a significant drip pan in the middle. If making use of a gasoline grill, spot all the wooden chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch, preheat on large until you see smoke, and then decrease heat to medium.

six. When prepared to cook, if making use of a charcoal grill, toss all of the wooden chips or chunks on the coals. Stand the rooster in the middle of the scorching grate, over the drip pan and absent from the heat. Address grill, and cook rooster until the skin is a dark golden brown and extremely crisp and the meat is cooked by means of (about 180 levels Fahrenheit on an fast-examine meat thermometer inserted in the thickest aspect of a thigh, but not touching the bone), around 1 1/4 to 1 1/two several hours. If making use of a charcoal grill, you are going to require to incorporate twelve contemporary coals for every facet after 1 hour. If the rooster skin starts to brown way too much, loosely tent the fowl with aluminum foil.

7. If cooking on a can, use tongs to maintain the fowl by the can and cautiously transfer it (in an upright placement) to a platter. If cooking on a standup roaster, use oven mitts or pot holders to get rid of the fowl from the grill even though it’s however on the roaster.

8. Let the rooster rest for 5 minutes, then cautiously get rid of the can, using care not to spill the scorching beer or normally melt away by yourself. Halve, quarter, or carve the rooster and serve.

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