Beer Can Chicken
by Mary Rogers

URL Source:
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Food Group: Poultry
Serves: 6


1 can(s) Beer
2 teaspoon(s) Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoon(s) brown sugar
2 teaspoon(s) sweet paprika
1 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground pepper
1 whole Chicken (about 4 pounds)
Cola Barbeque Sauce
1/2 cup(s) cola
1/2 cup(s) ketchup
2 tablespoon(s) Worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon(s) instant onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon(s) instant minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) steak sauce
1/2 teaspoon(s) liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper


1.  Remove & discard giblets & neck from chicken.  Rinse chicken with cold water, pat dry.  Trim excess fat.  Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers or wooden spoon, gently pushing between skin & meat. 

2.  Mix together salt, sugar, paprika & pepper.  Rub 2 teaspons mixture under loosened skin, rub 2 teaspoons in body cavity, rub 2 teaspoons over skin.  reserve remaining mixture to add to beer can. Place chicken on wire rack set into rimmed cookie sheet. 

3.  Let chicken rest for 8-48 hours, uncovered in refrigerator. 

4.  Preheat gas grill by turning all burners on high for 10-15 minuites. ( If using charcoal, prepare for indirect grilling by placing a disposable aluminum foil pan in center of grill, arrange charcoal around pan, heat to medium.)

5.  Open beer, drink half.  Carefully pierce top of beer can with church-key can opener several times.  Slowly add reserved spice mixture.  Salt may cause beer to foam. 

6.  Coat grill rack with cooking spray or oil drenched paper towels (use tongs!). 

7.  Holding chicken upright with the body cavity facing down, insert beer can into cavity. Can drizzle olive oil or melted butter onto chicken skin.

8.  Place chicken on grill rack, spread legs to form a tripod to support the ckicken.  Turn off center heat source, lower front & back burners to low.  Cover and grill 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers 180 degrees.  At 45 minutes you can brush with more oil or melted butter.

9.  Life chicken slightly using tongs, place spatula under can.  Carefully life chicken and can, place on a cutting board.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Gently life chicken using tongs or insulated rubber gloves; carfully twist can and remove from cavity (be careful, fluid in can will be HOT).  Discar can and contents.

10.  Carve chicken.  Serve with Cola sauce, if desired.


Combine cola and remaining sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 6 minutes.  Cool, serve with chicken.

Notes:Kitchen stores sell a beer can "roaster" for $7, very useful but not necessary. We like the flavor of the chicken and rarely prepare the sauce but I included it for those who prefer a "saucier" chicken. ENJOY!