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How to Grill Beer Can Chicken?

how to grill beer can chicken

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Grilled chicken is a staple meat in the grilling world. A plump, juicy piece of chicken goes well with any side dish. Don’t just grill chicken the next time you have company over. Instead, offer your guests an experience by grilling a whole chicken on top of a can of beer. Better yet, create Smoked Beer Can Chicken in your smoker. Beer Can Grilled Chicken is simple and delicious. Your family and guests will devour the juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat that is tenderized by the beer.

Grilled Beer Can Chicken takes a whole chicken and flavors it with spices. Then, the bird is grilled with a beer can inside. The result will be juicy, tender meat with skin that is golden brown and crispy.

What Kind of Beer is Best for Beer Can Chicken?

Let’s begin with the beer. You may be wondering if a certain type of beer is preferred for Beer Can Chicken. The reality is that you can use whatever type of beer you prefer. This recipe requires that you use only half a can of beer in the chicken. It might be advisable for you to choose a beer that you like to drink. Ideally, you want to choose a lager that is not too bitter or too hoppy. The best beer for Beer Can Chicken will be the beer that you probably already have in your refrigerator right now.

What Size Chicken is Best for Beer Can Chicken?

Imagine, soon you will have a full chicken sitting on top of a can of beer in your grill. You can imagine the top-heaviness that is about to be resting vertically in your grill. Beer Can Grilled Chicken requires a 4-pound whole chicken. This size of chicken will balance easily atop of the beer can.

Ensuring that the chicken is cooked thoroughly must also be one of your concerns. If the chicken is too large, the cooking time will be longer and the chicken may get too dry. In order to keep your grilling time to a reasonable amount of time, choose about a 4-pound chicken.

How to Make Grilled Beer Can Chicken?


  1. ½ Can Beer, room temperature
  2. 1 Whole 4 lb. Chicken
  3. 2 TBSP Canola Oil
  4. 1 ½ TBSP Salt
  5. 1 ½ TBSP Oregano
  6. 1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
  7. 1 TBSP Cumin
  8. 2 TSP Garlic Powder
  9. 2 TSP Onion Powder
  10. 1 TSP Chili Powder
  11. 1 ½ TSP Black Pepper
grilled beer can chicken
  1. Make sure that the giblets and neck have been removed from inside the chicken. Rinse the chicken thoroughly with cold water. Then, pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. In a bowl mix together the salt, oregano, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and chili powder. This spice mix is so important. Rub the seasoning mixture over the entire chicken, inside and out.
  3. Place the uncovered chicken on a plate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Allowing the chicken to dry out in the refrigerator will help the chicken skin to crisp while grilling.
  4. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat. It is important to cook the chicken with indirect heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the chicken is on the grate with the lit charcoal pile to the side of the chicken. A gas grill should have the burners lit on either side of the bird. You want the heat to surround the bird, but not be directly under the chicken.
  5. Grab the can of room temperature beer and pour half of it out of the can. Place the chicken on top of the beer can. The beer can should be securely in the cavity of the bird. Stand the chicken in an aluminum pan. Tuck the chicken wings behind the bird and the legs in front of the chicken to support the weight. Note: There are special racks designed to hold the beer can snuggly inside the chicken. A beer can chicken rack will keep the chicken from falling over or being unsteady on the grill. A beer can chicken rack will make this cooking posture easier, but it is not required.
  6. Once the chicken is secure in its freestanding position, cover the chicken with the tablespoon of canola oil.
  7. Place the pan holding the chicken on the grill in the area with indirect heat. Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for at least 45 minutes with the grill lid closed.
  8. After 45 minutes, insert the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer into the meaty part of the thigh. Be careful not to touch the bone. The thermometer must reach 175 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the chicken is finished cooking. If the chicken needs to cook longer, allow it to cook for 30 more minutes. Then, check the temperature again.
  9. Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the grill. Use extreme caution when removing the beer can from the chicken. The beer will be very hot! Slide the chicken off the can and wrap it in aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. The meat will slide right off the bone. The skin will be crispy and the meat of the chicken will be juicy. The chicken is beautiful served whole on a platter, sliced or pulled off the bone.

Expert Tips for Making Perfect Beer Can Chicken

grilled beer can chicken internal temperature
  1. Smoked Beer Can Chicken can be achieved by smoking the chicken in a smoker set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ hours. Simply season the chicken as listed in the recipe above. Place the beer can inside the chicken. Then, cook in the smoker. Smoking is a great way to add extra flavor to the chicken.
  2. Use a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer. Chicken is a meat that must be cooked thoroughly. Undercooked chicken is dangerous because of salmonella and other bacteria. Be careful to cook your chicken all the way through. The correct grill temp for Beer Can Chicken is 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh. You must also use caution to ensure that you don’t overcook the chicken. Dry chicken is hard to swallow and can ruin your meal. The ThermoPro Meat Thermometer will tell you when your chicken is the perfect temperature.
  3. Liberally use a good dry rub and seasonings. A can of beer inside a chicken does not ensure a flavorful chicken. The beer will evaporate and infuse the chicken with juices. However, you must use salt and other good seasonings to flavor the chicken.
  4. Prep the whole chicken ahead of time. Your whole chicken can be seasoned and refrigerated up 2 days before you will cook it. Apply the seasonings and dry rub to the chicken. Then, seal the chicken in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Before you plan to grill the chicken, unseal the chicken and allow it to sit in the refrigerator uncovered for at least 3 hours. When you are ready to grill the chicken, simply pull it out of the refrigerator.

How to Deal with Beer Can Chicken Leftovers?

1. How to store leftovers:

If you have any leftovers, take the remaining chicken off the bone. You can store leftover Beer Can Grilled Chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze your Grilled Beer Can Chicken leftovers for up to 4 months. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and then put it in a freeze-grade plastic storage bag.

2. How to use leftover Beer Can Chicken:

Leftover Beer Can Chicken is great the next day in chicken tacos or chicken salad sandwiches. Grilled Beer Can Chicken would also make a flavorful base to chicken and rice soup. A bed of green lettuce would be delicious with Grilled Beer Can Chicken and your other favorite salad toppings. Simply remove the chicken completely from the bones and add to your next chicken recipe.


Beer Can Grilled Chicken is a recipe that you will make over and over again. The taste and ease of this chicken recipe will keep calling you back for more. This combination of spices and beer will infuse your chicken with flavor. Use a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer to confirm that your chicken is thoroughly cooked. You won’t have to cut open the chicken and look to make sure that all the pink coloring is gone. Keep your beautiful, whole chicken intact by using the probe of the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer. One tiny insertion will give you confidence that your chicken is thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature of the thigh must be 175 degrees Fahrenheit. With the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer, you will know exactly when your Grilled Beer Can Chicken is ready.

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