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How to Make Beer Can Chicken

How to Make Beer Can Chicken

By: Melissa Hildreth | Jun 22, 2016 | Beer and Food

I've always seen recipes for it, but my lack of grilling experience always made me hesitate. Beer can chicken is one of those awesome summertime backyard recipes that never lets you down. Between seeing the chicken perched up on the grill, how juicy it comes out because of the steam and the fact that you HAVE to drink half of the beer you're using. It's a winner in my book.

Basics of the Beer Can Chicken recipe:

- 1 4-6 Pound Whole Chicken
- Your favorite spice rub mixture
- Canola Oil
- Beer Can of your choice

Get grill going at a medium heat. Clean Chicken and get rid of the extra bits (giblets). Rinse Chicken off under running water, pat dry and put on large enough plate to season up. Rub chicken down with Oil and then apply spice mix liberally. I used a mixture of Onion, Garlic, Pepper, Salt, Cayenne & Smoked Paprika On my birds. Get out your beer can and drink half of whatever you're choosing to use. Gently sit the chicken down on the beer can. Use the chicken legs & can as a tripod. Place on warmed grill offset from direct heat. Close grill lid and get cooking! For a 4 pound chicken it will be approximately 1.5 hours, add more time for larger chicken. Check for temp around 165F at breast, 180F at leg. Let rest for 15 minutes grab a beer and dig in!

My Alton Brown Moment

I wanted to take my first experience with this recipe to a slightly more experimental level. I know that when you bake or put together a roast with beer, the type of beer is pretty important. My question for this recipe was.... Did it matter or change the outcome of flavor depending on the style of beer? I purchased 3 chickens and grabbed 3 different beers, all of different styles. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner & New Belgium Fat Tire were readily available and all different enough that hopefully I could see a difference in the result of the chicken.

Beer Can Chicken Results

Firstly, the chicken looked kind of hilarious. They sat there perched on the grill together, just like best friends getting themselves a suntan. After they were done cooking away I let them sit for 15 and carved them up. I luckily had a bunch of people over and it worked out perfectly because 1) there was sooooo much chicken to be eaten and 2) I could get plenty of different peoples tastebuds involved. Results were that sadly, it didn't really matter what beer you used. The only real thing that everyone agreed upon was that it was incredibly juicy and delicious, and that the chicken with the Fat Tire seemed to have a slightly more caramelized taste to the chicken skin.

Regardless of my disappointment in lack of taste variety it was still an awesome Sunday spent outside with friends and family. Nothing brings people together better than a backyard grill cooked meal and delicious beer!

Try it at home with some other varieties, maybe a Guinness or a cider? Let me know how you make out!
Melissa Hildreth

Melissa Hildreth

Melissa Hildreth is a German fräulein and loves her beer and bratwurst. Melissa is an advocate for following your passions in life, no matter how ridiculous. She will dance the night away if the moment is right. Some have said she has an unhealthy relationship with chicken wings, but is there even really such a thing?! She also happens to be a Certified Cicerone/Mother of Dragons in case anyone’s asking.

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