How do you Cook Beer Can Chicken?

Want to try beer can chicken?

Beer can chicken is one of the most talked about recipes on the internet. While the basic way of cooking beer can chicken is the same, the flavor in the can is varied in some recipes. So what is beer can chicken to begin with. Beer can chicken that goes by other names like beer butt chicken, chicken on a throne, is a novel way to cook your chicken on the grill.

You place the chicken on a can of beer in such a manner that its legs face downwards and the wings are up. While the basic recipe calls for the beer can to just hold beer, today several herbs are added to the can of beer to add flavor to the chicken on the grill.

Herbs, rub, garlic, and onion are just a few of the many ingredients that can be added into the can of beer to enhance the flavor of the chicken.

The chicken is seated upright on the grill, or in the cooker, or even the oven, with the can supporting it. After the designated cooking time, what do we get? Chicken that is moist and juicy suffused with the many flavors added in the can! Some add yeast and malt that renders a thin and crispy outer layer to the dish.

If you are tired of the same old chicken dinner, it is time you try this new dish that is robust with flavors, that will have you asking for more. While most people vouch that beer can chicken baked or grilled tastes amazing, we personally suggest grilling.

What will you need?

  • 1 whole chicken that weighs about 4 pounds
  • A 12 Oz beer can
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • For the rub-
  • 1 tbsp of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Method of preparation

  1. Prepare the simple spice rub, by just mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl. The ingredients will make about 4 tbsp of the spice rub.
  2. Clean the chicken well and pat dry. Sprinkle 1½ tsp of the rub into the large cavity and another ½ tsp inside the neck cavity of the bird.
  3. Carefully coat the bird with olive oil, making sure all sides of the chicken is well coated and covered.
  4. Slowly sprinkle 2 tbsp of the rub on the exterior covering it evenly.
  5. Pour out one thirds of the beer in the can and make small holes on the top to vent the can well. This will allow steam to be easily released once the chicken is ready.
  6. Add the remaining of the rub into the can of beer that will act as a mild flavoring to the chicken. You may add other herbs like sage, garlic, or any other herb that you fancy to the can of beer.
  7. Now slide the chicken over the beer can. Pull the legs forward while tucking in the wings behind.
  8. Now place the chicken on the grill, and cook it over medium heat for best results. Cook for at least an hour and a half. Check the temperature in the thigh to check the doneness. A 170 deg F measured is sign that the chicken is ready.
  9. Remove from grill and tent with foil. Allow the chicken to cool for at least 20 minutes before you start carving.

The temperature gradually rises to 180 deg F, further cooking the chicken to perfection.

Take the can off and carve. Garnish and serve!

This dish just takes about 15 minutes of preparation time and one and half hours of cooking time, and serves four persons.The calorific value of each serving is approximately 600 calories!



  • Before you start, make sure that the can of beer you choose easily fits into the chicken. Neither do you want to have trouble trying to fit it in, over a live fire, nor have a struggle trying to pry it out later.
  • You can try holding the bird upright with the large cavity facing downwards, to ease the can into the chicken.
  • Oil the can, as this helps in easily removing the can once the chicken is grilled.
  • If you are roasting the bird on an over, pre heat the oven to 350 deg F and then place the chicken in.
  • To remove the can use folded papers to insulate your skin. Hold the can in one hand and the pry the chicken out using the other hand.
  • Avid grillers also use mason jars in place of beer cans for better results. Some also use wine instead of beer.
  • If you have added many spices in the can, you can also cut off the top of the can that will add more moisture and allow for flavors to seep better than through holes.
  • Try to work your rub under the skin more than the exteriors.
  • If the fire on your grill is on one side, make sure you rotate the bird by a 180 degrees every half hour to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a wedge of onion to seal the neck. This will hold in the moisture and flavors inside!

This is just a basic recipe of beer can chicken. You can experiment with the spice rub by adding other ingredients of your choice. Some people also use wet rubs that is a mixture of oils and spices to add to the flavor of the chicken.

A few attempts and you will soon master one of the best variants of this sumptuous delight. Try out this quintessential recipe at your next barbecue party. This simply mouth watering delicious dish is sure to have you showered with compliments.