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Beer Can Chicken
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/ Beer Can Chicken

Ribs on the grill image

Beer can chicken is a method of cooking chicken in the oven or a covered grill that allows the chicken to stand up on end by propping it up on a beer can (or soup can or any other heat proof container that you can fit in a chicken.

There are several advantages to this method of cooking a chicken in your oven. You can put water, wine, beer and aromatic herbs in the can to flavor and retain moisture. Also the chicken does not cook in the grease that melts into the roasting pan and it cooks and browns evenly. Although this can be achieved with a beer can we recommend purchasing a stand. You can search for "chicken roaster rack' or 'beer can chicken rack'. There are many good ones but the best are sturdy easy to clean.

Beer can chicken racks are effective yet simple devices that easily hold a beer can and stabilizes the chicken securely in the middle of a roasting pan. We have used small glass jars when a can was not available.

When you make chicken this way you can flavor the liquid in the can any way you like. The image to the left is chicken rubbed with Jamaican Jerk dry rub and the can is about 1/2 full of chicken stock and fresh thyme. This has a nice aroma and keeps moisture inside the chicken. The pan it is sitting in is 1/4 full of water to add moisture to the heat as to keep the chicken succulent.

The Beer Can used in Beer Can Chicken

For most beer can chicken recipes the beer can actually has beer in it. This is fine but the beer can can be used to infuse much more flavor than just beer, especially if you drink crappy beer with little flavor. Below are some ideas for cooking beer can chicken with the beer can used as an infuser for some excellent flavors and smells. We always rub the chicken inside and out with oil (vegetable oil, olive oil or butter) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Better yet would be using using Knox's Yummy Chicken dry rub seasoning or your seasoning of choice.

Also we always place the chicken on the rack in a pan with some water in it. This keeps the heat wet so the chicken does not dry out as quickly. The recipes below are the ingredients that go into the beer can no matter what you season the chicken with.

Chicken can be cooked in an oven or on a covered grill. When the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken registers 170 degrees the chicken is done. Times vary with temperature, see our chicken cooking chart.

Whiskey infused Chicken

Fill beer can half full of bourbon.

Indonesian Flavors

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 allspice berries
  • Peel from 1/2 orange cut into strips

Citrus Beer Can Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice




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