The best beer can chicken recipe is a fun way to cook a whole chicken. Whether you make this recipe on the grill or in the oven, it’s a flavorful, moist meat that falls off the bone. The skin is full of seasoning and crispy. Yet, it is easy to prepare and even easier to cook.
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to cook chicken, then beer can chicken is definitely the way to go. Just season a chicken with a spice rub, place it on a can of beer, and roast in the oven or on a grill. The resulting bird will be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Serve with your favorite sides for a tasty meal everyone will love.
What is beer can chicken?
Beer can chicken is a method of cooking a whole chicken. A can of beer is placed in the cavity of the bird prior to cooking in an oven or on a grill. With the chicken sitting upon the beer can, it is cooked in an upright position. The result is tender, juicy, and delicious meat.
Is beer can chicken and beer butt chicken the same thing?
Yes! They are one in the same. They both refer to cooking a chicken upright with a can of beer placed into the cavity of the chicken.
Pro Tips for the Best Beer Can Chicken Recipe
Get ready for a tender, falling-off-the-bone whole chicken that’s moist on the inside and crispy on the outside with this recipe. This is one of our favorite recipes especially in the summer during BBQ season.
What is the best beer to use? Quite a few recipes call for a lager; however, any beer will work from a light beer to a honey flavored beer. Often people will use what they like to drink and that will work perfectly fine in this recipe.
Dry Spice Rub. This dish uses a fair amount of spices. Some people put it on the skin dry and rub it in. I find that it is better to mix it with the oil or butter first then rub it on. The extra oils help crisp up the skin and keep the spices adhered.
Cook the Chicken in an Upright Position. Balance the chicken on the can or place the can in a holder made specially for this cooking technique. It will help stabilize the bird better. However, either way works.
Use a Drip Pan. Use an aluminum pie plate large enough to hold the beer can and chicken. This catches all the drippings and reduces flare-ups. A baking sheet will work well for this too.
Add Wood Chips to the Grill. Adding wood chips to a grill will combine a delicious smoky flavor with the spices.
What can I use instead of beer?
Non-alcoholic beer, soda, apple cider, chicken stock, and wine can all be used in place of the beer can. However, you will need a container in the shape of a can to place into the cavity.
What to Serve with Beer Can Chicken?
This is a deliciously moist chicken recipe and its perfect for grilling on a hot summer day.
How Long Will Cooked Chicken Last in the Refrigerator?
Store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last up to 5 days.
Great Recipe for Freezer Meals
This is also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. Just cool to room temperature, quarter up the cooked chicken and place in an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you are ready to enjoy this dish again, just thaw in the refrigerator and reheat.
Sometimes, I will make an extra just so I can freeze extras for an easy meal later.
The Best Beer Can Chicken Recipe
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 1 Whole Chicken 5 pound
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Canola oil or Melted butter
- 1 Can Beer 3/4 full at room temperature
Dry Spice Rub
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
- Preheat your grill or oven to a medium-high heat 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold running water. Remove any giblets and neck from the inside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This helps the dry rub adhere to the chicken skin better. Set the chicken aside
- In a small bowl, prepare the dry spice rub. Combine the oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, dried thyme, paprika, and chili powder.
- Drizzle the oil on the outside of the chicken and rub the spices all over the chicken including the inside chicken cavity.
- Next open the beer and pour our 1/4 of the can.
- Place the open can of beer in a beer can chicken holder and place the holder on a baking sheet. Next lower the chicken over the can, placing the open cavity of the chicken on top of the beer can. The chicken should be sitting upright at this point.
- Oven baking instructions. Place the chicken on the beer can on the baking sheet into the oven. Roast for approximately 1 hour. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Continue roasting and checking the internal temperature every 10 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Gas grilling instructions. Once the grill has been preheated, turn off one grill burner. Place the chicken standing on the can in this area to grill over indirect heat. Reduce the heat to a medium temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the grill and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Continue roasting and checking the internal temperature every 10 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Charcoal grilling instructions. If you are using a charcoal grill, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. Once the coals are ready, place the chicken over the side without the charcoal for indirect cooking. Close the grill and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Continue roasting and checking the internal temperature every 10 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For extra crispy skin when grilling, turn the heat up to high 425 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook for 10 minutes. The result is a delicious juicy meat with a flavorful and crispy skin.
- Lift the chicken, beer can still inside, and move it to a tray. No matter which cooking method is being used, cover the chicken with a sheet of aluminum foil and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will help seal the juices inside. Quarter the chicken with a meat knife and serve.