Monday, April 13, 2009


Whether it's "Chicken on the Throne", "Beer Can Chicken", "Beer Butt Chicken", or "Beer in the Butt Chicken" this technique for cooking is gaining popularity since it produces such a tender and juicy chicken. You can do this in your smoker, oven, or on the grill. Some people who try it once seldom go back to their old methods of roasting. So what is it?
Basics: The basic process is to take a half full can of beer with the top cut off. Place it where you are going to be doing the cooking and then place the chicken over it so that the beer can is inside the chicken. Since it's advent, people have begun adding all kinds of spices and extras to the beer to make it more flavorful. Generally, you will see garlic, cayenne, diced onions, or cumin added but you can use almost anything you want to.
Why Beer?: So why does this work so well? First of all, you are adding a source of moisture to the chicken that keeps it from drying out. Second, you are adding beer. Now, more than the fact that beer is good, the yeast and malt found in beer reacts with the chicken, particularly the skin, making it thin and crispy while the meat remains juicy. .
Grilling vs Smoking: Like I said, you can do this regardless of how you plan to cook the chicken. Of course, it will turn out differently if you put it on the grill, versus in the smoker, but the basic principles still apply. Cook the chicken as you would normally. Always put something under the chicken like foil or a baking dish to catch the drippings.
Accessories: The biggest problem you might run into is the chicken tipping over. The weight of a half full can of beer just isn't enough to keep the chicken standing, especially if you are doing a large bird. sEE PIC ABOVE, YOU CAN FIND THESE AT ANY KITCHEN STORE AND WALMART.

1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
1 12 ounce can beer (room temperature)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
For Rub:
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Preparation:Combine all rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Remove giblets and the neck from chicken. Sprinkle all over with rub, including cavity. Open can of beer and discard half of it. Place, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in it. Make sure to pierce two more holes on the top of beer can. Place chicken on top of can.
Preheat grill. Place birds grill balanced by the beer cans. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until internal temperature of thigh is 180 degrees. Remove chicken when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes before carving.

TIP: we put the bird in a pan before putting it on the grill and then we plug up the neck hole on the bird with a small potato. The potato helps keep the steam inside the bird to make it extra juicy and the pan catches any juices to keep the grill a little cleaner. BONUS - the potato bakes at the same time for a yummy side dish! Also, with about 30-45 minutes of cook time left, we'll add some chunked up veggies (potatoes, carrots, sweet onions) to the bottom of the pan. Just season them with salt and pepper, coat them in olive oil, and dump them in. The juice that drips down from the chicken give them a great flavor!

1 comment:

  1. Sam loves anything that involves beer so we will for sure try this!