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Beer Can Chicken

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in food

Are you craving a moist roasted chicken that is easy to make with minimal cleanup? Do you hate basting a chicken and cleaning up a roaster pan when you’re done? Beer Can Chicken, also known as Beer Butt Chicken, is a great recipe to meet your cravings. Beer Can Chicken can be made in the oven or on the grill. 

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Winter Months

During winter months, you may not want to fire up your grill or go outside in the elements. Beer Can Chicken in the oven is an easy way to prepare and pop your Beer Can Chicken into your oven for an easy and delicious meal. 

Summertime 

When the weather starts to warm up, the last thing you might want to do is turn on your oven when you’re craving a roasted chicken. Using your grill is a great way to get outside but still have the food you’re craving. Beer Can Chicken on the grill can fulfill your craving and make sure that your chicken is moist and delicious. 

Preparation Time

Preparation time is minimal for Beer Can Chicken. Once the chicken is on the grill, all you will need to do is check the grill temperature. No basting is needed because the beer is steaming your chicken from the inside. This ensures that the chicken breasts are as moist as dark meat. Once you close your grill, you will not need to open your grill for one hour. This will allow you plenty of time to prepare any of your favorite side dishes.

Why Beer?

We would like to think that it’s a great excuse to drink beer and cook, but the beer actually serves a purpose. When the beer boils, it is steaming the chicken from the inside while the grill gives a nice crispy and browned skin for all to enjoy. The steam keeps meat moist and will not dry the meat out. 

Why is the beer can ⅔ full? 

Drinking ⅓ of the can, while enjoyable, gives the beer space to boil inside the can without overflowing onto your grill. We particularly enjoy drinking the beer we removed from the can after the grill has been closed and the chicken has begun cooking. 

Cleanup is a Breeze!

There is minimal cleanup when making Beer Can Chicken. A roasting pan can be very difficult to clean after using an oven and basting continually. When you use a grill for Beer Can Chicken, you will need to clean a bowl for rub, a tray for your chicken, and the Beer Can Chicken Holder. 

Beer Can Chicken Rub

The combination of the Beer Can Chicken Rub ingredients gives a subtle sweet and spicy taste that will not overwhelm even the pickiest of eaters. It will pair well with any of your favorite side dishes. We paired our chicken with roasted asparagus and air fried baby potatoes. 

Don’t Like Dry Chicken Breasts?

Are you frustrated with the dry breast meat or the skin not sharing any of the seasonings with the rest of the meat? One frustration, when roasting a whole chicken, is in order to cook the entire bird to temperature, the breast meat turns out dry when compared to the dark meat. Another frustration is that the rub is attached to the skin and if you’re not a skin enthusiast., the skinless meat can taste blah. We have a solution for you! Try injecting the entire chicken (especially the breast meat) with a meat injector.

Beer Can Chicken Injection Solution

Using the same rub mixture with some butter and chicken broth, you can easily inject the sauce solution into the bird and transfer the deliciousness of the outside of the bird to the inside and make sure that the meat that is usually dry will be “melt in your mouth” tender. See below for recipe and instructions.

No Grill? 

If you don’t have a grill, don’t fret. You can make Beer Can Chicken  in your oven as well. Make sure to place your Beer Can Chicken with the beer and Beer Can Chicken Holder on an oven safe tray and place carefully in a 325 degree oven. Check the internal temperature after one hour.

Important Reminders

  1. Make sure your raw chicken is completely dry before applying the olive oil. Any moisture on the raw bird will not allow the oil to create a surface to the rub to stick to. 
  2. Make sure to turn off the burner directly under the chicken. This will allow it to cook by indirect heat. Direct heat will burn the outside of the chicken. 
  3. When removing the Beer Can Chicken from the grill, use silicone grilling gloves and caution. The beer will be boiling inside the chicken. Any tools like tongs might allow the chicken to slip. 

What you need:

Injector

Beer Can Holder

Meat Thermometer

Silicone Grilling Gloves

Beer Can Chicken

  • Level: Easy   
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes   
  • Cook Time 1-1 ½ hours   
  • Serves: 4

Bear Can Chicken Recipe

  • 4-5 lb whole chicken (raw)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 12oz. can of beer (any brand or flavor)

 

Beer Can Chicken Rub Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme

Beer Can Chicken Injection Solution Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • ½ cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rub mix (above)

Instructions

  1. Combine and mix all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. If injecting the bird, in a small saucepan, melt the butter. 
  3. When butter is melted, add chicken broth and rub mix.
  4. Mix sauce until well combined (make sure there are no clumps that might clog the injector) and set sauce mix aside and allow time completely cool.
  5. Remove giblets, liver, neck, and anything else in the cavity of the chicken.
  6. Rinse chicken inside and out with cold water.
  7. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Make sure to dry the cavity as well.
  8. Once injector sauce has cooled to room temperature, pour some of the mixture into a glass or tall/narrow container to make loading the injector easier. 
  9. Load your injector with the sauce mixture and start injecting the bird. 
  10. Try not to overfill injection points. You will know if it is too much if the sauce pours out of the injection site. 
  11. Try to limit the holes into the skin by using the same injection point for multiple plunges of sauce. Do this by not pulling the needle out of the skin all the way. Instead, with the needle still inserted into the meat, change the angle of injection. 
  12. When you feel that the bird is well injected, pour any leftover sauce back into the saucepan.
  13. The leftover sauce mixture can be brought to a boil on the stove and used as a dipping sauce for later. 
  14. Because some injection liquid may have escaped or spilled, you might need to pat dry the bird again with paper towels.
  15. Once chicken is dry, drizzle with olive oil on the front, back and inside the cavity and rub the oil on the chicken to evenly spread out the oil.  
  16. Sprinkle the front, back and inside of the chicken with the rub.
  17. Pat the chicken with the rub to ensure that the rub sticks to the chicken. 
  18. Open beer of your choice and drink or pour out ⅓ of the can. 
  19. Place Beer Can Chicken Holder on a tray and place the can of beer inside the Beer Can Chicken Holder.
  20. Lift chicken and place the Beer Can Chicken Holder and beer inside the cavity of the chicken. 
  21. Preheat your grill or oven to 325-350  degrees.
  22. Safely and carefully carry the tray out to your grill or oven. 
  23. Open your grill or oven and place chicken in the middle of your grill. 
  24. Turn off the burner directly under where you will place your Beer Can Chicken if grilling. It will cook using indirect heat.
  25. Close grill cover or oven door.
  26. Check to make sure the temperature of your grill is still between 325-350 degrees after 15 minutes. Adjust your grill accordingly.
  27. The Beer Can Chicken will take 1-1 ½ hours to cook. 
  28. Use a meat thermometer to check the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should reach 165 degrees.
  29. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, carefully remove the Beer Can Chicken Holder and Chicken from the grill or oven and place on a tray. To avoid getting cloth oven mitts dirty with chicken grease, you can use silicone grilling gloves.
  30. Allow chicken to sit for an additional 10 minutes before removing it from the holder and carving the chicken.
  31. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the chicken from the Beer Can Chicken Holder. Use grilling gloves to remove the chicken because the chicken and holder will still be hot.
  32. Place chicken on a cutting board and begin to carve your favorite parts of the chicken
  33. Serve with sides of your choice. 
  34. Enjoy.

Leftovers?

While it might be surprising that you would have any leftovers, make sure any chicken is completely cool. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. Cold leftovers are great on sandwiches or salads. Leftover chicken can also be reheated in the microwave. You can also freeze leftovers in a plastic freezer bag for 3-4 months. 

Broth with Carcass

Don’t throw away the carcass!!! No need to buy chicken broth in a can or box at the store when you can use the bones to make your own. You can store the bones in the fridge for 4-5 days before making broth or store bones in the freezer and make broth whenever you are ready.

Conclusion

This Beer Can Chicken, or Beer Butt Chicken, will give you a great juicy chicken using a simple Beer Can Chicken Recipe, and using a Beer Can Chicken Rub that pleases your tastebuds. Using the meat injector can make for more tender and moist meat. This is a Beer Can Chicken recipe that is fun to make and delicious to eat. Enjoy!

 

Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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