Beer Can Chicken


One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is on the grill and the easiest method is beer can chicken. I’ve cooked several beer can chickens over the years so I decided to try something new. I used a can of hard cider in place of the beer and the flavor was phenomenal. The chicken was juicy and tender with a perfect amount of smoke flavor. I tossed the leftovers into a quick smoked chicken noodle soup the following day and we devoured it.


1 Detwiler’s farm raised whole chicken

1 can Redd’s Apple Ale

1 generous tab of butter

2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 – 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 – 4 cloves fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 – 3 cups Pecan chips, soaked in water

1/4 cup wet rub for chicken, recipe follows


Prepare your charcoal grill. (You can use a gas grill but I strongly discourage it, as the flavor just will not be the same. Also DO NOT use lighter fluid! It tastes terrible! Yes, it’s more work to start your coals without it but again it makes your food taste like charred chemicals.) While waiting on your coals, prep the chicken. With a can opener carefully remove the top of the beer can. Pour about half the beer into a glass and save for later use or just drink it like I do. To the beer can add the butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns. Place the can inside a beer can holder and carefully slide the whole chicken on top. Generously baste the chicken in the wet rub. I cover the chicken wings and bottom of the legs in foil to keep it from burning. Once the coals are ready, arrange them in your grill so that one area doesn’t have coals. This enables indirect cooking, which is needed for longer cooking times and smoking meats. Add the soaked pecan chips to the hot coals and adjust your grill so it maintains a temperature between 350 and 400 degrees. Smoke the chicken about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees in the breast meat and 175 degrees in the thighs. Allow the chicken to rest at least 20 minutes. The chicken will be pink when you cut into because of the smoke so do not panic. When smoking meat, the pink coloring is a sign of excellent flavor. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with your favorite BBQ sides.

Wet Rub for Beer Can Chicken: the measurements below are not exact so taste and adjust seasonings as desired and feel free to mix it up

1/4 cup EVOO

1 teaspoon Hickory Salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper




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