Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This is simply the best beer can chicken I have ever had. You first rub a spice mixture over the chicken, then baste it with a delicious glaze. We've had it many times this summer. Winter's coming, and I can't wait to try it in the oven! This recipe makes two chickens; simply cut it in half if you prefer just one.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Turn all grill burners to high and close lid to preheat.
  2. For the spice rub: Mix 2 T. brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. For the glaze: Stir 2 T. brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, beer (take from your beer cans) and hot sauce in a bowl; add 1 T. spice rub; set aside.
  4. Pour out about 1/2 cup or so from each can of beer. Using a church key can opener, punch holes in the top of the can to completely "open" the top; this will allow maximum steam to escape. Add 2 crumbled bay leaves to each can.
  5. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and thighs of the chicken by sliding your fingers between the skin and the meat. Massage the spice mixture on the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity. Using a skewer, poke the skin all over to render as much fat as possible while cooking.
  6. Turn off all but primary grill burners, leaving main burner(s) on high (for my grill, I leave two burners on, but this will depend on how many burners your grill has -- mine has three. The temperature inside your grill should stay around 375). Place chickens on cans; place on cool part of grill, using drumsticks to stabilize them. Cover and grill until skin is very well browned and very crisp, 40 to 60 minutes. Brush with ketchup glaze and grill, covered, until thigh meat registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer.
  7. Transfer chickens to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Most Helpful

Made this tonight used my traeger smoker put it on smoke for 20 mins then turned it up to 325 for the rest of the cook, it is the best chicken I've ever made what a killer recipe

Abad70ss June 03, 2013

EXCELLENT!!! I only used 1 chicken with half of the rub ingredients but the full amount for the glaze. This is the same recipe posted by 2Bleu (see Barbecued Beer Can Chicken - Cook's Country, Barbecued Beer Can Chicken (Cook's Country) on this site) but hepcat1's version has better instructions. I used mesquite wood chips to create the smoke in the grill.

DaleInCO August 25, 2012

This is the best barbecued chicken that I have ever eaten! Just spicy enough to please the masses! There is a little learning curve with the gas grill to get the temperature right... but once you do, this is super easy to make!
Great for summer barbecues, superbowl parties, etc. Thigh meat leftovers made the best chicken soup, too!
Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

MotherEd May 13, 2012