Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

(Also known as Drunken Chicken)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 473.18 ml hickory chips or 473.18 ml oak chips
  • 2 (680.38 g) can beer (plus additional if needed)
  • 118.29 ml your favorite barbecue rub
  • 2 whole chickens, fat removed washed and blotted dry (3 1/2 to 4-pound)


  1. Place wood chips in bowl.
  2. Pop tabs of each beer can, and make 2 additional holes in each top, using a church-key opener.
  3. Pour half the beer from each can over the chips.
  4. Add additional beer or water to cover the chips, soak them for 1 hour and drain.
  5. Set up grill for indirect grilling.
  6. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon barbecue rub in neck cavity and 2 teaspoons in main cavity of each chicken.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon rub to each open, half-full can of beer.
  8. (Don't worry if it foams up.) Season outside of each bird with 2 tablespoons rub.
  9. Stand beer cans on work surface. Holding each chicken upright, lower it over can so that can goes into main cavity.
  10. Pull chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod.
  11. The chicken should sit upright over the can.
  12. Carefully transfer chickens to grill in this same position, placing them in center over drip pan away from heat. If using charcoal, toss half the wood chips on each mound of coals.
  13. If using gas, place chips in smoker box.Barbecue chickens until nicely browned and cooked through, About 1 1/2 hours, keeping temperature about 350 degrees F.
  14. (If using charcoal, replenish coals as needed.) The internal temperature of the birds (taken in thickest part of thigh) should be 165°F.
  15. Carefully transfer birds to platter in same position.
  16. To carve lift bird off of can, and discard can.
  17. You can use any seasoning on the birds and other flavorful liquids - not just beer in the can.
  18. You can use a can of Coke or Sprite. Soda is more interesting than you might imagine. Just be sure you open the can first. Opal Fitzgerald Quinlan, Texas.


Most Helpful

What Fun! I wish you could have seen the faces on my guests faces when i sat the Chicken down on the BBQ. I put a pan directly under the chicken to do indirect cooking in my gas BBQ and kept the pan filled with water. This does not prevent ending up with a wonderful golden chicken but it does add to keeping the hen moist. The BBQ rub I used was "Tony Chachere's" WONDERFUL MOIST CHICKEN. Thankyou

Bergy September 13, 2001

My husband loves to make this in a disposable tin pan on the grill. He uses lemon pepper on the chicken and beer or wine in the can and in the bottom of the pan. It tastes amazing! I'm glad to see we aren't the only ones who get the funny looks when it's carved and people see the can in the middle! ;)~

~ Lana ~ May 07, 2002

I made this for the first time today. Cooked a 6 1/4 lb fresh hen on the Weber kettle. I kept it very basic the first time and only used kosher salt and ground pepper outside the bird. It turned out fantastic and only took about three hours. I put half an onion in the neck to help keep the steam in. Next time I will use a rub and try putting some herbs in the beer can. By the way, I hate the taste of beer but the beer flavor cooks away and you end up with moist flavorful meat. I used hickory wood chunks and the meat had a wonderful smoky flavor. You have to try it!

Gatton November 06, 2006

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a