Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

From Off the Eaten Path Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks by Bob Blumer

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (4 lb) whole chickens
  • 1 (16 ounce) can beer (tall boy)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dry rub seasonings (your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Set up your grill for indirect cooking.
  2. On a charcoal grill, this means spreading the coals around the outer edges, but not directly below the food.
  3. On a gas grill the outer burners are lit, but not the middle one.
  4. Once the grill is covered (which it should always be for indirect grilling) the circulating heat works like a convection oven, so there is no need to turn the food.
  5. Remove neck and giblets.
  6. Discard.
  7. Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry with paper towels.
  8. Rub chicken lightly with oil, then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub.
  9. Set aside.
  10. Open beer can and take several gulps (make them big gulps so that the can is half full).
  11. Place beer can on a solid surface.
  12. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can.
  13. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can like a tripod.
  14. Cook chicken over high indirect heat, with the grill cover on for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165°F in the breast area and 180°F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife.
  15. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.


Most Helpful

5 stars just for the unique factor involved! I used my own barbecue rub for this. I put about 2 tsps. of the rub inside the beer can, too. Chicken was moist and beautiful to behold! Important to note here that a full-flavored beer works better than some of the lighter brands.

Pariah September 04, 2002

With whole chickens on sale at 49 cents a pound, I had to try this beer can recipe. Exceptional flavor, tender and juicy! I used McCormick Grill Mates for chicken for the rub and also added about a teaspoon full to the beer. Had to make a few adjustments to the charcoal grill so the chicken had room to "stand up" with the cover on. A 4 1/2 lb. chicken took about 90 minutes. I'll be making this again for sure.

Terri F. July 07, 2002

This is a great way to cook cornish game hens as well! I cook them in the oven at 375 for about an hour. I also put vegetables and spices in the beer such as garlic powder and onions.

Susie June 27, 2001

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