Grill-Roasted Beer Can Chicken for a Gas Grill

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 0 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

Be sure not to open the lid of the gas grill too often during cooking; the temperature of the grill will drop significantly each time you open it. If you prefer, use lemonade instead of beer; fill a 12oz. soda can with 1 1/4 cups lemonade and proceed as directed.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. LARGE DISPOSIBLE ALUMINUM BAKING PAN (13X9-INCHES): Make a 1-inch fold on one long side of a 12x18-inch piece of heavy duty foil. Repeat three more times and turn the fold up to create a sturdy side that measures about 1-inch high. Repeat the processs on the other long side.
  2. With a short side facing you, fold in both corners as if wrapping a gift.
  3. Turn up the inside inch or so of each triangular fold, to match the rim on the long sides of the foil tray.
  4. Lift the pointed end of the triangle over the rim of foil and fold down to seal. Repeat the process on the other short side.
  5. FOR THE SPICE RUB: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl., Measure 3 tablespoons for use in this recipe. Extra rub can be stored (or frozen) in an airtight container for several weeks.
  6. FOR CHICKEN: Soak, wood chips in cold water to cover, for one hour and drain. Place the wood chips in the foil tray. Place the tray on top of the primary burner of a gas grill and replace the cooking grates. Light all the burners and turn to high, cover, and heat the chips until smoking heavily, about 15 minutes.
  7. Massage the spice rub all over the chicken, inside and out. Lift up the skin over the breast and rub the spice directly onto the meat. Open the beer can, and pour out about 1/4 cup. With a church key can opener, punch two more large hole in the top of the can (for a total of 3 holes). Crumble the bay leaves into the beer. Slide the chicken over the can so that the drumsticks reach down to the bottom of the can and the chicken stands upright; set aside at room temperature.
  8. Carefully open the grill (there may be some smoke) and scrape the cooking grate clean with a grill brush. Turn the primary burner down to medium and turn off the other burners.
  9. Place the chicken over the cool part of the grill with a wing side facing the primary burner. Cover and grill-roast for 35 minutes, adjusting the lit burner as needed to maintain a temperature of 325F-350°F inside the grill.
  10. Rotate the chicken so that the drumsticks and wing that were facing away from the lit burner are now toward it. Cover and continue to grill-roast until an intant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170-175F, 25-40 minutes longer.
  11. With a large wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer the chicken to a platter or tray, making sure to keep the can upright; let rest for 15 minutes. Using wads of paper towels, carefuly lift the chicken and onto a platter or cutting board. Discard the remaining beer and can. Carve the chicken and serve.
  12. GRILL-ROASTING TWO CHICKENS: There may be some occasions where you may want to cook more than one chicken - when you have more guests to serve or if you'd like to have leftovers on hand. here's how:.
  13. Increase the amount of wood chips to 4 cups, Use 6 tablespoons spice rub and use two 3 1/2 lb. chickens. Set the chckens (with cans) over the cool part of the grill, with a wing side facing the primary burner, allowing as much room around each chicken as possible. Grill-Roast as directed.