Smoked Chicken on a Beer Can

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
Recipe by Whipper

From my hero of the grill, Rob Rainford. This to me is the ultimate beer can chicken recipe and the ultimate treat for me! The leftovers make awesome sandwiches, especially grilled cheese sandwiches with monterey jack and some salsa.

Top Review by MS_Spice

This is AMAZING!!! The best chicken I've ever had!!! Substituted cooking sherry for the brandy, chicken bouillon for stock, and used 2 small 4 lb birds. We pulled the skin up and inserted the dry rub both underneath and outside the skin. Next time, I will grind 1 Tbsp. of dry rub to powder for the marinade to make injecting easier. We cooked ours in the electric smoker on a Chick Can Rack. Took me 5.5 hours to cook to 180 degrees. NOTE: USDA says chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees. Just make sure the juices run clear. ELECTRIC SMOKER: Instructions advise to smoke chicken 1 hr per pound. Smoker is much slower than the grill, but the results were EXCELLENT!!! Will repeat soon and often!!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  2. Prepare the marinade by placing the chicken stock, brandy, lemon juice, butter and 1 tablespoon of the dry rub into a small saucepan and warm gently until the butter melts then cool to room temperature.
  3. Remove giblets from chicken along with any fat from inside the cavities, rinse then pat dry.
  4. Season the inside cavity with 2 tablespoons of the dry rub, and rub in 3 tablespoons of the rub all over the outside of the chicken.
  5. Using a syringe style flavor injector, inject the marinade sauce into the breast, thighs and drumsticks until plump. Brush the outside of the bird with some of the melted butter and let it sit in the fridge to marinade for 3 hours.
  6. After the chicken has been marinading for 2½ hours, prepare the wood chips for smoking by pouring half of the beer over them in a bowl and let them soak for a half hour. Use a sharp can opener to punch a couple more holes in the top of the beer can and set aside.
  7. Prepare the barbeque for indirect cooking by placing a drip pan underneath the grate on one side and removing the grate from the other side, then turn on only the burner opposite of the drip pan to high heat.
  8. Squeeze the excess beer from the wood chips and make a smoking pouch with tinfoil (wrap in foil then poke holes with a fork), or smoking tray or tube.
  9. Place wood chips directly over the burner that is on, close the lid and wait for smoke to appear. Once smoke appears, reduce to medium heat.
  10. Hold chicken upright with body cavity down and lower onto the beer can then place onto the cool side of the grill over the drip pan and pull legs forward to form a stable tripod so it can stand upright on its own.
  11. Brush with melted butter and continue to cook at 220°F with the lid down, basting every 45 minutes or so with the melted butter. If the chicken gets too brown on the outside before it is done, cover with tinfoil.
  12. Remove chicken from the grill once it reaches an internal temperature of 180°F, about 2½ hours, cover with tinfoil and let rest for 10 minutes.

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