Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken created by Miss V

(Also known as Drunken Chicken)

Ready In:


  • 2 cups hickory chips or 2 cups oak chips
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans beer (plus additional if needed)
  • 12 cup your favorite barbecue rub
  • 2 whole chickens, fat removed washed and blotted dry (3 1/2 to 4-pound)


  • Place wood chips in bowl.
  • Pop tabs of each beer can, and make 2 additional holes in each top, using a church-key opener.
  • Pour half the beer from each can over the chips.
  • Add additional beer or water to cover the chips, soak them for 1 hour and drain.
  • Set up grill for indirect grilling.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon barbecue rub in neck cavity and 2 teaspoons in main cavity of each chicken.
  • Add 1 tablespoon rub to each open, half-full can of beer.
  • (Don't worry if it foams up.) Season outside of each bird with 2 tablespoons rub.
  • Stand beer cans on work surface. Holding each chicken upright, lower it over can so that can goes into main cavity.
  • Pull chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod.
  • The chicken should sit upright over the can.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • (If using charcoal, replenish coals as needed.) The internal temperature of the birds (taken in thickest part of thigh) should be 165°F.
  • Carefully transfer birds to platter in same position.
  • To carve lift bird off of can, and discard can.
  • You can use any seasoning on the birds and other flavorful liquids - not just beer in the can.
  • 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.
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@opal Fitzgerald
@opal Fitzgerald
"(Also known as Drunken Chicken)"
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  1. Gatton
    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!
  2. Allison Williams
    This was certainly the most moist and tender chicken we have ever made - we could hardly believe that a home-cooked chicken could turn out to be so good. We followed the prep and cooking directions exactly, using our gas grill, and for a little added flavor, basted with chipotle barbecue sauce every 10 minutes for the last 1/2 hour of cooking. This is sure to become a staple of grilling - we look forward to trying different beers, rubs, and sauces in the recipe.
  3. Nat Da Brat
    Wow. This makes an excellent moist and tasty chicken. I had one 3kg chicken, and used a old ilwaukee tallboy beer can. our BBQ held the temp at about 325 with the centre burner off. we cooked it for about 1h45 minutes. it was perfect, thanks. i used my own rub, a mixture of paprika, garlic pwder, onion powder and seasonning salt.
  4. Miss V
    Beer Can Chicken Created by Miss V
  5. Miss V
    Beer Can Chicken Created by Miss V
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