Beer can chicken is our favorite way to cook chicken on the grill. Every time we use this recipe to cook a whole chicken, it turns out moist and delicious. I always hope to have leftovers, but we rarely do!
Living in Las Vegas we are lucky enough to be able to use our outdoor grill year round. One of my favorite foods to cook on the grill, though, is Beer Can Chicken. The skin comes out crisp on all sides and the meat is perfectly moist. Don't let the “beer” can part fool you! You can use any kind of liquid you'd like – wine, water, soda, chicken broth, etc.
Don't want to grill? You can also make this in your slow cooker! Check out our Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken Recipe!
In a small bowl, make your rub. We use olive oil and spices, but any oil or even melted butter will work. We generally use the same spices, but feel free to use your favorites. Even just salt and pepper alone results in a delicious grilled chicken.
Prepare your chicken by removing all the innards. Wash and pat dry, if you want. Place the chicken on a platter.
The best way to get flavor in the chicken is to get the rub under the skin. Very gently, pull the skin up away from the breast meat and use your fingers to loosen the skin.
Brush the rub all over the chicken, making sure to get the rub between the loosened skin and the breast meat.
We use one of these chicken stands in a baking pan to grill our beer can chicken. But you can also just prop the chicken up and get to stand on it's own around the can.
Put the chicken over the can, and then put off heat on the grill. The two burners on the left are on, but the burners under the chicken are off.
Cook for 60-90 minutes, rotating the chicken every 15 minutes so that all sides of the skin get nice and crispy. The chicken is done around 180 degrees internal temperature and the juices are running clear.
Be careful when lifting the bird off the can as the chicken will be falling part. It usually takes two of us to remove the can. You may want to let it cool a bit before attempting to remove the can.
Beer Can Chicken on the Grill
- 3-5 pound First Street Whole chicken
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 can of beer, root beer, soda, chicken broth or whatever you want
- Remove innards and neck from chicken and pat dry.
- In a small bowl mix together olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, and parsley. Use as much as you like for each flavor, about equal amounts, but watch the salt!
- Put the chicken on a platter and carefully use your fingers to loosen the skin on the breast area and pull it gently away from the meat.
Brush the olive oil mixture underneath the skin and on to the meat, being careful not to tear the skin.
- Continue to use about half the olive oil on the top of the chicken.
- Pour out half the liquid from your canned beverage. Set can inside metal holder, if you have one. Otherwise, put chicken over can, balance it and place in a rimmed baking container.
- Use the rest of the olive oil mixture and brush on to the back half of the chicken, the sides and then dump any remaining oil in to the chicken cavity.
- Turn on the heat on only one side of your grill to high and allow grill to warm up for about 10-15 minutes. Then turn heat down to medium-high.
- Place chicken on the OTHER SIDE of the grill (cook it off heat). Close the top of the grill.
- Rotate the chicken 1/4 turn every 15 minutes so that the sides of chicken are evenly crisped. Chicken is done when internal temperature reads 180 degrees on a meat thermometer. This takes about 60-90 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is.
This article may contain affiliate links.