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Snackshot of the Day: Beer Can Chicken

Snackshot of the Day: Beer Can Chicken

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Photos of all things food and drink from The Daily Meal

Beer and chicken, what's not to like?

The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.

Today's Snackshot is of a beer can chicken on the grill. Beer can chicken is a classic. This recipe comes from the blog, Another Pint Please, who asks, "What has style? What has panache? What looks like it is having a party while its insides are cooked by 300 plus degree heat? The simple answer? Beer can chicken." Click here to see the recipe and more photos.

Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at], subject: "Snackshots." Follow The Daily Meal's photo editor Jane Bruce on Twitter.

David’s Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Rinse and dry chicken. Brush with olive oil. Season outside and inside with 3 tbs dry rub.
Open and pour ½ of beer into glass (to be enjoyed as you cook) . Add another opening to top of beer can using can opener, also known as church key. Add remaining tablespoon of dry rub to can,along with sprigs of rosemary,thyme,sage leaf and ½ of the minced garlic. Set beer can on shallow roasting pan or high sided sheet pan. Set chicken on can, legs down, chicken will appear to be sitting on stool. Half of can should be in chicken. While roasting, the steaming beer and herbs will flavor and keep chicken moist.

Toss vegetables with a tbs of olive oil, remaining garlic, salt, and pepper. Surround chicken with vegetables and place in 450F oven. Lower temperature to 350f. and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer in thick part of thigh reads 170F. Allow chicken to rest out of oven for 10 minutes. Carefully lift chicken off of beer can. Discard beer can.

Recipe Summary

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ (12 fluid ounce) can beer
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Place the half-full can of beer in the center of a plate.

Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken drain and pat dry. Fit whole chicken over the can of beer with the legs on the bottom keep upright. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix into the top cavity of the chicken. The beer may foam up when the seasonings fall inside the can. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire surface of the chicken.

Place the chicken, standing on the can, directly on the preheated grill. Close the lid and barbeque the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chicken from the grill and discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken is a BBQ classic. It's a great way to smoke a bird to get succulent and juicy chicken. Plus its fun to cook!

This is a great method to cook a chicken you want to carve and eat it as a whole chicken or pull the chicken for other uses such as enchiladas, chicken pot pie, chicken salad, etc.

Meat Church How To YouTube Video:


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • Meat Church The Gospel AP Rub (sub our Honey Hog, Honey Hot, Gospel, Holy Gospel or Holy Voodoo)
  • 1 beer (I prefer light and cheap for this cook), room temp
  • 1 head of garlic cloves
  • 1 T, olive oil (sub cooking spray or mayo) to act as a binder
  • 1/2 stick butter for basting
  • Various herbs for stuffing the can. We use rosemary, thyme & parsley

Optional Sauce

Prepare smoker or pellet grill
Prepare your smoker at 350. I prefer a medium smoking wood such as hickory or pecan wood, but you have a lot of options with a protein like chicken.

Prepare chicken
Rinse & dry the chicken thoroughly. Apply a binder to help the seasoning adhere. We spray our chicken with Duck Fat cooking spray. Any cooking spray or olive oil will work.

Season liberally with The Gospel. It's a great idea to apply seasoning under the skin as well. Skin is easily separated from the bird during cooking or even when eating. Applying seasoning to the meat will deliver a better tasting bite. See our video above for an example. Also season the inside of the cavity.

Prepare the beer
Start with a room temp beer. Remove the top of the beer with a can opener and remove 1/3 - 1/2 of the beer. It's an even better idea to warm the beer up in the can for a few mins on the smoker. If you cook the chicken with a cold beer it will cause the middle of the chicken to take longer to cook and potentially be dangerous.

Place 1 more T of seasoning in the can. Add garlic and your choice of herbs to act as an aromatic. We use rosemary, thyme & parsley. Place the can in the throne. Then place the chicken on that throne.

The cook
Place the bird upright in your cooker. A 5.5 lb bird will take approximately 90 minutes. Baste with melted butter 1-2 times during the cook. I start at the 45 minute mark. This builds flavors and adds richness and moisture.

If you choose to sauce, apply that in the last few minutes of the cook so the sugar in the sauce doesn't burn. We apply 3:1 Meat Mitch Whomp sauce to clover honey when the chicken reaches 155 degrees internal. This can be checked with your instant read thermometer.

We are ultimately targeting 160 degrees internal in the deepest part of the breast. The chicken will continue to carry over cook another few degrees. When you have reached this temperature pull the chicken, let it cool then remove from the throne.

Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350°F to 375°F). Preheat grill by turning all burners to medium. Turn off burner(s) on one side of grill.

Rub chicken with oil. Rub cavity with 1 tablespoon of the Chicken Seasoning. Sprinkle remaining Chicken Seasoning evenly over surface of chicken.

Remove about 2 ounces of beer and poke 2 holes in top of can. Hold chicken upright (legs pointing down) and insert opened beer can into cavity. Stand chicken in upright position on unlit side of grill. Position legs to best support chicken (similar to a tripod). Close lid.

Grill chicken 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thigh). Remove chicken from can before serving.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chickens
  • 2 (12-oz.) cans beer (such as Modelo Especial)

Stir together salt, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. (If necessary, remove giblets from chickens, and discard or reserve for another use.) Sprinkle skin and cavities of chickens with salt mixture. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on 1 side. Open beer cans pour out 1/2 cup beer from each can. (Drink the poured-out beer, or reserve for another use.) Working with 1 chicken at a time, hold chicken upright with cavity facing down, and insert 1 opened beer can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chicken to stand upright.

Place chickens upright on unoiled grates over unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, until the skin is crispy and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers 165°F, about 1 hour, 40 minutes. Remove from grill rest 10 minutes. Carefully remove cans cut chickens into quarters.

Labor Day Weekend Recipe: Beer Can Chicken

It’s true, summer is almost over. Before you freak out and start stapling leaves back on trees or boycotting your favorite cafe because pumpkin coffee is already out, remember it’s never too late in the season to grill. (Seriously, people grill with snow on the ground, but that’s another blog.)

Although Labor Day was created to celebrate the economic and social contributions of the work force, it now commonly marks the transition from grilling poolside to tailgating. With summer coming to a close, people across the country gather on Labor Day Weekend for one last summer hurrah. When cooking for a crowd, there are a couple of things we like to keep in mind keep it simple and delicious. Choosing the perfect crowd-pleaser can be difficult, which is why we’re featuring our fool-proof Beer Can Chicken recipe. With only 6 ingredients, we promise this will be easier to remember than your back to school list.

Meat House Beer Can Chicken

Serves: 3-5 people (For a bigger party, we suggest multiple chickens – this shouldn’t affect your cook time, just make sure you have the proper grill space.)

• 1 whole chicken – approximately 3 to 5 lbs.

• 3 Tbsp Szeged Chicken Rub

Imported from Hungary, Pride of Szeged is a Meat House favorite for its balanced blend of spices. Expert tip – for an extra burst of flavor you can make your mixture with olive oil a day in advance, to let the herbs re-hydrate.

• 1 can of beer – chef’s choice
Most Meat House stores carry a variety of craft and local beer*, so feel free to experiment with your beer of choice. In fact, some folks prefer to use a cola or root beer in substitution for the beer.

1.) Prepare chicken by thoroughly rinsing inside and out and pat dry with paper towel.

2.) Coat chicken with olive oil then rub salt, pepper and Szeged chicken rub to both the inside and out of the bird. Set aside.

3.) Insert half-full can of beer into the cavity of the chicken by holding a leg in each hand and guiding the bird cavity over the open can on a flat surface so it balances similar to a tripod. Carefully transfer and place chicken on grill in same position, using legs and can as means to prop the bird upright.

4.) Cook chicken over medium high, indirect heat with cover closed for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

5.) Remove from grill, carefully discard beer can and rest 5 minutes before carving.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that Labor Day Weekend is also National Bacon Day – Saturday the 31 st to be exact. While we love the recipe as is, for those bacon lovers out there, you can amp up the flavor by adding bacon to the bird, as pictured below:

You’ll need one pound of bacon to get started. This is done by placing 1/3 of the strip of bacon in the top cavity of the chicken and draping the remaining 2/3 of the strip down the outside of the chicken. Pierce the bacon to the chicken with toothpicks to hold while cooking.

No matter how you celebrate Labor Day this year, make sure to reflect on the summer and remember that good food and grilling isn’t a seasonal activity.

  • 1 Whole Chicken (giblets removed)
  • 1 can Beer (we like Geneva Lake Brewing Co. No Wake IPA)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon (but any beer will work)
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Urban Accents Sonoma Pepper Seasoning

(Optional) Brine your chicken by submerging it in a mixture of 8 cups of water and 1/2 cup salt and refrigerating for 4 hours before cooking. This will help the chicken retain moisture during the cooking.

Set your grill to cook at 375°F with indirect heat. Add smoke, if desired either by adding wood pellets to a charcoal grill or wood chip packets to a gas grill. Fill a small aluminum (or similar) pan with 1/2″ water and place on the grill. We will use this pan as a flat surface to put the chicken in for stability and the water will help keep moisture in the chicken as well.

Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice and brush the chicken all over with the mixture. Moderately season on all sides with the Sonoma Pepper seasoning and rub into the bird. Be sure the giblet packet is removed if it is included!

Pour out (or drink!) half the beer from the can and then put the can of beer in the butt of the chicken. Place the chicken and can of beer onto the aluminum pan on the grill, close the grill and cook for 60-75 minutes at 375°F.

Cook until the chicken reaches 160°F internal temperature at the thigh. Remove the chicken from grill, and take the beer can out from the chicken, being careful to avoid hot steam from the beer can.

Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes prior to carving, carve and enjoy! Click here to watch a helpful how to carve a chicken video.

How to Make It

Preheat a gas grill to medium (about 400°F) on one side, or push hot coals to one side of a charcoal grill.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Starting at the neck cavity, loosen and lift chicken skin from breasts and legs with fingers. Rub oil mixture under loosened skin. Open beer can pour out 3/4 cup beer, reserving for another use. Place chicken upright onto can, fitting can into cavity. Pull legs forward to form a tripod, so chicken stands upright. Place chicken upright on grill grate over unheated side. Cover and grill 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thigh registers 165°F, rotating chicken once.

Combine mustard, honey, vinegar, and tomato paste in a small bowl.

Place chicken and can on a cutting board let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin and can. Cut chicken into pieces place on a platter. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with parsley.

  • 1 chicken (about 4 pounds/1.8 kg)
  • 1 can/12 ounces beer (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • For the Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh, chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Combine all rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Remove giblets and the neck from chicken if needed.

Sprinkle all over with rub, including cavity and under breast skin.

Open can of beer and discard (or drink) half of it.

Place minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in it.

Make sure to pierce two more holes on the top of beer can to release steam.

Place chicken on top of the can.

Place the bird on grill balanced by the beer can.

Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 F/82 C.

Remove chicken when finished cooking and let sit (with beer can still intact), for 10 minutes before carving.

Wearing heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove can from chicken cavity. Discard.

Watch the video: This Is What happens When You Drink Beer Every Day! (May 2022).