BBQ Beer Can Chicken – ‘Cause That Chicken is One Cheap Date!

Beer Can Chicken on the Barbecue  – it’s an awesome way to wow your guests and have some real fun, too!  I mean, come on.  What’s more fun – or funny – than a dancing chicken!  You’ve seen it on TV with rubber chickens, now you get to taste it too!

BBQ Beer Can Chicken

The Beer Can Chicken BBQ Recipe

This recipe blends an easy beer can chicken BBQ preparation with a secondary spice rub on the outside of the chicken.  The beer will give off a good amount of moisture and flavor, with the rub following up from the outside for that one -two flavor punch!

Time Requirements and Basic Materials List

Time Required to Prepare the Chicken: About 15 minutes

Cooking Time: Roughly 1 hour and 30 min.

The Hardware – What You’ll Need

  • One 4-5 lb. roaster chicken
  • Weber Kettle or other charcoal grill with some head room at the top – domed lids work best
  • beer can chicken stand
  • One medium sized bag of natural lump charcoal
  • Chimney coal starter – optional, but lets you get those coals going faster

Ingredients and Measures for the Chicken

1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)

1 12 ounce can of your favorite beer – play with flavored beers if you like! (room temperature)

2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

2 fresh rosemary sprigs – you can use dried rosemary if you like (about 1 teaspoon of the dried stuff)

2 teaspoons olive oil – medium grade is fine – no need to go Extra Virgin

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

The juice of one lemon – translates to a little less than 1/4 cup

Ingredients and Measures for the Rub

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (again, you can substitute dry if you don’t have the fresh stuff)

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (I use one of those micro files – be sure not to zest off more than just the yellow color – the white stuff is bitter)

Now – Time to Pull it All Together

Start by getting your coals nice and hot using the chimney starter.  Get them into your BBQ grill or smoker and crank the heat to about 225 Degrees F.  (You can find grill thermometers online at Amazon.)

Mix together each of the ingredients for the chicken rub in a small mixing bowl and put the bowl off to the side.

WARNING: You are going to get your hands messy.  Consider using some latex or rubber gloves!

Your chicken will most likely come with a little gift bag inside – including the giblets and the neck.  Take this out.

Cover the outside of the chicken with rub, also rubbing some of it inside the chicken body.

Open the full can of beer… and drink a couple of gulps straight away!  (Can’t pour it out… it’s beer, after all!)

Then, take a can opener and remove the top of the beer can.  Some folks will say to just punch a few holes in the top, but I feel that removing it allows for more moisture and flavor to move up through the chicken while it cooks.

Drop the rosemary, minced garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and pepper flakes into the beer can, and set the chicken down on top of it’s beer can throne!

Placing the Beer Can Chicken on the Grill

The key to not burning your dancing BBQ Beer Can Chicken to a cinder is to grill it on one side of your grill  – keeping the coals on the other side.  This way of cooking is called “indirect grilling”  – as you are allowing the heat from your barbecue to to reach your protein (the chicken) on the sly, rather than straight on.

With your grill at about 225 degrees F, you’ll cook your dancing chicken for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Your target internal temperature for the chicken is 180 degrees F.  I like to check this using my instant read digital probe style thermometer placed into one of the thighs.

When you’ve reached the 180 degree F mark inside the chicken thigh, pull the chicken off the grill – beer can and all.  Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute back through the meat.

CAUTION: If you cut into the chicken too soon – all the juices will run out onto the cutting board – leaving your dancing BBQ Beer Can Chicken dry and well… a little bit sad.  Letting it sit will allow the juices to redistribute throughout – leaving you with tasty, tasty meat.

After the 10 minutes has passed, take the chicken off of the beer can, carve, and enjoy!

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Comments on BBQ Beer Can Chicken – ‘Cause That Chicken is One Cheap Date!

Rachel J @ 8:58 pm #

I am a transplant to the South, and I have seen quite a few versions of this contraption. One day I will tackle this ingenious idea for chicken. Thanks for the inspiration-cheers!

admin @ 11:55 pm #

Hey Rachel! Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, it’s a pretty fun way to do the chicken dance! Hey – you should head over to to get your avatar to show when you comment on WP Blogs! You’re always welcome to leave comments here! See ya on FoodBuzz, too!

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