Beer Can Chicken is easy to make with a can of your favorite beer (or other carbonated beverage) and it can be grilled or baked!
The result?! A tender juicy chicken perfectly seasoned is set upon a beer can to grill to tender perfection.
How to Cook Beer Can Chicken
Whether you bbq or bake beer can chicken (or beer butt chicken) it comes out incredibly tender and juicy. The steam from the beer helps cook the meat and with a great chicken seasoning rub the flavor is amazing.
You do not need a special pan, use a beer can and a cast iron pan or even a baking pan.
Cooking the perfect juicy beer can chicken starts by pouring yourself half a can of beer while getting started on the prep work! ;)
- Remove the giblets from the chicken and rub with chicken seasoning.
- Place the chicken over the half-empty can of beer and set it securely in a cast iron pan.
- Bake or grill per the recipe below.
- On the Grill: Preheat to the grill to medium heat (375°F) and place the chicken, in the cast iron pan on the grill. Cook until it reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer, approximately 50-60 minutes.
- In the Oven: Preheat to 375°F and place the chicken upright, on the cast iron pan, in the oven. Bake until chicken reaches 165°F, about 45 to 55 minutes.
When cooking chicken, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature of a chicken breast is 165°F and the thigh is 180°F. When checking the temperature be careful not to hit a bone as this can skew results
If the chicken begins to brown too much on the outside (especially on the grill), lightly tent with foil.
The Best Beer for Beer Can Chicken
No need for anything fancy, just use what you have! Since you only need half a can of beer, use one you’d like to drink.
No Beer? No Problem! You can make beer can chicken without beer by using either a non-alcoholic beer or another type of carbonated drink such as ginger ale, root beer or even cola.
Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
You can use any kind of chicken seasoning you’d like including store-bought or homemade.
- Seasoned salt, Pepper & Italian Seasoning
- Homemade Seasoned Salt & fresh black pepper
- Hey Grill Hey Chicken Seasoning (favorite)
- Any seasoning you’d add to rotisserie chicken or even a homemade chicken seasoning would be great.
How to Support the Chicken
As long as the chicken fits securely over the can of beer, a special rack really isn’t necessary. You can also use crumpled up foil to create a ring around the chicken if it needs a little more support.
You can buy specially made wire racks that support the chicken by holding it upright with the can of beer inserted into the cavity. These can be purchased almost anywhere BBQ and grilling accessories (or you can get them online).
The Best Sides to Serve
Grilled Summer Sides
- Easy Grilled Asparagus (with Parmesan) – only 4 ingredients
- Grilled Potatoes in Foil – potato packets for the oven, grill or campfire!
- Easy Grilled Eggplant – Easy side dish!
- Balsamic Grilled Vegetables – infused with flavor
- Grilled Zucchini – Garden fresh!
Beer Can Chicken
- 1 chicken about 3-4 pounds
- 1 can beer
- 3 tablespoons chicken seasoning
- Remove and discard any giblets inside the chicken.
- Open the beer and empty half of the can (into a glass for the chef is fine!)
- Combine the spice rub and massage over the chicken. Place the chicken over the beer can, legs down and place in a 9" cast iron skillet.
- Preheat grill to medium heat, about 375°F.
- Place the cast iron skillet with the beer can and chicken directly the grill. Close the lid and allow to cook until tender and the chicken reaches 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh. (Approximately 50-60 minutes).
- Carefully remove from the grill, discard beer can and rest 10 minutes, tented with foil, before carving.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place the cast iron skillet with the beer can chicken in the oven. Allow to cook until tender and the chicken reaches 165°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh. (Approximately 45-60 minutes).
- Carefully remove from the oven, discard beer can and rest 10 minutes, tented with foil, before carving.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons each: basil, paprika, onion powder, rosemary, dry mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon each: ground thyme, black pepper, garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)