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.

Beer Can Chicken on a pan

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! ;)

  1. Remove the giblets from the chicken and rub with chicken seasoning.
  2. Place the chicken over the half-empty can of beer and set it securely in a cast iron pan.
  3. 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.

Beer Can Chicken being prepared on a can of beer

Kitchen Tips

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.

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).


Beer Can Chicken before cooking


The Best Sides to Serve

Beer can chicken screams for picnic sides like potato or pasta salad recipe, fresh grilled corn on the cob, and definitely some wedges of juicy watermelon!

Grilled Summer Sides

pan with Beer Can Chicken
4.91 from 21 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken is a flavorful 3 ingredient dish that takes summer fun to the next level!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6



  • 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.

To Grill

  • 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.

To Bake

  • 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.



To make my favorite homemade chicken seasoning combine the following:
  • 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
4.91 from 21 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 305 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 270mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Beer Can Chicken with writing
Beer Can Chicken on a pan with a title
close up of Beer Can Chicken with a title
Beer Can Chicken before and after cooking with a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This was amazing – the best chicken I’ve ever made and the seasoning recipe was perfect for it! I’ll never make it any other way going forward! That, along with your roasted summer squash recipe was perfect.5 stars

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe Caroline! To share a picture, you can share on Instagram and tag us @spendpennies.

  2. I love making beer can chicken. Two things I recommend is using a Mason jar instead of a beer can. something about a aluminum can I just can’t get passed it. I have a couple different size jars and use them depending the size of the chicken. I fill the jar half way and place the chicken over it. And the other thing I recommend is using a beer with citrus flavor. Like an orange or tangerine flavor I use a beer called Tangerine by lost coast. Taste is amazing. Good luck.

  3. I’m trying to make this tonight for the first time. I’m a little confused do I pour the beer over the chicken or in the pan? Should the beer can that the chicken goes over be empty? Also how do I remove the beer can after cooking? If I left it in until it’s rested is that ok?5 stars

    1. You’ll pour half of the beer out (you only need half of a can). Place the chicken over the half full can of beer, you won’t need to fill or watch the can of beer. The chicken can still sit on the can while it rests after. I use tongs to lift the chicken off of the can once it has cooked. Let us know how it goes!

  4. I am not typically a beer drinker, and am curious if this work work and/or has been tried with any other canned drinks like Coke, for example?