Simple Beer Can Chicken

Simple BeerCan Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Beer Can chicken is roasted vertically, atop a half-full can of beer in a moist, smoky environment. The results are near barbecue perfection. A smoky-sweet dry rub makes the chicken more sumptuous. The dish can also be made in an oven or on a roasting pan.

Below is a simple recipe for a traditional, spice-rubbed Beer Can chicken. You are free to experiment and try coating the chicken with a paste of mirin and soy. The beer can be substituted with sake. For this recipe the chicken is approximately one pound, you use one tablespoon for the ingredients except for the paprika which requires four tablespoons.


  • whole chicken
  • sweet paprika, or mild smoked paprika
  • chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • brown sugar
  • granulated white sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Half a can of beer


  1. Light your grill, leaving approximately half the grilling area free of coals and if using an oven, heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Discard the neck and giblets from chicken, rinse the it in cold water and pat dry.
  3. Mix all the spices in a bowl, then rub on the dry the chicken both inside and out.
  4. Place can of beer on a solid surface. Take each leg of the chicken and put over the can then push the bird down into the can. Place the bird and the can on the cool side of the grill with the back to the fire. Balance the chicken upright and use the legs to support it in this position. Place the chicken upright in a roasting pan if using an oven.
  5. Cover the grill and cook for about 1 1/4 hours, basting with barbecue sauce twice during the last 30 minutes till the legs are loose in their sockets. If using the oven, you can cover the bird with foil after 45 minutes to prevent the skin from darkening. Remove from the can and carve.
  6. This meal is best served with white barbecue sauce and corn bread. Enjoy.
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