Beer Can Chicken
This easy recipe for Beer Can Chicken guarantees moist, fall-off-the-bone meat and crispy, ultra flavorful skin. It’s our go-to recipe for a grilled whole chicken!
During that stretch of extreme heat here in Minnesota recently, I was suddenly craving a whole chicken. Moist and fall-off-the-bone tender, with crispy skin that was super charged with flavor.
Well, I knew I wasn’t going to turn on the oven with those temps in the upper 90’s. And, “Hey Blake, don’t we have a beer can chicken holder around here somewhere?”
My husband found the specialty grill pan out in the garage, stored with the rest of our grilling and smoking supplies. I knew this was going to turn into an obsession for me, as I started to recall why we haven’t used that pan in at least five years. (The reason? Flabby grilled chicken skin. Ack. No can do!)
I was bound and determined. We were going to perfect how to grill a whole chicken.
You’re gonna love this Beer Can Chicken!
*Here are a few more grilling recipes I’m loving right now: Have you tried this Grilled Vegetable Salad yet?! And these Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers with Goat Cheese – our kids can never get enough. And we recently served these Grilled Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms at a little gathering in the backyard – they disappeared FAST!
We’ve perfected the beer can chicken
Over the past few weeks, we’ve gone through quite a few whole chickens, trying to get this beer can chicken recipe juuuuuust right.
Just ask our daughters.
Our oldest might be questioning why she was so excited to get her drivers license, when she’s been asked to run for a chicken every other day.
(But totally not joking.)
How to make beer can chicken
For our family of four, we’ve found that a five-pound chicken is ideal. It gives us a nice amount of meat for a meal, plus a bit of leftovers for an easy lunch the following day.
Once you have your chicken, it’s time for some easy grilled whole chicken prep.
It’s crucial to get the chicken skin as dry as you can. Wetness is the enemy of crispy grilled chicken skin. We use paper towels to pat and gently squeeze every single inch of the chicken.
Time to make the beer can chicken rub!
Then we make a beer can chicken rub consisting of vegetable oil and a special mix of seasonings. And we rub every last bit of it over the skin and inside cavity.
We’ve experimented with different amounts of seasoning, especially with the level of saltiness. And the chickens that our family likes best are the ones that are highly seasoned…and with “just a little more salt than we normally use”.
What beer to use in the beer can chicken holder?
A half-full can of beer not only helps prop up the chicken on the grill, but it also steams the meat. While the skin is dry roasting on the outside of the bird, the inside is all hot and steamy, ensuring incredibly moist meat.
There’s no need to be all fancy and money-wasting here, using your favorite craft beer. Although your beer butt chicken (I don’t prefer this name, but I know many people who call it this!) will most certainly still turn out wonderful if you do.
We’ve been using Blake’s “lawn mowing beer”. We keep it cold in our second fridge every summer, solely for the purpose of having a light beer to quench Blake’s thirst after mowing the yard.
A bonus with this particular beer, is that it has a tall, skinny can. There are other lawn mowing beers that feature this kind of can, too. I like how the taller can sits inside the beer can chicken holder, helping to prop the chicken up just a bit higher.
I can’t even describe how much I like this beer can chicken. It makes me happy. And it makes the rest of my family happy.
It’s a total win-win.
With a simple side salad, we have one awesome meal to gather around. A few suggestions would be MY FAVORITE coleslaw or grilled romaine with THE BEST buttermilk ranch dressing (a family favorite!). Honey Cornbread Muffins would also be great. And before the summer is over, I want to try this pasta salad from my friend Mary.
Pin this beer can chicken to save it!
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