Beer Can Chicken (Infuse Flavor, Savor Juiciness)

Beer Can Chicken has become a popular and delicious way to prepare and cook chicken, infusing it with unique flavors and ensuring a juicy and tender result.

The concept is simple: a whole chicken is positioned on a beer can, allowing the steam and flavors of the beer to permeate the meat, while the can help to maintain its shape and moisture.

As an avid fan of barbecue and experimenting with different cooking techniques, Beer can chicken quickly became one of my favorite dishes to prepare.

There’s something special about the combination of smoky flavors, tender meat, and the subtle hint of beer in each bite.

It’s a culinary adventure that brings together the art of grilling and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with friends and family.

In this blog post, I will guide you through the process of making Beer can chicken, from selecting the right chicken and beer to cooking techniques and serving suggestions.

So grab your favorite beer and let’s get started on this flavorful journey.

Choosing the Right Chicken and Beer

When it comes to Beer can chicken, selecting the right chicken and beer is essential for a successful and flavorful outcome.

Here are some tips to help you make the best choices:

  • Selecting the chicken: Opt for a fresh, whole chicken of good quality. Look for chickens that are plump and have smooth, unblemished skin.

    Free-range or organic chickens tend to have better flavor and texture.

    Aim for a chicken that weighs around 4 to 5 pounds, as larger ones may take longer to cook.
whole raw chicken with rose pepper and thyme
  • Choosing the beer: The beer you choose can add unique flavors to your Beer can chicken.

    While any beer can work, certain styles complement the chicken better.

    Consider using a light lager or pilsner for a clean and crisp taste, or go for a beer with bolder flavors like a pale ale or stout for a more pronounced profile.

    Experiment with different beer styles to find your preferred flavor combination.
A glass of beer and a beer bottle on the grey stone table top view . Wheat beer

Personally, I’ve found that using a citrus-infused beer adds a delightful tang to the chicken, enhancing its overall taste.

For example, a wheat beer with hints of orange or lemon can provide a refreshing and aromatic twist to the dish.

Remember, beer is not just a flavoring agent but also helps to keep the chicken moist during cooking.

Ensure that you have a full, unopened beer can ready for the recipe.

Preparing the Perfect Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken (Infuse Flavor, Savor Juiciness)

Recipe by Teal NotesCourse: Lifestyle, Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time








  • 1 whole chicken (approximately 4-5 pounds)

  • 1 can of beer (12 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat your grill to medium heat or set your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Open the beer can and take a few sips to leave some space in the can for steam.
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper to create the seasoning blend.
  • Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Rub the chicken inside and out with the seasoning blend, making sure to cover all surfaces evenly.
  • Carefully lower the seasoned chicken onto the beer can, so the can fits into the cavity of the chicken. The chicken should stand upright, with the can acting as a support.
  • If using a grill, place the chicken on the grill grates over indirect heat (with only one side of the burners lit for gas grills or coals on one side for charcoal grills).
  • If using an oven, place the chicken and beer can upright in a roasting pan.
  • Cook the chicken for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the grill or oven, using tongs to hold the beer can. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before removing the can.
  • Carve the chicken into individual pieces, arrange on a platter, and garnish with fresh herbs.
  • Serve your delicious Beer Can Chicken with your favorite sides and enjoy the flavorful masterpiece!

To ensure the best results for your Beer can chicken, proper preparation is key. Follow these steps to prepare the chicken before it hits the grill or oven:

  1. Cleaning and patting dry: Start by rinsing the chicken under cold water to remove any impurities.

    Pat it dry thoroughly with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This step helps to promote better browning and crisping of the skin.
  2. Seasoning the chicken: Season the chicken generously with your choice of dry rub or marinade.

    You can use a pre-made seasoning blend or create your own by combining herbs, spices, salt, and pepper.

    Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken, ensuring it reaches every nook and cranny for maximum flavor.

    For example, I love using a blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and black pepper.

    It adds a smoky and savory profile to the chicken.
  3. Creating the beer can cavity: Open your chosen beer can and take a few sips to ensure it’s not too full.

    You want to leave some space for steam to develop during cooking.

    Place the beer can on a stable surface, then carefully lower the chicken onto it, so the can goes into the cavity of the chicken.

    Make sure the chicken stands upright with the can supporting its weight.

    Pro tip: If you prefer to add more flavor to the chicken, you can pour some of your seasoning blend or spices into the beer can.

    This will release aromatic steam as the beer heats up.

Beer Can Chicken Cooking Techniques

When it comes to cooking Beer can chicken, you have two main methods to choose from grilling and oven baking.

Both techniques yield delicious and flavorful results. Let’s explore each method:

Grill method:

Grilling Beer can chicken gives it a smoky and charred flavor while maintaining the juiciness of the meat. Follow these steps for grilling perfection:

  1. Preheat the grill: Preheat your grill to medium heat, around 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C).

    It’s important to have indirect heat, so if you’re using a gas grill, light only one side of the burners.

    For charcoal grills, arrange the coals on one side of the grill.
  2. Place the chicken on the grill: Carefully place the beer can and chicken on the grill grates over the side without direct heat.

    The chicken should be positioned vertically, with the legs facing down and the beer can acting as a support.
  3. Cover and cook: Close the grill lid and let the chicken cook for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

    The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken and the grill’s temperature.

    It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer.

    The chicken is done when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).
  4. Rest and remove: Once cooked, carefully remove the chicken from the grill, using tongs to hold the beer can.

    Be cautious, as both the chicken and the can will be hot.

    Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before removing the beer can.

Oven method:

If you don’t have access to a grill or prefer the convenience of an oven, you can still achieve fantastic Beer can chicken using the following steps:

  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place the chicken in a roasting pan: Set the beer can and chicken upright in a roasting pan or a baking dish.

    Ensure that the pan is deep enough to hold the chicken and catch any drippings.
  3. Bake in the oven: Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the preheated oven and let the chicken cook for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

    As with grilling, it’s crucial to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer.

    Once the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C), the chicken is ready.
  4. Rest and remove: Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest in the pan for about 10 minutes.

    Then, carefully remove the beer can, ensuring not to spill any hot liquid.

Whether you choose to grill or oven-bake your Beer can chicken, these techniques will result in succulent and flavorful meat.

Important Tips for Perfectly Cooked Beer Can Chicken

Cooking Beer can chicken is a culinary adventure that requires some finesse to achieve the best results.

Here are some valuable tips to ensure your Beer can chicken turns out perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor:

  1. Temperature and cooking time: Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken.

    The thickest part of the thigh should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked.

    Avoid overcooking, as it can result in dry chicken. Remember, the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken and the cooking method.
  2. Basting and flavoring options: Enhance the flavor of your Beer can chicken by basting it with a marinade or sauce of your choice during the cooking process.

    Brushing on a mixture of melted butter, herbs, and spices every 30 minutes can add moisture and extra flavor.

    Additionally, consider using a spray bottle filled with apple juice or beer to mist the chicken periodically for added moisture.

    For example, I like to make a simple glaze with honey, soy sauce, garlic, and a splash of lemon juice.

    I brush it onto the chicken during the last 20 minutes of cooking to create a deliciously sticky and caramelized coating.
  3. Experiment with beer flavors: Get creative with the beer you use for your Beer can chicken.

    Different beer styles can infuse distinct flavors into the meat. Try using a citrusy IPA for a zesty kick or a smoky porter for a robust and rich taste.

    Don’t be afraid to explore and find your favorite flavor combinations.
  4. Carving and presentation: Allow the cooked chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

    This helps the juices redistribute, resulting in a juicier final product.

    When carving, remove the chicken from the beer can first, then carefully separate the legs, thighs, wings, and breasts.

    Arrange the pieces on a platter, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve with pride.
  5. Pairing with sides and beverages: Beer can chicken pairs well with a variety of delicious sides and refreshing beverages.

    Consider serving it with grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, or a fresh salad.

    As for beverages, crisp lagers, citrusy IPAs, or even a chilled glass of white wine can complement the flavors of the chicken beautifully.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to Beer can chicken. Experiment with different seasonings, beers, and cooking techniques to find your ideal flavor profile.

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What is the best liquid to use for beer can chicken?

Also, beer isn’t your only option! You can use your favorite soft drink, such as cola or root beer if you prefer.

You can get even more creative with an empty, clean aluminum can. Fill it halfway with chicken stock, wine, or any mix of liquid and herbs and spices.

How do you get crispy skin on a beer can chicken?

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, roast for an hour, and then raise the heat to 425 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes to add crisp to the skin.

Does beer work as a marinade?

Not only does beer add a depth of flavor to your cooking if you use it in a marinade – it also contains enzymes that break down the fibers in your meat, making it more tender.

We’ve collected four of the best beer-based marinades for you to try at your next barbie.

How long should you soak the meat in beer?

Gently pour beer over steaks (making sure the seasoning doesn’t wash off). Cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate. Place steaks on preheated grill; discard beer marinade.

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