Beer Can Chicken

This recipe sent in by: Billy C. Rhea, of Romance, AR. Thanks Billy!

    Prep: 15 min; Cook: 2 hours

    The chicken is cooked on a covered grill, over indirect, medium (350 deg. F) heat. If starting with frozen chicken, defrost for 3 days in refrigerator.

    3 - 4 pound whole chicken - kosher or free range is best
    6 TBSP. Memphis rub or spice mix
    1 12-14 oz can beer
    Grill with cover; oven proof pan or dish; tongs and mitt; skewer

    START your grill. Use about 25 briquettes or enough bulk charcoal for to up to 1 1/2 hours, or be prepared to add after an hour - pile the charcoal to one side of the grill, wait until it is covered with white ash - we found that keeping the top vent open and the bottom vent 1/2 open on a Weber was about right.

    REMOVE any innards or other items from inside of the chicken.

    RINSE the chicken inside and out in cold, running water.

    OPTIONAL: seal neck of chicken with skewer (shown) for gravy, seal neck, for moister chicken, leave open.

    RUB the chicken, inside and out with Memphis rub or your choice of spices.

    OPEN a standard can (14 oz) of your favorite beer, punch a few extra holes, and quaff off about 1/4 of the beer.

    ADD 2 TBSP. rub or spice to beer can.

    PLACE beer can on ovenproof pan or dish (this allows the chicken to cook indirectly and catches the juices if you want to make gravy).

    ARRANGE chicken on beer can, allow the two legs to form two sides of tripod so chicken is stable.

    WHEN charcoal is covered in white ash, place chicken in grill and close.

    BEST when chicken cooks 1 1/2 hours - check visually after about 1/2 hour and rotate the chicken in a half circle to cook evenly, should brown slowly and evenly.

    WHEN chicken is ready, using tongs and oven glove if necessary to separate chicken and beer can, carefully remove to separate platter. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

    REMOVE ovenproof pan or dish, and pour in any remaining beer, stirring, if making a sauce.

    CUT up chicken and serve. Serve gravy in separate dish.


    1/4 cup paprika
    1 TBSP. dark brown sugar or molasses
    1 TBSP. sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon celery salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 teaspoon garlic powder or finely minced garlic
    1 teaspoon onion powder or finely minced onion
    1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to taste.
    Omit or add depending on what you have on hand and your own taste.