Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 whole roasting chicken, thawed, innards removed
  • 1 can/bottle of good-quality beer (we used Sam Adams - "Bonfire Rauchbier")
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon


For best results, brine the chicken overnight.  You can buy brining mixes (we used some that we had leftover from Thanksgiving last year), which are just a mixture of coarse salt, pepper and spices, or make your own.  Pour 1 cup of the brining mix into a large stock pot, fill with 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat, and bring to room temperature, then cool the water in the refrigerator for several hours.  When the water is cold, place the chicken in the brining liquid, cover, and chill overnight in the fridge.

After the chicken has been brined, remove it from the brining liquid and discard the liquid.  Season the chicken well with salt, pepper, garlic and tarragon.

Preheat your grill to medium-high - about 400 degrees.  You will need a roasting pan that has a cup in the center for holding liquid, or if you're like MacGyver and can figure out how to balance a chicken on a can of beer so that it doesn't fall over, then more power to you!  Fill the cup in the roasting pan with beer.  Place the chicken on the cup.

Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 and the skin on the chicken is nicely browned and crispy.  Refill the beer as it evaporates during the cooking process.  Ours cooked through in about 1 1/2 hours.

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