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Home > Ideas & Tips > BBQ Buying Guide - Smoked Beer Can Chicken

BBQ Buying Guide - Smoked Beer Can Chicken

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Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Smoked Beer Can Chicken

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Serves 7-8 people


1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
1/4 cup kosher salt


2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can (12 fluid ounces) beer, at room temperature

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  1. Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat from the chicken. Sprinkle the salt over the entire surface and inside the cavity of the chicken, covering it all like a light blanket of snow. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1½ to 2 hours.

  2. Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

  4. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water. Gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season it all over with the rub. Fold the wing tips behind the chicken's back.

  5. After you have rinsed and seasoned the chicken, open a can of beer and pour out half (into a cold mug). Use a church key can opener to make two additional holes in the top of the beer can to allow steam to escape.

  6. Fold the wing tips behind the back of the chicken to shield the tips from the heat.

  7. Working with a solid surface underneath, slide the chicken over the beer can as far as it will go.

  8. Set up the grill or smoker with a water pan and lit charcoal briquettes on either side. Add a couple handfuls of damp wood chips to each pile of coals.

  9. When the wood begins to smoke, place the bird-on-a-can on the cooking grate over the water pan, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can like a tripod. Close the lid and cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160°F to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), about 1¼ to 1½ hours.

  10. When the chicken is fully cooked, grab the back with tongs and slide a spatula under the can to lift it. Be careful—the beer will be very hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before sliding it off the can (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during resting).


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