BBQ Beer Can Chicken Recipe -
BBQ Beer Can Chicken Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

BBQ Beer Can Chicken

Recipe by  

"I tried several beer can chicken recipes and changed the ingredients up until I found one the whole family loves!!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 30 mins

    1 hr 55 mins


  1. Soak wood chips in water for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat, about 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Mix together dark brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Place two half full cans of beer on a baking sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon seasoning mix into each can. Be careful, this will make the beer foam up and out of the can.
  4. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry. Rub each chicken with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire chicken, inside and out. Fit each chicken over a can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright.
  5. Drain the wood chips and place them with the coals or in an aluminum pan on or under the grill grate as directed by the grill's manual. Place the two chickens, standing on their cans directly on the grill. Close the lid and barbeque the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chickens from the grill and discard the beer cans. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.
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  • Cook's Note
  • Check the chickens after an hour on the grill, if they are beginning to brown too much, loosely cover the tops of the birds with aluminum foil and continue to cook with the lid closed.
  • Editor's Note
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the beer, oil, and spice rub ingredients. The actual amount of these ingredients consumed will vary.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 11, 2011

There's nothing quite like Beer Can Chicken at an outdoor BBQ! Ever since stumbling onto recipes like these here on AR we make these every summer. And, since there's never a shortage of beer in this house or neighbor's to help us eat these birds they've become a favorite. One I made with regular paprika and one I made with smoked paprika and I added a couple teaspoons of garlic powder to each one. It's much easier to take the seasoning mixture and blend it with melted butter vs. veg. oil and place half of it into the beer can and baste the chicken with the other half. Invest in the holder that you can purchase at Wal-Mart or Bed, Bath, & Beyond, you'll be glad you did!

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 14, 2012

way too much salt and paprika


29 Ratings

Jun 03, 2010

I used this recipe as my template - I sprayed the chicken with cooking spray, rubbed on my favorite spices and used the rest for the beer can. Wood chips are a must! I used indirect heat (one side of grill turned off), kept the temp at 350 turning the chicken around halfway thru. Best chicken ever - moist and tender and flavorful. We are SO using this to make dinner for Father's Day. Best thing? No hot oven to overheat the house during the summer. Thanks, this is a keeper! :)

Jul 11, 2010

I also put a small red potato over the neck of the chicken so the meat steams from the inside and stays nice and moist. you could also use small balls of aluminum foil. 6/24/2010 For those of you that don't have a rack use a 24oz can for more leverage. 7/11/2010 Sorry that's a 16oz can.

Jun 22, 2010

My new FAVORITE chicken of all time! FANTASTIC! The only change I made was olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

May 31, 2011

Very good recipe. This method makes for really tasty chicken. Play with the rub depending on your tastes or mood. I like to do one chicken with the paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and another more savory with rosemary, thyme and pepper for example. Also, pierce a lime or lemon and push that in to the neck cavity.

Dec 20, 2010

So delicious!

Aug 18, 2010

very fun to make. Might look for a different spice recipie sometime. Lime beer...not sure if i'd use again...


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  • Calories
  • 627 kcal
  • 31%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.8 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 205 mg
  • 68%
  • Fat
  • 33.2 g
  • 51%
  • Fiber
  • 3.5 g
  • 14%
  • Protein
  • 53 g
  • 106%
  • Sodium
  • 5855 mg
  • 234%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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