Beer Can Chicken Recipe -
Beer Can Chicken Recipe
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Beer Can Chicken
A whole, dry-rubbed chicken sits on a can of beer and grills to perfection. See more
  • READY IN hrs

Beer Can Chicken

Recipe by  

"This is a deliciously moist chicken recipe. It's perfect for a BBQ on a hot summer day!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 15 mins

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Place the half-full can of beer in the center of a plate.
  2. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry. Fit whole chicken over the can of beer with the legs on the bottom; keep upright. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix into the top cavity of the chicken. The beer may foam up when the seasonings fall inside the can. Rub the remaining seasoning mix over the entire surface of the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken, standing on the can, directly on the preheated grill. Close the lid and barbeque the chicken until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 15 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 chicken from the grill and discard the beer can. 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 Notes
  • The other half of the can of beer is for the cook to enjoy while preparing dinner.
  • For extra stability, an inexpensive beer can stand can be purchased at most kitchen stores.
  • Editor's Note
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the beer and spice rub ingredients. The actual amount of these ingredients consumed will vary.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 01, 2010

I've made this before and it's very good. I find that instead of sprinkling the 1 tsp of seasoning into the cavity, it's easier to put it inside the beer. Also I use an aluminum pie plate large enough to hold the beer can and chicken. This catches all the drippings and reduces flare-ups. I've also made this recipe using a spice called Montreal Chicken Seasoning.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 05, 2012

Good, but for all the spices/seasonings I didn't think the chicken itself took on alot of the rubs flavor. And yes, I did put some spices in with the beer - next time will try to put some of the spices between the skin & meat.

Aug 05, 2010

There's nothing quite like Beer Can Chicken! I made another recipe on this site a while ago and have been making these every summer. Since there's never a shortage of beer in this house or neighbor's to help us eat these birds we always love to make these. I made three of these last night for a BBQ! Two I made with regular paprika and one I made with smoked paprika and I added a couple teaspoons of garlic powder to all three. It's much easier to take the seasoning mixture and blend it with 1 cup of melted butter and place half of it into the beer can and baste the chicken with the other half. (I bascially had to triple the butter/seasoning for the BBQ). Invest in the holder that you can purchase at Wal-Mart or Bed, Bath, & Beyond, you'll be glad you did!

Jun 01, 2010

Excellent. I've done this a bunch of times before reading this recipie. We call them Beer Butt Chickens where i come from. One tip though - before putting the chicken over the can, make sure there's about 2 mouthfuls gone from the can. Some times the beer can splash up and it can get a bit messy. The type of beer also makes a difference - you can play around with differnt kinds.

Feb 28, 2011

Tastes great and was fun to make. The only thing I did to improve it was to stuff a whole onion in the neck-hole to keep the steam in.

Jun 03, 2010

This recipe is fantastic. I added garlic powder and season salt to the rub mix. Cooked on indirect heat, there were no flare ups and the result was a fall-off-the-bone chicken that was just awesome. I plan to make this often during the grilling season here in CT.

Aug 17, 2010

Great recipe. I used Cornish hens and baked them in the oven. I covered them in foil for and hour then removed the foil and finished baking. As far as the can, I used small tomato paste cans.

Sep 13, 2010

This is my favorite way to do chicken. Put it on the grill during pregame and take it off at halftime. You really don't need to check it. The hardest part is keeping people from opening the grill to see what is smelling so good. Experiment with different beers and rubs. Indirect heat is the key. Oh, one more thing all the pictures have the wings just sticking out, I like to tuck the tips behind the breast, it keeps them from getting overcooked. Save me a leg!!


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  • Calories
  • 546 kcal
  • 27%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 24 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 145 mg
  • 48%
  • Fat
  • 27.3 g
  • 42%
  • Fiber
  • 2.7 g
  • 11%
  • Protein
  • 47.5 g
  • 95%
  • Sodium
  • 479 mg
  • 19%

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

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