An exotic route to a great roast chicken steams it while it cooks. A can of beer boiling inside it keeps the chicken moist. Beer, soft drinks, wine, whatever: whole books have been written about variations on the theme of beer-can chicken. There are many good ones, some of the simplest are outstanding.
A beer-can chicken cooks standing up. The body cavity slides over a can of spiced beer or other liquid. The can and the chicken’s two legs support the bird during cooking. Wire or ceramic stands are available for those of us who serve beer-can chicken often.
Traditional beer-can chicken is smoked on a charcoal grill. The upright chicken is tall, and may not fit some grills. Even my big grill requires reconfiguration for beer-can chicken. Still it only does well for smaller birds. That’s why I developed a recipe for the oven. It works for a conventional oven and is ideal for a convection oven. The skin comes out crisp and the meat comes out moist. It’s just not smoky when it’s cooked indoors. Consider the chicken’s height when deciding where to prepare beer-can chicken.
Beer-Can Chicken Recipe:What You’ll Need:
- 1 12-ounce can beer
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 3-lb chicken
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 2 green onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- Open the beer. Drink half.
- Combine the seasonings and the sugar in a small bowl and mix well. Set the rub aside.
- Remove the extra goodies from the body cavity and trim the excess fat out of the chicken. Rinse inside and out and pat dry. Sprinkle two teaspoons of the rub inside the bird. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the skin.
- Remove the pull-tab from the half-full beer, and open another large hole with a church key. Pour the rest of the rub into the can and add the onions and garlic. Slide the beer can up into the chicken’s body cavity. Keeping the can upright, pull the chicken’s legs forward until it can stand on its own two feet (plus the can.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Stand the chicken up on a broiler pan in the oven. Cook until brown and cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest five minutes.
- Remember the beer is still scalding hot. Be careful sliding the chicken off the can.
- Convection oven method:
- An hour at 325°F should do it.