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Barbecue Beer Can Chicken
Les Brand

I cook lot of barbecue beer can chicken. It's really easy to make and it's always popular with my barbecue guests.

The recipe below is the easiest of all the beer can chicken recipes that I know. You don't need any special equipment or a whole list of ingredients.

You will need a barbecue smoker, or a hooded grill to cook it on though.

You can cook it in a conventional oven, but the recipes below are for making it on your barbecue grill or smoker.

As its name suggests, beer can chicken uses a beer in the cooking process. If you don't like the idea of using beer, you can use soft drinks, such as Dr Pepper or Coke instead..

Ingredients

1 12 ounce can of beer 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (Optional) 2 tablespoons of any barbecue rub (Optional)

That's it, I told you it was simple. If you're using wood chips or chunks to create smoke, you don't even need to use the oil or the rub.

I'll give you two methods for cooking the chicken. The first is based on using a barbecue smoker. The second is based on using a barbecue grill and indirect heat. The preparation applies to either method.

Preparation

Set-up your barbecue smoker. Or if using a barbecue grill, set it up for indirect heat. Remove giblets from chicken and trim off any excess skin and fat. Rinse the chicken well under cold water, inside and out. Then pat dry.

1. If using a dry rub Brush the oil all over the outside of the chicken. Then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the rub.

2. Open the beer can. If using a water smoker, pour about a third of the can in the water pan. If using a grill, either pour it away, or better still, drink it.

3. Punch another three of four holes in the top of the can. If using the rub, pour the remaining 1/2 teaspoon into the beer.

4. Hold the chicken upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can. Effectively stuffing the chicken with the beer can.

5. Pull the chicken legs forward so it stands upright. Using the chickens legs and the beer can to form a stable tripod.

Cooking Method Using A Water Smoker

The instructions below assume that you're using a charcoal water smoker. I've assumed that you have the charcoal at the correct temperature, you have your wood chips or chunks on the charcoal and the water pan is in place, with water and some of the beer in it.

If you're using an electric water smoker, follow the user instruction that came with the smoker to get it prepared for smoking.

1. Carefully stand the chicken on a cooking grid in the smoker. Use the legs and the beer can to act as a tripod.

2. Put on the smoker lid and let the beer can chicken smoke for about 2 hours. Don't worry if you let it go a bit longer. So long as there's water in the water pan it's going to be OK. When I make beer can chicken I often leave them in my water smoker for up to 5 hours. The result is succulent, fall apart chicken.

3. When cooked and ready to eat, carefully take the chicken out of the smoker. I find the best way is to use a large, clean, cloth or oven gloves. Take care as the beer can will still have about half the beer and drippings from the chicken in it, and it will be very hot.

4. Put the chicken on a board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the beer can from the chicken. Discard the can and carve the chicken.

Cooking Method Using A Barbecue Grill And Indirect Heat

I've assumed that you have the charcoal or gas at the correct temperature. Your grill is set-up for indirect heat, and if you're using wood chips or chunks, you have them on the charcoal.

1. Carefully stand the chicken on a cooking grid over a drip pan. Use the legs and the beer can to act as a tripod.

2. Cover the grill with the hood and let the beer can chicken cook for about 1 to 2 hours. Check the chicken at intervals, say every half hour to start with. The chicken will be cooked when the skin is crisp and is dark brown going on black. If the skin goes brown too quickly shut the vents on the grill to reduce the heat.

3. When cooked and ready to eat, carefully remove the chicken from the grill. I find the best way is to use a large, clean, cloth or oven gloves. Take care as the beer can will still have about half the beer and drippings from the chicken in it, and it will be very hot. 4. Put the chicken on a board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the beer can from the chicken. Discard the can and carve the chicken.

I like to carve the chicken and make sandwiches out of it using rustic bread. But most often I find the meat gets plucked from the carcass before I've time to carve it!

I usually cook two or three at a time on the lower grid of my Brinkmann smoker. I put ribs and the like on the top grid and let the drippings drop onto the beer can chicken below.

As I mentioned, this is the easiest recipe for beer can chicken that I know. Many recipes state that you must use a rub the inside or outside of the chicken, or both. Others state that you should baste the chicken. Personally, I'd try the easy recipe above and then change one thing at a time.
About the Author

Les runs The Barbecue Hut website that provides useful information about barbecue grills and smokers, and also includes a wide selection of free recipes. He is also author of The Char Grill Chat newsletter.

Website: http://www.barbecuehut.com

Newsletter: http://www.barbecuehut.com/chargrill_chat


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