Beer Can Chicken

by Kevin H. on June 25, 2012 · 6 comments

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

You knew it had to come sooner or later.  EVERYBODY does these things, right?  The beer can chickens are pretty cool.  I’m going to do my best to put an extraordinary twist on a popular recipe.

Make no mistake, it would turn out ok if you just plopped a whole chicken on a can of beer and smoked it.  But this is Extraordinary BBQ, so I’ve got to take it up several notches.

Beer Can Chicken


It starts with stuffing a couple of garlic cloves, some peppercorns, and some fresh thyme into a half full can of beer.  Yes, this recipe calls for you to drink half a beer.  Deal with it.



Next you carefully pull up the skin on the breast and pour some basic chicken rub down there.  Yea, pour it down both sides.  That’s good stuff.  Then dump some inside the cavity.  Why not.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Now you have to slather your bird all over with olive oil.  This gives it a gorgeous brown color.  Then go ahead and dump more rub all over it.  When you’re done, go ahead and stuff the whole chicken on that beer can.

No, I’m not done.  The next step is injecting your bird.  I used butter, apple juice, a dash of hot sauce & Worcester sauce, and some salt.

Last step:  Bacon.  Because there’s never – NEVER – anything wrong with bacon.  So take a couple of slices, stuff half of them down the top, and drape the other half down the breasts.  Extra moisture and flavor.  Mmmm.  Bacon.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

This is what happens when I turn my back to clean my grill and leave the girls alone with the bird.

I smoked mine with indirect heat on my Weber Performer, using only fruit wood, at about 300 degrees for an hour and 45 minutes – until internal temperature was 165.  Depending on the size of your chicken and heat of your grill this may vary.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Very juicy.  Very tasty.  Very fun.  I hope you enjoy cooking your beer can chicken as much as we did.

Beer Can Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Beer Can Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of beer, with half...removed.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • 1 tbs peppercorns
  • Basic Chicken Rub
  • For injection
  • 1/2c apple juice
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs hot sauce
  • 1 tbs worcestire


  1. First, for injection, combine all ingredients in small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. For beer can, remove/drink half of beer, then stuff garlic, peppercorns and thyme inside.
  3. Gently pull skin away from meat with finger, and dump chicken rub underneat skin.
  4. Dump more rub inside the cavity.
  5. Place chicken on can of beer so it's standing up.
  6. Inject both breasts and legs.
  7. Rub olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle rub everywhere.
  8. Stuff half of each bacon slice into the neck, laying the other half down the breasts.
  9. Smoke using indirect heating at 300 degrees for 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on size of bird.

Leave a Comment

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Cockrell August 15, 2016 at 9:22 am

I’m going to get my Meats today,Bacon & Beer and ingredients.
I’m putting it on my Electric Smoker I guess at 275 degree. Do I need to use my Water Pan or Not??????? Little Help Please!🍻 👍 😕


Kevin August 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Your call entirely. I almost always use water, but using the beer can method, you certainly don’t need it. It will stay juicy. Have fun!


Ron June 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Sir, just curious did you brine your beer can chicken?


Kevin June 20, 2014 at 9:21 am

You absolutely can. I do when I have time and plan ahead. It will still turn out great if you don’t.


Ron June 20, 2014 at 11:45 am

Thanks Kev, giving it a go tomorrow evening. I’ll let ya know. Thanks again.


Sarge January 1, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Kevin, I did the Beer Can Chicken exactly like your recipe said (minus bacon, only cause I didn’t have any handy) and man oh man the family went nuts. It was melt in your mouth good. Best chicken I have ever cooked. Thanks for posting your recipes. Happy New Year. Did steaks the other night night too and seared them on a hot gas grill like you said and they were great too. I have an awesome recipe for a marinade that I used that I will share if you’re interested. Marinaded some plain ole strip steaks from wally world and they put most restaurant NY strips to shame.


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