Beer Can Chicken is just as amazing as it sounds! A whole chicken is grilled to tender, juicy perfection using – you guessed it – a can of beer. You’ll be obsessed with this easy grilled chicken recipe all summer long!
What’s in this Beer Can Chicken Recipe
You just need some oil, a can of beer, and a few everyday herbs and spices to make this recipe.
- Seasonings: For the dry rub, you’ll need paprika, salt, black pepper, onions powder, dried thyme, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
- Chicken: Make sure you’re using a whole chicken that’s about 4 lbs.
- Olive Oil: You can use avocado oil instead if you’d like.
- Beer: So, why a beer can? This method of cooking the chicken over a can of beer means that the chicken steams and cooks from the inside which results in the most perfectly cooked chicken!
PRO TIP: I don’t recommend using a chicken larger than 5 pounds because the beer can may not be able to adequately support a bigger bird.
Do I have to use a beer for beer can chicken?
Definitely not! You can use a 12-ounce can of soda or juice instead. You can also use a vegetable or bean can. Remove the label before cooking, and bring the chicken juice-soaked veggies or beans to a boil on the stovetop at the end to make a tasty side.
A can of beer props the chicken up on the grill so that it cooks more evenly and doesn’t need to be flipped. Leaving the beer can half full steams the inside of the bird, leading to tender, juicy meat.
Use whatever beer you have on hand. There’s no need to use a fancy beer because it’s only steaming the meat, not marinating it.
Absolutely! Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the seasoned beer can chicken in a large roasting pan. Bake the chicken until the juices run clear and the breasts register 165°F, about 65 minutes.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover beer can chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Remove the meat from the bones and let cool fully before storing.
How to Freeze
Freeze leftover beer can chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Remove the meat from the bones and let cool fully before storing.
Serve beer can chicken with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies to make a complete meal. Shred beer can chicken and use it in soups, on top of salads, or in tacos. Leftovers are great mixed with a little mayonnaise and piled into sandwiches.
Beer Can Chicken Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 whole chicken about 4 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces beer room temperature (1 can)
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.2 tablespoons ground paprika, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then rub the olive oil over the whole chicken and under the skin. Sprinkle the seasoning over the whole thing.1 whole chicken, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pour out half of the beer, then lower the chicken over the top of the half-full beer can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and close the lid. Cook the chicken for 1 hour, undisturbed, then check the temperature every 15 minutes after until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F.12 ounces beer
- Carefully transfer the chicken and can to a baking tray, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- Be sure to empty some of the beer from the can, it should be half full when you place on the chicken.
- I love this mix of herbs and spices, but you can use other seasoning mixes if you like.
- Let the chicken rest after cooking for at least 10 minutes. This will help to make it extra juicy and flavorful.