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Smoked Beer Can Chicken: the moist and easy chicken recipe

Total time: 1H30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
whole chicken (approx. 2kg or 4.5 pounds)
1/2 can (500 ml)
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
1/2 tsp
Olive oil
1 tbsp

What do you get when you place a partially filled can of beer into the cavity of a chicken? Smoked Beer Can Chicken! This recipe is super easy. The reward is flavorful, moist and tender chicken that falls off the bone, and deliciously crispy skin.

This Beer Can Chicken recipe is a modified version of the classic roasted chicken recipe. It adds an extra layer of smokiness to the chicken. You can make this recipe on the grill or in the oven—it’s like the classic chicken roast, just better. The steam makes the chicken extra moist, while the heat from the outside creates crispy skin. Once you make this, you won’t want to cook a chicken any other way.


What is Beer Can Chicken?

Beer Can Chicken is a popular BBQ dish, whereby a chicken is mounted on top of a partially filled can of beer and cooked with indirect heat. While the chicken roasts, steam from the beer makes the chicken meat tender and flavorful.

How long to Smoke Beer Can Chicken

To make the Beer Can Chicken on the pellet grill, you need to wait until it reaches 350°F. It’s then cooked for about 1 ½ hours. Of course, the bigger the chicken, the longer you would need to cook it. And if you’re smoking more than one chicken, you will also need to increase the time. To make sure the chicken is properly cooked, check that the internal temperature is at 165°F.


Tips for making Easy Smoked Beer Can Chicken

You can also make Smoked Beer Can Chicken on the gas grill. Follow the same instructions, making sure again with a thermometer that the thickest part of the chicken is at 165°F.

To make it in the oven, place the Beer Can Chicken on the lowest rack of the oven. Add a little bit of liquid smoke to the olive oil when rubbing the chicken. Bake at 350°F for 1 ½ hour until the safe temperature is reached.

To make sure that your Beer Can Chicken doesn’t taste bitter, go with malty beers with low hops. Steer clear of IPAs! You can also use wine or soda.

This Smoked Beer Can Chicken is moist and tender on its own, so no brining is needed!

How To Remove The Beer Can From Chicken

Removing the beer can form the chicken can be tricky. To do this properly (and safely), you need to follow a few tips:

Use kitchen tongs to transfer the chicken to a sturdy cutting board (be careful because the chicken is hot!). Carry the board to the kitchen and work next to the kitchen sink. Slide the chicken towards the edge of the cutting board and use the same kitchen tongs to carefully slide out the can into the kitchen sink.


What to serve with Beer Can Chicken

You can serve Beer Can Chicken with any sides you would serve with classic roast chicken: try roast potatoes, roast broccoli or a green bean casserole, or a side salad. If you want to make the sides on the grill too, try grilled peppers or corn.

How to store Beer Can Chicken

The carved chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave and used in salads, casseroles, or sandwiches. Chicken can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure to seal or wrap it properly to avoid freezer burn.

How to make Smoked Beer Can Chicken


Mix together the salt, sugar, oregano, paprika and cumin.


Rub the chicken with olive oil and then pour over the spice mix and massage in the spice mix.


Open your beer can and remove (drink) half of the contents.


Place the chicken over the beer can and place on a baking sheet standing up.


Roast in the oven at 200°C or 390°F for 60 minutes or until the meat in the fattest part of the bird reaches 73°C or 164°F.


Allow to rest for 15 minutes before removing from the can and carving.


Make sure to rest the chicken at least 15 minutes before you start carving it. You can cover it lightly with foil

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