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Beer Can Chicken
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Pure Barbeque at it's best. Very good. Try it!



  • Basic Rub Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) paprika
  • Chicken Ingredients:
  • 1 large (4 lbs (1.8 kg). to 5 lbs (2.3 kg).) whole chicken
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) to 4 tbsp (60 ml) Basic Rub
  • 1 12-oz. can (not a bottle) of beer
  • Mesquite or favorite wood chips soaked in water for a full hour or more
  • Basic Rub Directions:
  • Combine the salt, sugar, pepper, and paprika and blend well, and keep in an air tight container.
  • Chicken Directions:
  • Remove and discard the giblets and all fat you can find from inside the body cavities of the chicken.
  • Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the Basic Rub inside the body and neck cavities, then rub another generous tbsp all over the skin of the bird. If you wish, rub another 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) of the mixture between the flesh and skin.
  • Cover and refrigerate the chicken while you preheat the grill.
  • Set up your grill for indirect grilling, placing a drip pan in the center. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high; then, when smoke appears, lower the heat to medium.
  • Open the beer can. Using a "church key"-style can opener, make 6 or 7 holes in the top of the can. Pour out the top inch of beer, then spoon the remaining dry rub through the holes into the beer.
  • Holding the chicken upright, with the opening of the body cavity down, insert the beer can into the cavity.
  • When ready to cook, if using charcoal, toss half the wood chips on the coals.
  • Oil the grill grate. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan.
  • Spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod, to support the bird.
  • Cover the grill and cook the chicken, until fall-off-the-bone tender, 2 hours.
  • If using charcoal, add 10 to 12 fresh coals per side and the remaining chips after 1 hour.
  • Using tongs, lift the bird to a cutting board or platter, holding a large metal spatula underneath the beer can for support. (Have the board or platter right next to the bird to make the move shorter. Be careful not to spill hot beer on yourself.)
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before carving the meat off the upright carcass. (Toss the beer can out along with the carcass).
Please re-read the instructions of this recipe and feel comfortable with them. The basic two dynamics of the beer can is to be a steaming flavor enhancer in the carcass of the bird and to be a "leg" for the bird to balaance on while cooking upright. This recipe is superior for a summer meal.

Serve it with lots of fresh biscuits or bread, corn on the cob, whatever salads you like, and super chilled tart cranberry lemonade for non-drinkers and lots of COLD beer for those who enjoy them!

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