Once you've mastered the method, the fun starts. Beer-can chicken takes on any flavors you introduce it to, from the beer that steams the bird to the dry rub you spread across its skin. Whether you prefer spicy, sweet or subtly simple, take a cue from these local chefs and craft-beer connoisseurs to infuse a spectrum of scrumptious flavor into your next backyard barbecue.
For hoppy beer + black garlic click here.
For malty beer + cajun rub click here.
For lager + sweet and spicy rub click here.
For wheat ale + fennel garlic rub click here.
1 can beer
1 4-lb. whole chicken, washed and patted dry
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup favorite dry rub
Light the coals and let them burn until they turn gray.
Put the woodchips in a cup or bowl and pour half of the beer over them; let them soak for about an hour. Drain and set aside.
Using a church key or knife, carefully cut off the top of the beer can. Slide the opened half-empty beer can into the beer-can chicken stand. Set aside.
Sprinkle salt in the neck and main cavities of the chicken, and then cover the skin with olive oil.
Season the outside of the bird with the dry rub.
Gently slide the chicken on top of the beer can so that the entire beer can is nestled inside the chicken's cavity.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and sprinkle wood chips on both sides. Make sure the fire is no hotter than 350 degrees.
Using oven mitts, carefully place the chicken in the middle of the grill, pulling its legs forward to act as a tripod.
Close the lid of the grill and let cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Every 15 minutes, check to make sure the chicken is still upright and to see if you need additional wood chips; add them as needed.
Once the thickest part of the thigh reaches 160 degrees, carefully remove the chicken from the grill. Using oven mitts, place one hand on the bottom of the stand and another on top of the chicken and carry it to a flat surface. Slowly lift the chicken from the beer can (be careful, the can and the liquid inside it will be hot).
Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.