I saw a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated for Beer Can Grilled Chicken. The basic premise of this recipe was shoving an opened beer can into the rear end of a chicken and cooking it. I decided it was the weirded cooking method I’d heard about since being told to marinate steak tips in a mixture of Coke, ketchup, and italian dressing (or maybe the Best Chili Ever that uses coffee, cocoa, and beer). I’m sensing a trend here with the beer.

So obviously, I had to try it.

However, I don’t have a grill. I went rooting around using my Google-fu and found this recipe which suited my needs for figuring out how long and at what temp at which to roast said chicken. Anyrate, I purchased a 4 something pound chicken, a six pack of Bud, and today went about making Beer Can Chicken.

Stuff you need:

  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • bit of sage
  • bit of thyme
  • 4-5 lb. whole chicken
  • 1 can of beer
  • roasting pan or casserole dish
  • church key can opener or a sharp knife and a hardy soul

Here’s what I did:

1. Preheat the oven for 375 degrees F.

2. Realize that the chicken wasn’t entirely thawed, swore, and finished thawing it in the microwave.

3. Remove giblets from now-thawed whole chicken, cut off any neck that’s left and that weird tail-ish thing on the other end.

4. Rinse the chicken off, inside and out.

5. Shake off excess water. Pat if dry if you feel so inclined.

6. Mix spices in a bowl if you want. Use copious amounts of garlic powder and black pepper, mid-range amount of the salt, and a bit of thyme and sage (I guess to make it look pretty or something, but I figured a rub had to have more in it than just garlic powder, salt, and pepper). I could even name this the Taylor rub, ’cause I got it from my dad. See, as a kid, I always wondered what the hell he used to spice his steaks and chicken, and one day I finally asked him. He motioned me to the cupboard and he pulls out this bag with a white substance in it. (No, not cocaine. Jeez). He says, “This is my secret ingredient.” I ask what it is. He says, “Kosher salt.” I inform him that that was the crappiest secret ever. Anyway, pre-mix the rub, better more than less, because if you run out and have to make more, you’ve got goopy chicken crappy hands.

7. Rub spices inside and outside of the chicken. Separate the skin from the flesh (use your fingers, a knife stands a chance of cutting the skin and you don’t want that) and rub more rub in there. Rub rub rub.

8. Using the church key can opener (or the sharp knife. In case you’re wondering, I used a sharp knife. I have a hardy soul dammit! …and plenty of scars), open the beer can, either taking the whole top off or punching a crapload of holes in it. I ended up popping it open the normal way, then stabbing with the knife and peeling about three-quarters of the top off. Sprinkle a bit of the rub inside.

9. Dump out or drink about an inch of beer from the can.

10. Stand the beer can in the pan or dish you’ve got, shove the rubbed chicken onto the can, using those little chicken legs to tripod it up.

11. Roast the whole thing for an hour and forty-five minutes (your mileage may vary, I’ve got a gas oven).

12. Oh yeah, and be a raw chicken kitchen patrol cop. Wash your hands all the time. Disinfect all surfaces when you’re done, too. You don’t want food poisoning from chicken.

There you go, beer can chicken. Stuff is damn good, it’s the kind of chicken where you’ve got to pick a bit off and eat some every time you walk by the carcass.

mmmm…carcass.