Great from the Grill: Recipes for Backyard Barbecuing – BBQ Chicken (Beer Can Style)


Beer butt chicken is a family favorite and so easy it has become a weekly feature during the grilling season.


Turn on one side of your grill to approximately medium. Grill temperature should be between 450 and 500F.

Open a can of beer.  Remove one third of the beer from the can.

Take one whole roasting chicken.

Rinse the chicken.

Dry the chicken. Realize you don’t have a good spot to put the rinsed and dried chicken.  Put the chicken on the counter.  Wash your hands.

Get out a cutting board and place the cutting board on a clean part of the counter.

Put the chicken on the cutting board.  Wash your hands and the chickeny counter.

Pick which of your hands will be the clean hand and which hand will be the dirty hand.

Pick up the chicken with the dirty hand.  Pick up the beer with the clean hand.

Place the beer can on the cutting board.

Attempt to place the chicken on the beer can with your clean hand only. If you can just keep one hand clean a lot of hand washing is prevented. Realize that this is impossible and use both hands. Marvel at how perfectly the beer can fits in the chicken. Wash your hands.

Open both the olive oil and the spice rub container. Congratulate yourself on your foresight.

Lightly oil the chicken with your dirty hand.

Add spice rub with your dirty hand. We use Montreal Chicken Spice, but are looking for something less salty. Congratulate yourself on how none of the olive oil or spice rub ended up on the counter. Wash your hands.

Carry cutting board and beer butt chicken to the grill. Realize you are going to have to grab the chicken one more time.  Place the chicken on the unheated side of the grill using the legs of the chicken to balance the chicken. Now you realize that you have two chickeny hands and have to close the grill.

Close the grill, open the door to the house, wash your hands, set a timer 90 minutes, wash your cutting board, wash your door knob, wash your grill handle.

After 90 minutes the chicken should be cooked perfectly.  Please check for doneness with a meat thermometer.

Place your cutting board in a lasagna pan and take to the grill.  Remove the chicken from the grill and place on the cutting board in the lasagna pan. Remove the beer can from the chicken using a fork.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes covered in foil. Cut up the chicken. Congratulate yourself that all the juice from the chicken has been contained in the lasagna pan.

Please note that if you plan ahead a bit several of the hand washing episodes can be avoided.


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