Beercan Chicken

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Sous Chef
Nov 9, 2004
New Buffalo, Michigan
This is called a Beer Can Chicken Roaster. I picked one up a few weeks back at Wal-Mart, because I thought someone was screwing with me. Some backwoods feller must be smiling with a big wad of cash!!! But this thing is the COOLEST!!!!!! I am addicted to it, and now we are loving it SOOOOO MUCH, that we are starting to serve it for a dinner special. A well spent $5.00, if you ask me!!!!!

Here is my recipe:


1 (4-pound) whole chicken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup worcesteshire sauce
2 tablespoons Lawrey's Seasoning salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons of Mrs Dash Garden Herb flavor spice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 can beer
1 small potato or onion

Preheat grill or oven to 350 degrees. While the cooking device is heating up, drink 1/2 of the beer. If you drank it all, have another 1/2 can of beer. Take 1/2 can of beer and put it in the chicken holder.
Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Set chicken aside for a minute.Then make your marinade by mixing up all of the above ingredients. Make sure you use a wire whisk to mix the ingredients evenly. Find a container large enough to fit marinade AND chicken.
Cover chicken VERY GENEROUSLY with marinade. Make sure chicken holder is on a flat surface.Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, carefully place the cavity over the beer can. Set holder inside a tin pie pan (this prevents flare-ups). Pour rest of the marinade over and inside of chicken, then close off cavity by stuffing the potato or onion in the top. Put in oven or on grill over indirect heat, with lid closed for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Remove from oven or grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!!!!!!
Erik, as a professional chef I can't believe you haven't read the past postings on "beer butt" chicken, "tampon chicken", "dancing chickens" etc...

But yes!

This is the epitome of "roasting" a bird, and in my opinion, its even better if you brine the bird first!

Glad you are "pro" enough to understand "Lawrey's" as a "do not substitute" sort of thing...

Further advice to go weird wild and wacky (ie drink all the beer!)...

A few replacement thoughts for the beer you are drinking!

1) "Dark" beer
2) Onion soup
3) Basalmic vinegar
4) Lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple, apple, apricot...pick your fruit!
5) Veggie, chicken or beef "stock"
6) Forget the can, use the "stand" and stuff the bird "solid" with fresh peeled garlic cloves...
7) Mix and match a few of the above, as the mood takes you...

Note that a really effective marinade for chicken pieces or chicken "whole" is a strongly flavoured Scotch such as Johnny Walker (Ishbel will frown on it, its made to NA "tastes" but it really gets it "done" with chicken!)(sort of like cooking with "Jack Daniels"!)

You can have a really great time, messing about with this method of cooking, and, happily, the meat is about as cheap as you can get...

Note that where you say "discard the neck and giblets" is just plain wrong!

Snip off the ends of the wings, leaving only the "wrists", and freeze these along with necks, hearts livers and giblets for a "super-stock" mix...most of which you could grind up to create a great pate or dressing/stuffing component...poor man's "Beef Wellington" substitution for pate de fois gras, at worst...tho' most butchers or grocery stores will "give you" this stuff for literally nickles, if you ask, "innocent, like"...

(note that "Eastwood" accent, on the last comment!)

Lifter only problem is...I don't really have the time or storage to do the "excellent" things with neck, giblets...etcetera...and not really much time to brine.
Life is a bit of a journey, not a mere episode...

You'll find the time, eventually, and probably "yell wonderfully" when you get to score those dribs and drabs in the freezer into a superb experience!

Versus "wondering" "what if"...?

If you were going to throw them out anyways, it won't cost that much to cook 'em up and freeze them will it?

That "day" when "appendicitis", 'workplace lobotomy recovery", "lumbago", or whatever happens to you (even if its only unexpected "holidaze"!) there are a few "experiments" down thee in the freezer to tempt and tease, and have some "fun" with...

And the best part is, we on the DC List might get new concepts and ideas from someone as "good" as you...which means we can "tweak" our reipes for "free"!

Rob I agree with the canned beer sentiment. I have two solutions. Clean out a soda can and fill it will a decent beer, or use a can of Guiness, which in my opinion is the only beer out of a can that is any good.
Normal soup or canned fruit or veggie cans work equally well, rip off the paper label, wash in a dishasher to rid them of the glue vestiges...

You can use, or not use, fruit.vegetable juice, stock work equally well, not a big deal! (Like I've said, onion soup! Some garlic? Herbs and spices!)

You are going to eat this, not the rest of us, why not try things you think you'd like with chicken?

You'll be very happy with the results!

Don't want to put a damper on this unique cooking method, but there have been some questions raised re the toxicity of the can and ink on the can.
marmalady said:
Don't want to put a damper on this unique cooking method, but there have been some questions raised re the toxicity of the can and ink on the can.
You sure are brave to bring that up Marmalady. :LOL:
I will never do a beer can chicken, but thats just me. I remember what Storm posted once -

storm2k said:
I have noticed a few things/recipes/ideas in here for beer can chicken. I am real wary of this and can validate my worries. I do not believe this is safe at all and just on principles would warn everyone against it unless you do it in a safe manner. The melting point of aluminum (pure) is 660.37 °C or 1220.666 °F. Most "beer" cans are not "pure" aluminum and contain various other elements, including the paint on the can. I figure that you're cooking this painted can to at least 1/3 of its melting point for whatever meat, steaks or chicken, some ppl do fajitas this way. So, you're definately smoking and infusing all the paint fumes at the least and who knows what else into a raw chicken. I suspect the melt point on a beer can is alot lower than that stated for pure aluminum, probably like 900-1000F, heck maybe lower than what your cooking it at. To see what I mean do this, take a styrofoam cup, fill it with water. Put a bic lighter or a torch on a low flame to the outside of the cup. As long as you do not "pressure burst" with the flame you can hold the flame there a long time, it will only burn the cup down to the level of the liquid, even on the outer layers, all the way to the bottom of the cup, it will still hold water, so you could pour the beer in a styrofoam cup as long as the grill was cool and flat as you set it down (I think), and cook the chicken over that. I suspect this is the same with the aluminum can, the liquid is preventing the final breakdown. An easy test would be to set your gril at the specified temp, weigh a totally empty beer can, put the can in a cast iron skillet and let it sit in the grill for like 4 hours. See what happens. I am not going to do this as I am not that bored and would not cook anything like this anyway, but I just wanted people to realize this may be very dangerous, and/or have implications to your health as yet unknown. I smoke so I don't care, counting on the big C or a MI to take me out lol. There are all kinds of info sites regarding links between Alzheimers and Aluminum, just google it. I just think smoking, eating metal isn't real healthy, have a marlboro and take a geritol iron pill if you need both. For the "beer can chicken" , take a oven safe (to like 600f) stoneware mug, knock the handle off of it and put the chicken over that after you pour a beer into it and proceed as recipe states. The can is not a fundamental part of this recipe (or if it is and ppl say it tastes different with a can than with a stone or iron, then guess what, they like the taste of aluminum, it should not taste much different, but makes you think about all the things of whether beer taste better in a bottle or a can, should be same right?), you can cut the chicken up and do it in a dutch oven, or don't cut it, the beer and the steaming process is the main thing. Just a warning, like I said, I do not know and no proof exists but a thin piece of metal on hi temp seems that metal is going to melt and go somewhere, and you may eat it.
marmalady said:
Don't want to put a damper on this unique cooking method, but there have been some questions raised re the toxicity of the can and ink on the can.
Never had a problem...the apparatus I use...keeps the can and the chicken, very seperate.
Likewise my suggestion for using a "clean" tin can...

Other question, if the chicken meat gets to 140 odd degrees, does the fluid filled can get much hotter?

If you eat/drink what is in the can, and has been heated before being sealed, is your exposure any less or more to metals?

If paint, glue, or whatever is on the outside of the obviously cleaned can can "cook off", can the "cooked off" crap really permeate the interior viscra of the chicken, or would it not just dribble into the bottom of the pan you set the chicken on?

If you smoke, or live in the company of those who do, are you not "infinitely more at risk" than at the risk of some tiny residue from the can usedin this cooking recipe? I mean, how many times a year do you use this?

Personally have never seen anyone use an actual "beercan" for this recipe, but can accept that out there, somewhere, somebody probably has...

Can't quite understand the objection, as a result...
GB said:
Rob I agree with the canned beer sentiment. I have two solutions. Clean out a soda can and fill it will a decent beer, or use a can of Guiness, which in my opinion is the only beer out of a can that is any good.

Murphy's Pub Draught is also okay from a can. It's similar to the Guiness in that it has a gas cannister in the bottom (CO2, right? Or is it nitrogen? Whatever it is, it gives the beer a thick head).
Yeah I have had Murphys as well. Not bad, but not one of my favorites. It would certainly work for beer can chicken though!

I am pretty sure the widgets use nitrogen.
i bought a vertical roaster "rack" for making beer can chicken. it is a wire frame thing that kinda looks like the bell of a trumpet. you put it wide side down in the roasting pan, like a chimney, the jam the chicken over it. i fill a thin metal cylinder with beer, and put it inside the vertical roaster, and it works just like the beer can chicken, and it's non-toxic.

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