1 can (12 ounces) beer

1 chicken (31/2 to 4 pounds)

2 tablespoons commercial spice rub, divided

You'll need:

2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably apple or hickory)

1. Pop the tab off the beer can. Using a church key-style can opener,

make a few more holes in the top of the can. Pour out half the beer

into the soaking water of the wood chips. Soak the chips for 1 hour

in the liquid, then drain for use. Set the can of beer aside.

2. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If

using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center. If

using a gas grill, place all the wood chips or chunks in the smoker

box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke,

then reduce the heat to medium.

3. Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken

and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside

the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under

cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with

paper towels. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the rub inside the body and

neck cavities of the chicken. Rub the bird all over on the outside

with 2 teaspoons of the rub. If you have the patience, you can put

some of the rub under the skin.

4. Spoon the remaining 2 teaspoons of rub through the holes into the

beer in the can. Don't worry if it foams up: This is normal. Insert

the beer can into the body cavity of the chicken and spread out the

legs to form a sort of tripod. Tuck the wing tips behind the

chicken's back.

5. When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood

chips on the coals. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot

grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and

cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp

and the meat is cooked through (about 180°F on an instant-read meat

thermometer inserted in the thigh), or 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If using

a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1


6. Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken in its upright

position on the beer can to a platter and present it to your guests.

Let rest 5 minutes, then carefully remove the chicken from the beer

can. Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself.

(Normally I discard the beer, but some people like to save it for

making barbecue sauce.) Quarter or carve the chicken and serve.

Cook's Notes: Variations - You can also barbecue a chicken on a can

of cola, lemon-lime soda, or root beer.

Use a "tall boy" (16 ounce) can of beer to barbecue a capon or duck.

Use a "mini" (8 ounce) can of beer to barbecue a game hen.