- February 2, 2008 at 9:34 pm #255595LissKeymaster
1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 chicken (31/2 to 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons commercial spice rub, divided
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
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.
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