Beer Can Chicken

Makes 4 Servings
serve with:
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  • 1 12 ounces (355 ml) can of beer
  • 1 chicken, about 3½ to 4 pounds (1.6 kg to 1.8 kg)
  • 6 teaspoons of Basic BBQ Rub

Basic BBQ Rub

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Cayenne pepper


In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Basic BBQ Rub. This amount of dry rub will allow you to season two chickens. It keeps for six months in an airtight container.

Open the can of beer by lifting the tab. With the sharp side of a bottle opener, make some holes on the top part of the can.

Prepare the grill for cooking over indirect heat. Preheat the grill, setting the burner on high, then reduce the heat to medium. 

Remove the bag containing the giblets that is inside the chicken and discard. Remove the fat from the body and neck cavities. Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken with cold water and pat dry. Generously season the inside with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of the rub. Rub the outside with about 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of rub. If you have the patience, rub some under the skin.

Pour about 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of the rub in the opening of the can. It is normal for the beer to foam. Sit the chicken on the can. Stretch the legs to form a tripod. Fold the wing tips behind the back of the chicken.

When the grill is ready, place the chicken on the can upright on the side where the burner is off. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked and the skin is crispy. The best test to make sure the chicken is juicy is to use a thermometer. It should read about 180°F/83°C when inserted into a thigh.

With tongs, place the chicken as is (in a vertical position on the can) on a platter and present it to your guests. Let rest for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the chicken from the can. Careful! The beer will be very hot. Usually, we throw away the beer, but some like to use it in their barbecue sauce.

Cut the chicken and serve.


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