Recipes SEPTEMBER 2018 COUNTRY KITCHEN Beer can chicken

Beer can chicken

Beer can chicken
Beer can chicken

Beer can chicken


4-pound whole chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 open, half-full can of beer, room temperature (for a non-alcoholic option, fill a pint-sized jar halfway with chicken stock


Prepare grill for indirect heat. If using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If using a gas grill, fire up only half the burners. 

Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken. Rub chicken all over with olive oil. Mix salt, thyme and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the chicken.

Make sure the beer can is open and only half-filled with beer. Lower the chicken onto the open beer can so the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.

Cover the grill. Do not open to check the chicken for at least an hour.

After an hour, check the chicken and refresh coals if needed. Keep checking every 15 minutes or so until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 F.

Total cooking time will vary depending on the chicken size and the grill’s internal temperature.

If a meat thermometer isn’t available, poke the chicken thigh with a knife to tell if the meat is finished cooking. If the juices run clear (not pink), the chicken is done.

Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan and remove the hot can from the chicken. Carve the chicken and serve