The beer has been brewed, it’s been kegged and carbonated, and the draft system has been balanced. Only one thing left to do… right? Obviously use the beer to cook! What could be better than using beer brewed yourself to cook beer can chicken!? That’s exactly what I did recently.
I bought two whole chickens and prepped them with a rub that included paprika, ground black pepper, salt, sugar, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, and some cayenne pepper for some kick.
The rub Chicken with rub applied
Next, I prepared the beer cans. Not being one to waste perfectly good beer, I first drank the contents of two 12 ounce cans, punched a couple extra holes, and then filled them both halfway up with Hapa’s Brown Ale. The cans were then stuck in the business end of the chicken. I used the legs of the chicken to create a tripod so the birds would stand up during the cook.
Can with extra holes punched Chicken was upright during the cook
I fired up the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and used three chunks of apple wood for smoke. When the grill reached 220 degrees I put the birds on the cooking surface (still standing up).
On the grill for cooking
I cooked the chicken at ~275 degrees and didn’t concern myself with basting. The idea behind beer can chicken is that as the beer heats up it creates steam that keeps the meat moist. Some people will also tell you that the beer imparts flavor into the meat, but I personally, couldn’t taste it.
After cooking for 3 hours the internal temperature of the chicken was 165 degrees so I pulled them off the cooker. They looked and smelled great! I let the chicken cool for five minutes before carving them.
Hot of the grill! Ready to be enjoyed
The meat was very tender and moist, so I’m assuming the beer helped with that. As I mentioned, I wasn’t able to taste any effect from the beer but it didn’t matter; the rub and smoke added great flavors and the meat had just the right amount of spice.