This method of cooking chicken was all the rage a few years back. You couldn't watch a cooking show on TV without the host making this recipe. However, this is the first time I've ever made one, and I really wish I had done it sooner!
It's really super easy and looks incredibly impressive. The hardest part about the recipe is getting the hot chicken off the can when you're ready to eat. I ended up holding the can steady with a sturdy pair of tongs, while pulling the chicken off with another set of tongs. There's probably a better way to do it, so let me know if you figure one out!
I used this recipe from The Surreal Gourmet over at the Food Network as my starting point, and then I used this Tyler Florence recipe for a dry spice rub. I was very happy with the results of the rub on the chicken, but you could easily skip the rub and just be generous with the salt and pepper.
If you prefer not use beer, then I think you could probably use a can of Coke or Sprite with similar results. I really didn't taste the flavor of the beer in the chicken. The beer itself just helps add moistness to the meat, not so much flavor.
Beer Can Chicken
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 can beer
Prepare grill for indirect cooking. Combine the salt, pepper and spices together in a small bowl.
Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with the dry rub. Set aside.
Open beer can and pour off (or drink) half the can. Place beer can on a solid surface. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod.
Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 60-85 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees in the breast area and 180 degrees in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. (The exact cooking time will really depend on how hot your grill is, so be flexible and make sure you use a thermometer!) Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes.