Beer can chicken
================ 2019-05-10

Comment: There are well documented reports on the web that the beer in this style of cooking serves no purpose. My observations tend to confirm this, but I have eaten very moist chicken cooked that way, maybe it was not due to the beer, but in doubt, I'll keep using this method and pretend it works. One thing the beer can does is to act as a reasonably steady support for the chicken, especially with the weight of the beer. Another way is to use a stand that does not require an actual beer can - such a contraption is sold by Weber (albeit at a rather steep price) and others. The kind of beer (or other liquid) probably does not matter much. Start with both the beer and the chicken at room temperature. Place the roasting utensil and the chicken on a drip pan to save chicken dripping that will be used to make a great gravy. As for the rub, use a good poultry rub or make your own. Place the chicken in indirect heat, either to one side or on a large BBQ to the middle with the 2 middle burners off.
The gravy made with the chicken drippings can be used for fries or roasted potatoes or even poutine.

3 to 4 servings


beer can
chicken (4 to 5 lb - ~2 kg)
poultry rub
garlic (powder or finely grated cloves)

For the gravy: (double the quantities for a lot of gravy, as for poutine)
10 g butter
10 g flour
200 ml chicken stock


Prepare a rub mix with EVOO, poultry rub and salt (2 teaspoons rub mix, 2 good pinches salt, EVOO).
Rub the chicken inside and outside with the mix.
Wrap the chicken in cling wrap and let rest for 1 h at least.

Heat up the BBQ to ~150C (300F).
Pour the beer in the center part of the stand (or use a beer can) and place the chicken on the stand, removing the cling wrap and set the wings apart (they can be held in place with a chopstick placed as a yoke (behind the "neck" and under the wings) if needed. Set the legs apart for a good stability.

Place the chicken stand on a dripping pan and place it in indirect heat on the BBQ. Cook for 90 to 120 mn (~20 mn/pound). Turn the chicken 180 degrees at the mid point (front to back).

Meanwhile, prepare a baste of butter (20 g/pound) + garlic (1 clove/pound), finely grate the garlic or use powdered, garlic by slowly melting the butter in a pan with the garlic.

For the last 20 mn, boost the heat to 180C (360F) to nicely golden the skin and baste it a couple of times with the garlic butter. The inner temperature should reach 75C (165F) when properly cooked.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the gravy. Make a roux with the butter and the flour. Add the chicken stock and let thicken. Keep warm.

Remove the chicken from the BBQ and from the stand, pour the dripping juices in the gravy. After cutting the chicken, add the juices to the gravy too.

Reheat the gravy and serve with the chicken.