Beer Can Chicken

This weekend Gavin and I made our first beer can chicken.  For those of you not in the know, this involves setting your chicken on top of an opened can of beer and grilling it for a while over indirect heat.

Our chicken was from our first CSA pick-up, which made this extra exciting.  It was also our first time using wood chips in conjunction with our new grill.

The basic directions, adapted from Cooks Illustrated:

  • Light your charcoal.
  • Pat your chicken dry with paper towels and rub it with a spice rub all over, inside and out.  We used store-bought beer can chicken rub because it was on super-sale for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Fifteen minutes before the coals are ready, soak 2 cups of wood chips in water.  When the fifteen minutes are up, drain these and wrap them in a foil packet with holes punched in the top.
  • Open a beer and drink/pour out about 1/4 cup.  Punch two more holes in the top of the beer can.
  • Put your charcoal in the grill on two opposite sides of a disposable 13×9″ roasting pan.  Set the wood chips on one of them.  Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Put the chicken in the middle of the grill, sitting up on the beer can using the legs to make a tripod, and cover.
  • Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is temping at 160˚ in the breast and 175˚ in the thighs.
  • Take it off the grill, drape with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Carve and serve!

Here’s a photo of the chicken and the beer can waiting for the grill to heat up:

And here are some much tastier-looking photos of the finished product.

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