Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beer Butt Chicken Barbecue

This is my father-in-law's version of the famous Beer Butt Chicken. This barbecue dish is a bit unorthodox but once you have tried this Beer Butt Chicken (some calls it Beer Can Chicken or Drunken Chicken) you will never go back. Don't be intimidated with the name of this dish, it is really simple to make. Just take a chicken, slather with butter or olive oil and meat seasoning, open a can of beer, drink a few glugs then insert the opened can into the cavity of the chicken and off to the grill it goes. The idea is to use the beer can as a tripod where you stand the chicken.  And the beer will help the chicken stay moist while it cooks. The result is an awesome chicken that's moist, and so tender it will fall off the bone! So what are you waiting for, open a beer and grab a whole chicken and let's start cooking!

Beer Butt Chicken Barbecue Recipe


1 (3½ to 4 lbs) whole chicken
1 cup butter or olive oil
1 (12 oz) can beer (cut off top with a can opener)
2 tablespoons garlic salt or 4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper or to taste
Fresh or dried herbs of your choice
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

  • Preheat barbecue grill (spray grill  cooking spray). Drink (or pour out) ¼ of the beer from the can.
  • Get the chicken ready for cookin'. Trim some of the fat, get rid of the giblets . Rub liberally inside and out the chicken with your favorite meat rub. I prefer olive oil, basil, lots of fresh press garlic, paprika, salt and pinch of cayenne.
  • Using a can opener, open up and top off the bear can and drop in the crushed garlic.
  • Oil up the can and slide the top of the beer can deep inside the chicken cavity (the head end).  If the opening is especially wide, a carrot or slice of potato can be slid in beside the can to seal off the cavity. Push until the can is almost fully inside the bird. The bottom of the can and the two legs bent slightly downward form a tripod which keeps the chicken upright on the grill.

  • Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook over low to medium heat for approximately 2 to 3 hours (depending on your heat source) or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165°F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife). Check the chicken every 20 minutes or so and brush on more of the butter/seasoning mixture or olive oil as needed. If the chicken is browning too fast, cover the chicken with aluminum foil.
  • When the chicken is done, remove from the grill and let the chicken cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven).
  • Serve and Enjoy !


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