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Beer Can Chicken Roasting

Beer Can Chicken Roasting involes poking the neck cavity of a chicken down onto an opened beer can, and roasting the chicken upright.

The idea is that you have the can half filled with beer, and the steam and aroma from that flavour the chicken (disregard promises of making it moister -- only fat makes meat moist, not water, steam or beer.)

Cut the top off a beer can, so that the top is completely open (mind the sharp edges.) Have the can half-filled with beer. Toss into the beer some flavouring such as onion pieces and garlic cloves. You season the inside of the chicken, and you can also use a dry rub on the outside if you wish. Insert can into the neck cavity of the bird. Stand the bird upright on the grill or in the oven, on a roasting pan, and roast. You make a tripod with the beer can and the two legs of the bird, to help it keep upright.

Still, it's not terribly stable. As the chicken shrinks during cooking, there's a danger of it leaning and then tipping over. You can buy racks now designed to hold the beer cans upright, to do anyway with worries of the whole thing toppling over. Most of these fold away for easier storage. Some are also designed to also keep the chicken from coming into contact with the beer can.

The terrible secret behind all this is that it doesn't actually add any perceptible beer flavour to the chicken -- still, men like the idea, and if it's a way of getting them to roast a chicken for a change, their partners may not complain if they have some fun while doing it.

Cooking Tips

Be careful of the very hot liquid in the can when removing the chicken.


Some say there's a worry of aluminium poisoning from the beer can.

History Notes

Beer Can Chicken Roasting became popular in 1998 with the publication of "John Madden's Ultimate Tailgating" cookbook.

See also:

Cooking Techniques

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Also called:

Beer Butt Chicken


Oulton, Randal. "Beer Can Chicken Roasting." CooksInfo.com. Published 22 February 2007; revised 13 August 2012. Web. Accessed 05/20/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/beer-can-chicken-roasting>.

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