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Beer can chicken on a grill.

Beer Can Chicken

This beer can chicken is a whole chicken that is coated in homemade BBQ spice rub, then placed on top of a beer can and grilled to smoky and tender perfection. A unique way to eat chicken that always gets rave reviews!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 371kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup BBQ rub homemade or store bought
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 can beer
  • fresh herbs for garnish optional


  • Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Set up the grill for indirect cooking as described above in the post text. You want the grill temperature to be between 325 and 375 degrees F.
  • Brush the olive oil all over the chicken. Coat the outside and inside cavity of the chicken with the BBQ spice mix and salt.
  • Open the can of beer and pour out 1/4 of the beer. Poke a few holes in the top of the can.
  • Slide the chicken down on top of the beer can until the legs touch the ground to create a tripod with the chicken legs and can.
  • Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast or thigh.
  • Place the chicken on the grill on the side that does not contain the coals or flame.
  • Cover the grill. Cook the chicken for 60-90 minutes or until the thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
  • Carefully remove the chicken and beer can from the grill.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5-7 minutes, then serve, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.



  1. I prefer to use my homemade BBQ rub for this recipe. It takes just minutes to put together and can be used on all types of meat and seafood. If you want to save a little time, you can purchase pre-made rub.
  2. Look for an organic chicken. I find that they often have a better flavor than conventionally raised chickens.


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 287mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg